Woods of the West specialises in handcrafted fine quality timber boxes of all kinds and is owned and operated by Les and Sue Rowe. All work is hand made and showcases the beauty of Western Australian timber.
"I consider it a privilege to be able to work with these beautiful timbers"
Les is a Cabinet Maker by profession and learned his trade as a young man serving a 5 year indentured apprenticeship, where the secrets of working with wood were passed to him by craftsmen of the "old school". He was taught the skills that are rarely known today in the modern world of streamlined, "cookie cutter" products made from man-made materials that "look" like the genuine article but will not stand the test of time. The skills used by Les in the creation of each box, bowl, pen or other product are a meticulous expression of the knowledge handed down to him from the craftsmen Les has had the privilege to learn from throughout his life together with the vast experience he has developed over 50 years passionately working with wood.
Les established his business Woods of the West over 20 years ago and his name will be found on the bottom of countless fine quality timber products in galleries throughout Australia.
Because Les is a cabinet maker his passion is the making of fine quality boxes and in particular Jewellery boxes of all shapes and sizes and made from a broad range of beautiful Western Australian timbers. Les never ceases to be in awe of the wonderful colours and grains that emerge from what other people would only see as a very ordinary looking piece of wood but which Les knows hold something amazing. As Les has honed his skills he has become well known for his talent and ability and is sought out by many people who require something special to be custom made.
In 2016 Woods of the West developed its own website and in 2018 opened its own gallery in Waroona WA. This has raised people’s awareness of Woods of the West and has resulted in many requests for special custom made orders. Anyone that has a passion for making something special often wants a box to store or display those special things .
Les feels fortunate to own a wonderful business where his passion for wood has created so many special boxes to hold the precious things that are the passion for so many people.
ABOUT THE WOOD
"If cared for these items will become the antiques of tomorrow"
Each item is a creation lovingly crafted with an understanding of the personality of each piece of timber and how it will best be transformed into it's new life. Les often believes that the timber "tells" him what it wants to become. Therefore no two pieces will be exactly the same. Items will vary slightly in size, colour and grain depending on the personality of the piece of timber used. Western Australian timbers are noted not only for their density and hardness but also for their breathtaking beauty of grain and warmth of colour. Grains and colour, even in the same piece of timber can vary greatly from straight to curly to knotted, often in intricate patterns. Colours may range from white to light reds through to black. The overall effect makes them prized and valuable.
Trees represent the largest and longest living life-form on earth. Many are identical to those browsed upon by the strange animals that millions of years ago roamed lands presently covered by our own creations of glass, concrete and stone. These species have survived dramatic changes in the environment only to fall prey to the woodchopper's axe, chainsaws and bulldozers of modern man. Our record since European settlement in Australia demonstrates a callous disregard for this web of life. Both the range and density of our magnificent forests have been dramatically reduced by clear felling and more recently disease such as die-back. Greater conservation efforts are now in effect in an attempt to ensure continued survival. Les endeavours to only work with timber whose previousl life in the forest has come to an end by natural events such as windfall or fire and who are ready to be transformed into their next life.
Timber used by Les Rowe in the manufacture of his products is sourced from the forest floor and is done under license issued by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. Les endeavours to contribute to the preservation of our magnificent forests so that in his own small way, he can ensure future generations can enjoy their splendour.