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Wood With Personality: Tommy’s Hut

Dec 21, 2012

by madebyamuffin

Laura Quattrocelli is a maker, digital nerd, blogger, entrepreneur and DIY self-starter from Melbourne, Australia. With her friend, photographer Mike Smith, she recently launched Historia Films, a collaborative joint venture in video production. Their focus is on exploring the ideas and stories behind Australian artists, makers and creatives, revealing the world they live in through beautiful short films.

Brandi Johnson and husband Gary moved to the misty Victorian town of Kinglake, Australia, in 2008, only six weeks before the devastating bush fires now known as Black Saturday engulfed the town. Since then, Brandi has fallen in love with the regrowth of mountain ash and gnarly red gum that surrounds her home, turning her passion for making and salvaging timber into a sustainable handmade business called Tommy’s Hut.

Brandi’s home, studio and work shed are located on a quaint property she and Gary share with their two dogs, a mixture of rescued ex-battery hens, and one rock-star rooster who rolls by the name Eddie (Van Halen). The moment you drive into Kinglake, you feel a feel a connection to the spirit of the town, and it shines through Brandi and her passion for making.

Tommy’s Hut celebrates the personality in individual pieces of timber, whether it be the “Cindy Crawford-esque” lemon-scented gum or a “gnarly” grumpy old red gum. Each delicate box has a story of its own, and Brandi knows them all — whether it is the salvaged piece of timber from her next door neighbour’s house, the desert timbers carefully selected and sent to Victoria from her family in Pilbara, or the off-cuts her father in-law stumbled over whilst wood-turning. Brandi’s personal connection to the wood she works gives her band-sawn boxes captivating charm and individuality. Meeting the maker behind these magical band-sawn boxes was a great example of discovering an artisan expressing what’s in her heart and mind through her gorgeous creations.

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68 comments

  • valeriephoto said 6 years ago

    What gorgeous, sweet little boxes. Nice work.

  • CuffLoves said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work! I love the extra secret surprise of a hidden box within a drawer :)

  • amusebeads said 6 years ago

    It's amazing how even the materials we use can have their own story. Beautiful work!

  • CafePrimrose said 6 years ago

    gorgeous boxes!

  • emwi said 6 years ago

    Beautiful pieces! And I always love seeing new film projects come back. Thanks for sharing your work.

  • GallusTreeCreations said 6 years ago

    WOW!!! Absolutely stunning work, so unique, and what beautiful inspiring surroundings to work and live in, wishing you much success.

  • IcingOnTheCupcake said 6 years ago

    These are beautiful!

  • TheFederalCase said 6 years ago

    very nice, love to see the timber being featured.

  • maggiesraggedyinn said 6 years ago

    This was such a great story. Your boxes are amazing and I love how you work and live. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

  • Lehns said 6 years ago

    I am delighted to see this story - I bought her first piece here on Etsy ( as my mother's house) and the box is still gorgeous and still smells so good! I love it and I am so truly happy to see Brandi doing so well ! Congratulations!

  • LoveandKnit said 6 years ago

    Wonderful!

  • TheBeautyofBoredom said 6 years ago

    Cute boxes!! Thanks for sharing this, very inspiring!

  • volkerwandering said 6 years ago

    I love everything about these charming little wood boxes!

  • ZorroPlateado said 6 years ago

    Your work is amazing! Wonderful story,,congratulations!

  • theshack said 6 years ago

    Nice work! Love the free style design.

  • AnnealedHeart said 6 years ago

    Love seeing your beautiful work featured here! Great story- congrats :).

  • KMalinka said 6 years ago

    Awesome work!

  • christineshmisteen said 6 years ago

    BEAUTIFUL! If you haven't seen him, though, check out the guy who does swirly furniture on here From Scott Blackwell of WOODCURVE! http://www.etsy.com/shop/WoodCurve?ref=top_trail

  • oksanalitvinova said 6 years ago

    Such nice work! Absolutely love an idea and spirit of old wood... I don't even know which one to pick - I love them all! Too bad video didn't work at all...

  • christineshmisteen said 6 years ago

    by the way, I'm in no way affiliated with him, I don't even have him circled or whatever, I just admire from afar...

  • ThreeBarDGifts said 6 years ago

    What wonderful designs! Love them!

  • gilstrapdesigns said 6 years ago

    Your boxes are all so beautiful they are so unique.

  • picklevalentine said 6 years ago

    Beautiful boxes. They are so full of love and personality.

  • ThePattypanShop said 6 years ago

    Love the boxes - they are beautiful!!!

  • TommysHut said 6 years ago

    What lovely comments, quite overwhelming - thank you!

  • BonTons said 6 years ago

    Beautiful story. Congratulations!

  • gsnow1 said 6 years ago

    Very cool, great imagination.

  • TrueFaux9 said 6 years ago

    Recently visited Queensland and New South Wales where I was totally surprised by all the trees- many quite large & beautiful. Your boxes really evoke the wonderful unique magic of your country...

  • rachelungerjewelry said 6 years ago

    i absolutely love your work, i have longed to get one of these types of boxes for many years, can't wait to buy one someday!

