MONDAY 24 MAY PEMBERTON
Yesterday, after looking at some of the material gathered from the Information Centre, we decided that we would try to do the timber tram ride today. Were able to book in to do this.
The Pemberton Timber Tram was a small “train” or diesel powered tram that travelled on an old timber hauling tramway, for 10kms, to a bridge over the Warren River. It took nearly two hours for the return trip, and was well worth doing. Great little trip.
There were not many people on board the little tram so it did not feel crowded.
We had excellent views ahead, along the track, and to the sides, through the forests of jarrah, karri and marri.
We stopped twice at points where we were allowed to get off the tram. First at the Cascades, and then at the Warren River, as far as we went.
The track had a number of stream crossings, and bridges, but the most impressive was the Warren River trestle bridge. It was 128 metres long and was the longest curved timber trestle bridge still in use in WA. To me, it was reminiscent of some of the bridges on the old ABT west coast railway in Tasmania. We were able to explore around this bridge and get down to stream level to take photos.
After lunch back at the van, we visited the Fine Woodcraft Gallery. In this timber focussed area, John was keen to see what was being done with wood by local craftsmen, and also maybe find out where he might source WA timbers. We browsed the extensive and interesting displays for a couple of hours. I succumbed to temptation and bought a beautiful dark blue, round, glass paperweight that had fine silver line work inside the glass. It was totally different to anything I’d seen before, and cost $80. At the time, this seemed rather an extravagance but I’d fallen in love with it.
Then went on to the Peter Kovascy Gallery. His wood sculptures were brilliant – tables, bowls, forms. Items from his personal collection were on display, as he no longer did much wood work, as such. He had moved on to glass sculpture, often using cast lead crystal in a European technique, not much known in Australia. His woodwork skills were relevant here because he carved wooden forms in which to mould the lead crystal. His work was very modern, abstract and fascinating in appearance. I adored it.
When Peter saw that we were really interested in the work, and picked up that John knew something of woodwork, he took us back into his work area and talked about his methods.
I fell in love with his “Temple”, which was done in both an orange-red and a blue-green glass. Different thicknesses of the glass, created by the moulding, glowed different shades with back lighting. The large Temple was $11,000!
I also liked his “Windswept” series, #1 and #2, which were around the $9,000 to $11,000 range. These glowed blue-green, just like the colours you see in some breaking waves.
We talked with him for ages, way past his published closing time. He must have picked up on how entranced I was with the work, because he offered to make me a small version of the Temple – for $2200. I really wanted a red-orange one, his “mead” colour, because of the superb colours of the refracted light through the different thicknesses and textures of the glass. He showed me a broken attempt at a small one, to give me an idea.
John said that I should buy a big Windswept one, as an investment, but I was not comfortable spending that much. I was not comfortable with spending anything with more than one zero on the end, for that matter! But occasionally, can make an exception…….
Wed told Peter we would think on it overnight and if we decided to commission a small Temple, would confirm that tomorrow.
Back at the van, over tea, there was much discussion about the spending of so much money. It was decided that, a couple of months of work, somewhere, in the 2005 tourist season, would pay for my indulgence.