13 February 2024

Riverina Made: Turning wood into works of wonder

| Vanessa Hayden
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Man and woman in woodshed with their dog

Angus and Patricia Lyons, with trusty workshop assistant Floyd, create “practical art” with their wood-turning business. Photo: Vanessa Hayden.

Who are you and what is your business? We are Angus and Patricia Lyons, Lyons Woodturning. Angus is the wood-turner. I married Angus 20 years ago and have always been in admin, helping to run everyone else’s business. Angus was having a break from the wood-turning, trying other stuff, but seven years ago we restarted the wood-turning business together.

Where did you begin? Angus studied and learnt the trade as an apprentice in the late 1980s in Goulburn, under one of Australia’s leading wood-turners, Anthony Hansen. After leaving Anthony, he himself became a professional turner supplying galleries including Bungendore Woodworks, Tilba Tilba and various other Australian wood galleries. He has been turning, on and off, since that time.

We were married in 2004 and moved to Albury. After buying a block of land, and building a house and large shed, in Jindera, the family moved in, Christmas 2016. Shortly after, in early 2017, Lyons Woodturning was officially “rebirthed”.

We have since decided to downsize the land and upgrade the shed. The move out was physically difficult as there was timber everywhere! When the new premises are finished (hopefully July), it should be a lot easier as Angus has been using a lot of the timber up, and we haven’t been accepting any new stuff, plus what is there is now stacked and ready to go.

Items made out of wood

Lyons Woodturning attends various markets, and its products can be found online or at the Self Made Marketplace store in Centro Lavington. Photo: Supplied.

What do you produce? Handmade timber gifts and homewares, as well as custom work for individuals, builders, and cabinet and furniture makers. We consider what we do as “practical art”.

READ ALSO Riverina Made: Jeremy Hagenback tapping into Mother Nature’s nurture for beautiful blooms

We aim to use recycled timber wherever possible, sometimes using old farm red gum fenceposts, salvaged timber and generally timber that otherwise would be burnt in someone’s bonfire. We also try to not throw any timber out, by using offcuts from larger jobs for smaller items and even giving our wood shavings to local property owners for their chickens and injured animals.

What do you sell that makes a great gift? Everything! Lol. Timber travel mugs, razors/shave sets, pens, cheese knives, boards, bowls, ornaments, table bench legs, bottle stoppers.

What would you make if you could do anything? “Big stuff!” Exhibition pieces. Angus would love to make burl and resin tables or just oversized still-life items for exhibition. To date, the largest piece is a burl sculpture fashioned to look like a wagon wheel to present to the German Embassy to commemorate Jindera’s 150th celebrations of settlement.

Where can we buy your products? Our regular markets are Self Made Markets from Ultimate Events and River and Wren at Wagga Wagga. We are hoping later this year to go to Canberra Hand Made. You can always find our products in the Self-Made Marketplace in Centro Lavington, at The Hub 3747 in Beechworth, and online at the Riverina Hamper Co (select stock) or on our website.

READ ALSO: Riverina Made: The candle-making evolution of Billy and Bear, from curiosity to handmade success

How would you promote the Riverina? It has everything the city has, everything you need, but with the awesome, friendly country lifestyle.

Coolest local thing you’ve ever bought? An amazing pendant light from The Hub at Beechworth, made by Creative Collective. We didn’t actually buy it … We were going to, but they decided to make one for us as a house-warming present. It is an orb made from the metal from wine barrels, with dried vines and fairy lights wrapped around and through it. It looks amazing!

Where’s your favourite place for a cuppa? The Fox & Brew in Jindera. They have done a fairly big revamp over the past year and it has come up a treat, it’s a great place for a cuppa and something to eat.

Who is another local producer you admire? There are so many of the local artisans we admire and so much talent in this area. Jindera is a hidden gem of creatives. But we love Kerry May Designs, Table Top Pottery, Barista’s Choice Coffee Roasters, Creative Collective, Ultimate Events, Blue Chai.

You can find out more about Lyons Woodturning by visiting Handmade timber products | Lyons Woodturning | Australia

Region Riverina is committed to celebrating our local producers and creatives and encourages everyone to buy locally.

If you’re aware of someone who’s making something amazing, let us know!

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