Lisa Magri and Geoff McSkimming select Lillipilli winners.
Lisa Magri and Geoff McSkimming select Lillipilli winners. Bruce Thomas

Recycled offcuts now a work of art

A TAFE furniture design student – managing two part-time jobs – has taken out the grand champion prize in the Coffs Harbour Lillipilli Art and Craft competition.

Vicki Rieder produced an amazing timber and aluminium sculptural table, titled Scraptacon, using a multitude of timbers she salvaged from the class offcuts bin.

“I raided the offcut bin at TAFE. It became a running joke in class. It's got hoop pine, blackbutt, blackwood, red cedar, forest oak, silky oak, flooded gum, blue gum, everything,” 27-year-old Miss Rieder said. “It helps me remember what the timbers look like. It's good for species identification.”

Designed as an artist's standing workbench, she plans to later add a glass top to the bench, as it is full of holes from the many knotted pieces she selected. As all works in the Lillipilli exhibition are for sale, she nominated a ‘ridiculously high price of $5000' as she is unwilling to part with the piece she has ‘grown attached to'. She won $1000 in prize money.

Of her win she said she was ‘pretty gobsmacked', given the other amazing entries she saw in the woodwork section, although the judges were unanimous in her selection.

“Scraptacon is a highly sophisticated concept of outstanding technical execution,” commented judge Geoff McSkimming. “The simple, yet bold design is a quirky, expressive and contemporary association of materials. It is a highly sculptural form, yet utilitarian and recycled.”

While Miss Reider said she loves her furniture design course, she

admits to ‘struggling at the moment – working all hours – and we've just bought a house'. “It's not one of those courses you can walk out of and get a job. I'm hoping down the line to set up my own business.”

The Lillipilli Art and Craft Festival is run by Woolgoolga Art Group and is open daily between 9.30am and 4pm, including Good Friday, at the Norm Jordan Pavilion in Coffs Harbour Showground, until April 24. Entry costs $5.

Lillipilli section winners will be announced in Monday's Advocate.

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