BlueSwallowDesignsAU

Unique, handmade, Tasmanian timber crafts and giftware.

Top shop for gifts in Australia.

A buyer bought a gift from this shop and gave it a 5-star review!

Announcement    Production back in action soon!

Sometimes life gets in the way of doing what I love - making stuff out of wood.

This time it is the renovation of our shack at Orford on the beautiful East Coast of Tasmania. The shack was rented out to one pack of idiots after another and they collectively trashed the place - to the point where we stripped it back to just the internal stud walls and replaced, literally, everything. A lot of work and it's not quite finished, but we are using it now and it's wonderful.

With that out of the way I've been busy making furniture for it (all recycled timber, of course) and now have starting work on a new range of boxes (plus some other goodies) for my much diminished Etsy store.

Stay tuned.

Steve

Announcement

Last updated on 01 May, 2022

Production back in action soon!

Sometimes life gets in the way of doing what I love - making stuff out of wood.

This time it is the renovation of our shack at Orford on the beautiful East Coast of Tasmania. The shack was rented out to one pack of idiots after another and they collectively trashed the place - to the point where we stripped it back to just the internal stud walls and replaced, literally, everything. A lot of work and it's not quite finished, but we are using it now and it's wonderful.

With that out of the way I've been busy making furniture for it (all recycled timber, of course) and now have starting work on a new range of boxes (plus some other goodies) for my much diminished Etsy store.

Stay tuned.

Steve

Items

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Steve Brookes

Contact shop owner

Steve Brookes

Reviews

Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(56)

About BlueSwallowDesignsAU

Sales 139
On Etsy since 2017

The Story Behind Blue Swallow Designs

I started building things from wood a few years ago after moving into a new house with the room to have a workshop. I fitted the new space with some basic tools and started making various bits and pieces; the quality wasn’t great but I found it strangely relaxing and quite fulfilling. Since I work as an IT teacher having a break from a computer is a pleasure; more so working with hand tools as there is no ‘technology’ involved.

The collection of hand tools started to increase as did the quality of my work; a few power tools and machines were added to speed up some of the ‘donkey work’ but I found that I was making far more things than we needed round the house - so I started thinking about selling what I was making. I’m also not that far off retirement so I figured that making things from wood and selling them would be a nice little retirement activity for me.

Doing the rounds of local markets didn’t really appeal (mainly due to a lack of time) and then I discovered Etsy and this turned out to be perfect for me. So I went through the process of creating and registering the business name and ABN and all that other stuff; which was interesting as I have never done anything like that before.

The name Blue Swallow Designs is something I thought up inspired by the little swallows that come to nest at our place every summer. Technically they are Welcome Swallows, but I liked the name Blue Swallow – I believe there is actually a Blue Swallow in England or northern Europe - but I just like how it sounded.

My preference is to use recycled or scrap timber for most of my work; I scavenge bits and pieces from all over southern Tasmania and there is almost nothing I won't use. The timber often has twisted grain, knots, sap wood, cracks, rusty nail holes – all sorts of problems – which make it harder to work but far more interesting to look at.

In addition to recycled wood I also use some of Tasmania’s specialty timbers but I prefer to source mill ends and off-cuts where possible. Most of the things I build don’t need long lengths so shorter bits tend to be easier for me to handle and off-cuts, in particular, can have some really nice features.

The designs are all my own work; I get inspiration from lots of different places but everything gets drawn up, prototyped and tested by me. It is important that things look nice but, for me, it is equally important that they are functional. I used to do custom work but due to time constraints I've had to put a halt on that for a while.

I try to run my Etsy store as a ‘professional’ business; there are expenses just like any business but ultimately my woodworking is what I love doing. Many people comment that I should be asking more for the things I make but whiling away the hours in my workshop and making things that give pleasure to others keeps me sane in an otherwise crazy world – and it’s hard to put a price on that :-)

Shop members

  • Steve Brookes

    Owner

    By day an IT teacher specialising in cyber security, networks and server operations but, for enjoyment, a woodworker specialising in making beautiful things from scrap. I especially enjoy building small things like bird houses, boxes and trugs.

Production partners

  • WildRavenSoap

    Hobart, TAS

    Makers of All Natural Handmade Herbal Soap & Body Care Products.

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