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An inspiring journey of music and craftsmanship.

Geoff Tonkin is a man of the land. His farming career spanning four decades began as a jackeroo and ended as a Stud Merino breeder. During this time he became increasingly concerned about the biodiversity on his farm and began exploring alternative management practices. This led to a focus on ecology, conservation and involvement in the Landcare movement. He began collecting seeds and set up a native tree propagation nursery to replace trees and shrubs on his farm. He also worked part-time as a project officer for the Grassy White Box Woodland Project.

Following a family musical tradition, Geoff is also a fine exponent of folk and bush music. He was a founding member of the now well-known bush band ‘November Shorn’ which has delighted audiences from Sydney to Bourke. 
November 2021 marks the 40th year since the band’s first gig in 1981.

Then there was wood…

Caught between wanting to continue farming and exploring other things in his life, Geoff made the decision to leave farming and forge a new career.  Since selling his farm in 2003 he 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 Harps’ in Gosford and was a student with ‘Gilet Guitars’ in Sydney where he learnt 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 execution of fine quality workmanship is reflected in all his work.
As well as taking commissions, making beautiful pieces of furniture and holding successful exhibitions, Geoff, like many excellent craftsmen, holds classes for small groups and individuals

Courses include: 

Make a Windsor Chair using traditional techniques of green wood and hand tools. MORE

Make a Windsor Stool, in the same tradition. MORE

Make a Cigar Box Guitar, a fun 3-day course open to all. MORE

Learn the didgeridoo, face to face or online. MORE

Explore this site to discover what courses may interest you and to be inspired by the many talents and wonderful pieces made by Geoff Tonkin, woodworker, musician and teacher.

Brooklyn workshop in 1937 and today