An Interview with Mal Nash of Mal Nash Woodcraft.
Mal Nash Woodcraft can be found at Salamanca Market every Saturday – stall site 217
What products do you make to sell at Salamanca Market?
At Mal Nash Woodcraft the focus is on the timber. Tasmanian timber has such rich colour and exceptional grain patterns it is hard to not be inspired. So much so that for me, after 25 years I still can’t wait until the morning to see what delights await me in the workshop.
I have spent a lot of time establishing the contacts that allow me to get what I regard as the best timber available. We acknowledge the scarcity of the timber so use the offcuts to create jewellery and many smaller products to utilise the resource to the fullest extent.
Two of my daughters make products and I am proud to see their love of timber. My eldest daughter wants to make woodcraft a profession more that using her two university qualifications!
Tell us a bit more about your Tasmanian timber products…
The main product I make are quirky bandsawn boxes. I love using burl timbers and usually have a few birdseye huon pine pieces which are always sought after.
I use an oil and wax finish so they feel and smell amazing. The wood is the hero of my pieces so they are not over finished but remain obviously products of nature.
Recently I bought a laser so I can use the diminishing resource in an efficient way to create a large range of products focusing on Australian animals.
What led you into this business?
When I moved to Tasmania I met an old woodturner and used to go into the southern forests to salvage special species timbers from clearfell blocks. I was amazed by what was left behind and disgusted by the enormous waste of a valuable resource. This is what led me to my current profession.
Direct contact with people liking and buying your products. Selling through galleries is very impersonal, to see someone pick up something you have made and hug it to their chest as they look around the stall is such a special and fulfilling experience that can only be gained with the sort of contact available at Salamanca.
Where else do you sell your products?
I sell in several galleries in Tasmania but also in Alice Springs, Margaret River, Byron Bay and Doncaster in Melbourne.