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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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