Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Australian Tinkering – A Bit of History

The Vernacular building was done with what ever materials were available by whatever skill the ‘builder’ had ‘on hand’.


Back in the days gone, builders could wield an axe and then they progressed to the finer art of using a saw and a hammer.  The art, and hard work, of splitting logs and the axe hewn timber poles for structural beams, mixed with use of earth and stone walls made the early mainframe.  Then with bark, tin, nails, wire and small squares of glass, the building became a shelter.   A bit of steel rod and flat iron with a forge and some basic tools one could even make the hinges and other window and door furniture.


Australian Tinkering has fascinated me for a long time, ever since I watched my grandfather twitch a piece of wire on the farm.  I saw my father sort through the store of raw materials and then chose ‘just the thing for the job’.  Tools would come out to clutter the work bench and with the smell of wood shavings, iron filings and oil in the old tin workshop some bellows would be made, for example.

past and present tinkering
of the SW of WA

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