Maleny Wood Expo's Wootha prize sets new benchmark

Peter Talbot from Rockhampton took out the $2500 first prize with his entry "Segment Hall Table".
Peter Talbot from Rockhampton took out the $2500 first prize with his entry “Segment Hall Table”. (Photo Contributed)

The high quality of this year’s Wootha Prize entries has been raised the bar for the 2014 competition.
The Wootha Prize, Queensland’s richest woodworking competition, forms the feature exhibition at the Maleny Wood Expo. The 2013 competition attracted entries ranging from furniture to sculpture based on the “on 4 legs” theme.
The Expo started with a bang on Friday 3rd May as guests and exhibitors mingled in the Main Pavilion for the official Expo Opening and the announcement of the 2013 Wootha Prize.
After an Acknowledgement to Country by Gubbi Gubbi elder, Beverley Hand, the 17th Maleny Wood Expo was officially opened by the Hon Andrew Powell MP Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, and Member for Glasshouse.
This was followed by the announcement of the winners of the “on 4 legs” themed Wootha Prize by the three judges: Linda Nathan, Editor of the Australian Wood Review, and Sunshine Coast master woodcrafters Ross Annels and David Southern.
The $2,500 first prize was awarded to Peter Talbot from Rockhampton for his exquisite “Segment Hall Table” and was presented by Brian Farmer, CEO of sponsor HQPlantations.
The visual impact of this beautifully crafted piece came from the use of highly figured timber veneer from a branch intersection of Raintree (Samanea saman) which yielded grain with crotch (flame), fiddleback and straight.
Second place went to Brisbane’s Richard Vaughan for his light-hearted “Coming & Going Table” in Red Cedar and Queensland Maple. This piece also took out the Craftmanship Award. Esma Armstrong, Chair of sponsor Queensland Water and Land Carers (QWALC) was on hand to present the $750 prize.
And Guy Breay from Dalby received the third prize of $500 for his beautifully crafted sculpture “The Search for Monisha” which was inspired by the twists and turns and rough exterior of a dead Flame Sheoak tree branch.
Thank you to generous sponsors HQPlantations Queensland, QWALC and Geochempet; the judging panel; MC Clare Booth; the many local restaurants and businesses who supported the Opening; and the volunteers who ensured the smooth running of the evening.
The 2013 Wootha Prize Exhibition is now on show at Tree Frog Gallery until Sunday 2nd June. Drop in and have a look at some truly inspiring woodwork if you missed it at the Expo.
Application Forms for the 2014 Wootha Prize will be available by June from www.malenywoodexpo.org.au.