A very charry day

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Jim Gould at work charring. Photo : Bill Hall

On the very last (and somewhat chilly) day of winter various Friends assembled on the Paperbark Lawn of the Gardens, just below the site of the Paperbark Treehouse, to find out about the mysterious Japanese art of yakisugi, or carbonising wood. As Nici Long from Cave Urban has explained, charring is very appropriate for this work as a symbol of bushfire and regeneration; it also preserves the timber and provides a textural finish that reduces the fire risk.

Cave Urban was keen to thank the Friends for our support as underwriters of the project with an invitation to do some on-site charring of timber to be used in the build. We also enjoyed some delicious charred meat and vegetables very generously provided by Cave Urban.

The work involved the use of rather large blowtorches, whose size may have deterred some but Jim Gould of the Photographic Group led the Friends’ effort, enthusiastically charring the trunk of a red box (Eucalyptus polyanthemos) that has since been hoisted into place ready for concreting.

Louise Maher from ABC Radio came along to interview Nici Long of Cave Urban and the President of the Friends in a live cross to the studio. This link will enable you to listen to the interview.

The site is blocked off but you can keep an eye on progress from the pathway above. Cave Urban will let us know of any further opportunities for the Friends to get involved in charring. The work is expected to be finished in November.

The Paperbark Treehouse is supported by the Public Fund of the Friends.

Lesley Jackman