Designers on your doorstep

Sandra Skodnik

Offering by Nature is a sculpture of a Strombidae shell, carved in the round into a red gum burl. This type of shell is HOME to the Strombid genus of sea snails that live on sandy bottoms among beds of sea grass and tropical waters. Made by the snail that lives inside it, a seashell offers protection. Shells are usually perceived as symbols of positive communication, healthy relationships and prosperity. River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) is a tree that is endemic to Australia. It has the most widespread natural distribution of any eucalypt species providing the structural and functional elements of important floodplain and wetland ecosystems. As an organic sculpting material, wood is a strong symbol of life, growth and strength.

Offering by Nature
is made from a red gum burl that uniquely captures the life of the tree from which it came. The piece is heavy, smooth and highly tactile. As a decoration in the home, Offering by Nature represents the seas and forests of the natural world – both their mystery and their fragility. In this fragile period, Offering by Nature placed in our home, helps us to reconnect with nature and calm our energy. What is a Burl? Burls form on tree roots, trunks and branches as a result of the abnormal development of bud growth cells. They appear as wartlike lumpy growths, roundish in shape and covered in course bark. Burls contain twisted, compact wood that is tougher than the wood from the rest of the tree.

IMAGE > Sandra Skodnik, <em>Offering by Nature</em>, 2021, redgum burl timber, 12 x 38 x 21 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.
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I feel lucky to have experienced only a small taste of lockdown here in Queensland, but I do find myself thinking of how it impacts on others. My thoughts of compassion naturally flow into my current designs. Through shape, highlights, touch and feel, my sculptures deliver messages and feelings that release calm, relaxation and stability.

Fortunately, my workshop is in my own back yard, so my art practice has not been altered in any way. I get to spend each day in my happy place. I have found that I am open to connecting with other artists more through sharing on social media.

so we face the universal challenge of life as a human being: how to overcome the chaotic energy in our lives and nurture healing and spiritual growth instead.

I’m blessed to be living in walking distance from Hays Inlet, which is a saltwater inlet off Bramble Bay in Moreton Bay Region, Queensland, Australia. Hays Inlet is renowned for its diversity of flora and fauna, a designer’s dream, this is where I often draw my inspiration from, as well as collect interesting driftwood pieces to sculpt.

My design/gallery room is definitely my favorite room, which is located beside my work shed, this is where I sketch my ideas down onto paper, and the room also displays my finished sculptures.

My favourite design object in my home is a mirror frame I made several years ago. A design opportunity popped up when a large bevel mirror fell off the wall in my home. It didn’t smash but cracked through the center like a wave shape. I instantly thought of designing a beach theme frame around it. I had the perfect slab of Red Cedar timber for this project, already eaten by white ants, this gave the perfect pattern for the beach look. I designed a boat and a wave to cover the crack and beach theme items around the outside. I was in design heaven and proud to salvage two throw away items and recycle them together into a beautiful piece of practical art.

IMAGES [Top to bottom] > All images courtesy of the artist. Recipe image source: unsplash.

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Designers on your doorstep

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