Artisans of Australia


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1984, Total running time: 96 Minutes. Exempt from classification.

This compelling six-part series was originally produced for the Australian Heritage Commission to illustrate the skills required for authentic restoration of buildings. In each film the craftsmen and women give their own explanation of their rare skills as the work proceeds and share the benefits of their experience and wisdom.

TIMBERCRAFT (16 Minutes) A detailed look at the restoration of the Coolamine Homestead in the Kosciuszko National Park. Constructed in 1883, the building is a very good example of a drop slab alpine ash timber hut. The process of restoration is explained in detail, including choosing the right tree, using the tools and what were once standard bush skills. The program features axemen Bill Boyd and Mark Garner who, like their families before them, have worked in the bush all their lives.

STONECRAFT (16 Minutes) Weathered stonework at the Sydney Technical College, built in 1891, is being restored and where necessary, replaced. The grey stone needed comes from Wondabyne Quarry. Stonemason George Proudman explains the process of restoration, from choosing the stone and tools required, to the methods used for fitting replacement stone.

GLASSCRAFT (16 Minutes) Like his father and grandfather, Kevin Little works with stained glass. This film gives a detailed description of the process of restoring damaged glass panels at the Garrison Holy Trinity Church, Sydney. The film demonstrates the processes and materials used, and the tools of the trade.

IRONCRAFT (16 Minutes) A detailed look at the making of cast iron lacework at a small iron foundry in Sydney. Jack Thomas, who has been working at the foundry since 1939, provides a tour through the process and with his workmates demonstrates the skills required. In this small workshop where a few workers cast iron in sand, the red hot metal and dim light give an unexpected glimpse of what iron work must have been like in the early years of the Industrial Revolution.

SOLID PLASTERING (16 Minutes) A look at the intricate and varied process of restoring and retaining the original ornamental plasterwork on heritage buildings. Collingwood Town Hall, Melbourne is used as the model in this study.

DECORATIVE PAINT WORK (15 Minutes) Built in the 1880s, a private house in Toorak, Melbournenis having its Victorian and Art Deco decorative paintwork restored. This short film shows some of the skills and processes involved, including stencilling, marbling, wood grain, simulated tortoiseshell and gold gilding.

Produced for Australian Heritage Commission by Film Australia. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.



Directors: Paul Humfress; Keith Gow

Year: 1984

Running Time: 6 x 16 Minutes

Classification: Exempt from classification

Region: 0

Curriculum Links: Architecture; Australian History; Environment & Conservation; Heritage, Museums and Conservation; Design and Technology.


Open House

Betty Viazim

NFSA FILM AUSTRALIA YouTube Channel (Timbercraft)




SKU 198321000
Brand Film Australia

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