Royal award for creative carver

THE Royal Melbourne Show is more than just rides and show bags with many locals undertaking the pilgrimage to share their art and creativity.
This year Leongatha retired carpenter Ken Reid received the Herbert Gmehling Memorial Award for a twin set of owls he dedicated countless hours to carving from blocks of wood.
The award, sponsored by the Gmehling family honours Herbert Gmehling who passed away from cancer which was diagnosed shortly after his home was burnt down in the Murrundindi Fire during the devastating Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.
Mr Reid’s passion for wildlife and his gifted hand at woodcarving has seen him enter his work at the show for years.
“Mr Gmehling was a chap from our wood carver group and a friend of mine, so it is an honour to receive the award,” Mr Reid said.
“I don’t do this work to win awards. The Manningham woodworkers group do it to support the exhibition.
“For me woodcarving is a challenge. Like the eagle, to take that ambition, to appreciate that bird you see in the sky and produce a carving of it. That’s why I do it.”
He continues to “whittle away” on a range of woods including coastal banksia, Queensland white beech and blackwood depicting wildlife.
Mr Reid had previously won the Memorial Award in 2016 for his depiction of the native New Zealand lizard the tuatara.
The Show’s Art, Craft and Cookery competition is one of the largest competitions and displays of its kind in Australia receiving more than 4000 entries from 1000 contributors across 300 classes last year.
This year’s entry by Ken Reid called “Owls” was on display at the show at the time The Star went to print.

Wildlife woodwork: Leongatha local Ken Reid poses with his wedge-tailed eagle carving he entered in last year’s Royal Melbourne Show’s Art, Craft and Cookery competition.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25912

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