Tom Black and his artist wife, Toni, have lived on the Blackall Range for a couple of decades.

Recently, a group of people were spotted hanging around a bench in the Woodies’ quiet shed. On pushing through we found quiet reserved Tom looking a bit bemused. Everyone was excited about his latest sculpted piece but Tom was just taking it in his stride.

This piece had been entered into the Wootha Prize which, for people who know about these things, is a very big deal. The Wootha Prize has a selection committee who determine the finalists from sketches of photos of completed work which had been submitted.

Tom has been carving for about 20 years but only seriously for about five years, although he has been a member of the Woodies for about 15 years. Woodworking has been a hobby for many years and he has carried out small modifications to his homes and also built a sailing skiff to learn to sail with his family.

He finds the best locally available wood to be white beech.

His carving as pictured above is called The Mason. The sculpture pays homage to three of his ancestors who were masons or cabinetmakers.