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Derek Schapper

My interest in working in timber stems from a childhood spent watching my father and older brother build a succession of timber yachts on which I sailed as crew. Being regarded by them as too young to usefully assist in the construction process, it was many years before I came to start working timber myself.

I am attracted to modern form and design – starting with Art Nouveau, but particularly Cubism, Art Deco and Bauhaus and, later, Abstract Expressionism – most of the Modernist styles.

Engaged by the mid-century modernist design style, I have adopted, revived and adapted examples of it into timber wall ornaments with an Australian/European flavour. Some are based on old designs which have become neglected, others are original.


A prominent feature of a number of these designs is the impression of fluidity and motion created from what is a group of static objects. This is achieved by the combination of the shape of each object; their arrangement in relation to each other and the addition of depth and shadow by off-wall mounting.


It is the design which determines the overall appearance and effect of the works; though the choice of timber is also part of the design process. I generally use Western Australia’s unique timbers though also some exotics. Western Australia has a wide variety of Eucalyptus with colours ranging from Jarrah’s deep red to Blackbutt’s creamy white. Banksia, Casuarina and Melaleuca add further possibilities in texture, grain and colour.


Also part of this site is my travel blog. As you will see from the blog, my various travels have informed my interest in Art, Architecture and the Natural World and provided stimulus for my own design choices and production.

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