An amazing journey of music and craftsmanship.
Geoff Tonkin is a man of the land. He has been a jackeroo, farmer, grazier and merino sheep breeder.
This led to his focus on ecology and conservation and becoming a recognised authority on caring for the land and becoming actively involved with the Land Care movement.
Realising that many native tree species were in great danger of disappearing, he developed a native-tree propagation nursery with the objective of replacing many of the trees removed from his property in the late 1800’s.
Following in a family musical tradition, Geoff is also a fine exponent of folk and bush music. With this special musical interest, he became a founding member of the now famous bush band November Shorn which has entertained and delighted audiences across western NSW at functions and events for over 38 years.
Then there was wood…
Throughout Geoff’s life, there has always been an underlying passion for working with wood and this has now led to a whole new career.
Since selling his farm in 2003 Geoff has turned a strong interest and hobby into a profession. He attended Australia’s leading school for woodworking, The Sturt School for Wood, at Mittagong NSW, gaining a Certificate IV in Fine Woodworking. He subsequently worked with ‘Harps and Harp’s’ in Gosford and was a student with ‘Gilet Guitars’ in Sydney to learn the finer points of musical instrument making. Geoff then spent three years at the Splinter Workshop in Sydney making furniture and musical instruments on commission.
Geoff’s talent for design and his execution of the finest quality workmanship is reflected in all his work.
As well as taking commissions, making exquisite pieces of furniture and holding highly successful exhibitions, Geoff, like many excellent craftsmen holds classes for small groups and individuals where people can learn to make everything from musical instruments to Windsor Chairs and Stools.
And the music continues too. Many of Geoff’s musical instrument-making classes include him teaching the makers how to play the instrument they have made.
Explore this site to discover the many talents and wonderful objects that come from Geoff Tonkin, master woodworker, musician and teacher
Brooklyn workshop in 1937 and today