MR GRAHAM TILLY Member Number (47)
Graham was born in Murraybridge S.A. He started his working life as a High School Maths Teacher. Eventually becoming a Maths lecturer at Sydney University. It was during this period that he really got going as a turner. With access to the Ultimo TAFE, lunch times were spent in the Bijou Lane premises using their wood machines.
Graham joined the Guild in 1983 and was at the first meeting. He has been the Convenor of Eastern Region since about 1993. There was much discussion from the group about whether he was an apprentice to Jim Dorbis, but taught be George Hatfield, or the other way around. Either way Graham is our best turner. These days he makes Blanket Boxes, Tea Caddies and turned spoons and scoops. He is also a talented wood carver and enjoys showing off his latest creations.
Perhaps one of his lesser known pursuits, (as told to me by one of our older members), is the production of Japanese Kokeshi Dolls. These dolls, in times past, were meant to represent infants who had passed away.
Graham perfects his designs by doing small production runs, of about 4 or 5 items with each an improvement on the previous item. The final product is well worth the effort, according to Graham.
These days Graham likes to run workshops for people who want to learn from him, and these usually take place in his workshop, under the house. I know everyone learns something from Graham on these occasions. Graham continues to use his “Mongrel Lathe”, it is made of parts from various places. No matter, he still turns out excellent items.
Graham is a valued member of Eastern Region and has been a great supporter of the group over many years, by giving him Life Membership it is our way of saying Thank you.
Bibliography: Some of this information came from an article written by Jim Dorbis in By Hand and Eye August/September 2002.