  • irinisklavounou said 6 years ago

    Apart from looking so friendly and nice to touch, they would also be perfect to keep precious things safe and sound...... All my jewelry pieces would be happy to live in such dear little boxes when not being worn.

  • tishalee2 said 6 years ago

    I absolutely love this video. Beautiful work.

  • simonesolomon1 said 6 years ago

    As an artist who often combines ceramics and wood I totally connected to your love of timber. Drift wood and twigs are some of my favorites.

  • iyiamihandbags said 6 years ago

    The 24hours of the day never seem to be enough for me... But today I did find the time to read ,listen and see your story and your work,because I find it very unique and interesting! I wish you the best Mimi

  • mazedasastoat said 6 years ago

    I've always had a weakness for wooden boxes, & these are definitely amongst the very best bandsaw boxes I've ever seen!

  • butikonline83 said 6 years ago

    Love this!

  • Iammie said 6 years ago

    Love your work! Congrats on the feature!

  • TommysHut said 6 years ago

    Thank you all SO much! So happy to be a part of the handmade love. We need never step into a shopping centre again thanks to Etsy 8)

  • saraaires said 6 years ago

    Uau! I could almost smell the timber frnagrance from here... :D This reminded me of my wood/metal sculpture lessons at university. Just like yourself Brandi, I would be there at the saw or polisher always with my nails polished! I love to see the woman in the artist. Truly inspiring.

  • TommysHut said 6 years ago

    Sara that is so funny - I just can't succumb to having completely mangled woodworker's hands! I paint them with shellac polishes (UV cured!) to try to keep them in reasonable condition and tough enough to withstand the abuse!

  • xZOUix said 6 years ago

    amazing. i love the energy that's coming out of wood ♥ pure nature, strong and innocent.

  • mingtaphotography said 6 years ago

    Nice art works!!! Congrats!

  • FreshFromtheFlame said 6 years ago

    I enjoyed watching the video. Etsy has done a wonderful job of really showcasing a true artist.

  • LisaLenox said 6 years ago

    I love your organic sensibilities. Too beautiful for words. You honor the spirit of the tree in a special way.

  • mattyhandmadecrafts said 6 years ago

    So cute!

  • jamasters said 6 years ago

    bea-u-ti-ful!

  • SheEarth said 6 years ago

    WoooWho, go you guys. I see you at St Andrews and have bought from you on Etsy and at the market, glad to see other people are discovering your beautiful aussie boxes too.

  • MauiAndHerOwl said 6 years ago

    Awesome - It's really cool to be able to watch the making of these boxes. Great work!!

  • JewelrybyDorothy said 6 years ago

    Simply gorgeous work!

  • BeaconMills said 6 years ago

    Fine work/respect for the wood. Love to see it, thanks.

  • JessieArch said 6 years ago

    Great film and terrific story! I love those little secret drawers in some of her boxes :) I can't get enough of beautifully finished wood....my father is on his way to my house right now to deliver some incredible pieces of furniture he's made for my husband and I. Really feeling the love for wood today!

  • Caracoda said 6 years ago

    Amazing! You would never say this is a "human made" thing! Just beautiful..

  • reneeanne said 6 years ago

    beautiful boxes! lovely little film!

  • PrayerNotes said 6 years ago

    Your wooden boxes are exceptional! I love your work. ~Cynthia

  • amysfunkyfibers said 6 years ago

    So beautiful!

  • Bessiescreations said 6 years ago

    Love it!

  • LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    Beautiful work theres certainly something magical about it!

  • MandyBesek said 6 years ago

    Congrats Brandi! : )

  • artl8dy said 6 years ago

    Wonderful creations, sculptures with function!

  • madebyamuffin said 6 years ago

    Brandi is such a lovely woman and we are so happy that everyone has been able to see inside her world of beautiful making up in Kinglake!

  • MC2design said 6 years ago

    Very nice creations! My sister and her partner also work wood and have a shop on Etsy. They sell ear plugs www.varlopeshop.etsy.com. I really love all the wood essences... You have a gorgeous product and should definitely continue your good work!

  • RedorGrayArt said 6 years ago

    i enjoyed this so much ... beautiful art!!

  • jmayoriginals said 6 years ago

    love, love, love this! thank you so much for sharing. beautiful work.

  • HedgehogProject said 6 years ago

    your boxes are really lovely :)

  • mlezcano said 6 years ago

    these boxes are really special! I love how you show us your process and explain how important your connection to certain types of timber is. The outcome and craftsmanship looks topnotch! xo

  • StayArtisan said 6 years ago

    Great work...

  • blogcommentingindian said 6 years ago

    It is alluring list of wooden boxes... I am flabbergasted. But FYI I just want you to also have a look at the art and craft products at www.indianethnicgifts.com, It is one stop for those looking for some Indian ethnic artifacts and gifts. Once more I would like to mention that it was great reading your article and it is indeed a topnotch work with wood. Cheers!!!!!!

  • karavakishop said 6 years ago

    I enjoyed every moment of this video. You create masterpieces!! All the best:) Adriana

  • nativestrandsjewelry said 6 years ago

    Beautiful boxes!

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