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Project by TonyWard posted 08-22-2006 08:52 AM 4582 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Koala – The Inspiration

The Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is a thickset arboreal marsupial herbivore native to Australia. Early European settlers to Australia called the Koala the Native Bear and the Koala is still sometimes called the Koala Bear, although it is not part of the bear family. The Koala’s scientific name comes from the Greek: phaskolos meaning “pouch” and; arktos meaning “bear”. The cinereus part is Latin and means “ash-coloured”.

The Koala lives almost entirely on eucalyptus leaves and spend about 3 of their 5 active hours eating. An average Koala eats 500 grams of eucalyptus leaves each day. The Koala is almost entirely arboreal. It does not make nests, but sleeps in a tree fork or on a branch. It climbs using its powerful claws for grip, usually moving quite slowly but can climb rapidly when needed.

A baby Koala is referred to as a joey and is hairless, blind, and earless. At birth the joey, only the size of a jelly bean, crawls into the downward-facing pouch on the mother’s belly (which is closed by a drawstring-like muscle that the mother can tighten at will) and attaches itself to one of the two teats. Young remain hidden in the pouch for about six months, only feeding on milk. The baby Koala will remain with the mother for another six months or so, riding on her back, and feeding on both milk and gum leaves until weaning is complete at about 12 months of age.

The Box Timber

White Cedar, Melia azedarach, A medium sized deciduous hardwood gown in the rainforests of northern Australia. Texture is very coarse and uneven due to the ring-porous nature of the wood, although difficult to give it a high finish.

The Box Construction

A bandsawn and hand carved box consisting of five drawers. Four of the five drawers each contain a hidden compartment.

The Koala is seen sleeping in the fork of a eucalyptus tree, with the joey clinging to it’s side. The mantle above the Koala depicts the over hanging branches and leaves of a eucalyptus tree. The marsupial is surrounded by the litter of leaves, each individual carved.

The box was constructed from one block of timber. Construction time was about 370 hours.

Tony Ward

16 comments so far

View Willy's profile


1 post in 5345 days

#1 posted 08-22-2006 09:14 AM

The craftmanship would appear to be very good, a lot of man hours would have gone into the making,the wood used is very suitable for this kind of wood work, I have seen many boxes but nothing comes close.
All in all I would rate it very highly.

View pat sherman's profile

pat sherman

625 posts in 5421 days

#2 posted 08-24-2006 03:44 AM

TONY, love the box. i like koalas anyhow and that is so nice. lot of work.

-- pat,ohio...

View darryl's profile


1795 posts in 5376 days

#3 posted 08-24-2006 04:39 AM

I wouldn’t even know where to begin on something like that. It’s really quite amazing! Great work.

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5455 days

#4 posted 08-24-2006 06:26 PM

Tony: thanks for taking the time to write up such a nice project story to go with your project posting. I have enjoyed looking at your website and the many different boxes you have made and drawn up instructions for. I am hoping that lumberjocks is helping you market your work, as I am sure there are many of us that would enjoy spending some time making the nice boxes, especially for gifts. I’m glad you posted the number of hours this box took you to make, as I was looking at all of the details of the little carved leaves sitting around the bear, and the other details that I know from my own work takes a lot of time to complete. In a world so filled with factory made replicas, and CNC carved this-and-that’s, I enjoyed seeing your artwork, and wish it was possible to touch it, open the little drawers, and feel the wood.

Thanks for taking time to share this project with us,

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 5377 days

#5 posted 08-24-2006 11:01 PM

Many thanks to everyone, it is encouraging to receive such nice comments.

Tony Ward ~

View ptc's profile


1 post in 5337 days

#6 posted 08-30-2006 06:48 AM

What’s next i wonder.!

-- ptc

View baxter's profile


1 post in 5335 days

#7 posted 09-01-2006 06:19 AM

I have seen this piece of sculptured wood art, felt the fine finish and examined the draws, including the hidden draws. The time Tony has spent carving the animals is reflected in the comments of all that see it in person. A great piece.

I recommend lumberjocks to visit your website to appreciate your outstanding design concepts and use of our beautiful native timbers.

-- I never seem to measure too long

View rufflyrustic's profile


1 post in 5318 days

#8 posted 09-22-2006 08:09 AM

370 Hours !!!! WOW!! No wonder this box is Outstanding both in design and workmanship.

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 5377 days

#9 posted 09-22-2006 09:05 AM

rufflyrustic and baxter

Thank you.

On reflection that was 370 hours in the making, as well there were many hours devoted to the research and planning as I had no model or template or similar works of art to rely upon.

The four drawers containing hidden compartments are orginal work, they were somewhat easier, I guess that inspiration emanates from a career in law enforcement, many moons ago.

A very satisifying project.

View Vergil's profile


1 post in 5313 days

#10 posted 09-23-2006 07:44 AM

This a beautiful design, Tony, quite magnificent.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5142 days

#11 posted 05-05-2007 02:34 AM

Saw this while shuffling Tony and thought it deserved another look-see since the site has so many new members. Terrific piece of functional art and beautifully executed. Thanks for letting us see it.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 5377 days

#12 posted 05-05-2007 06:17 AM


thank you for your warm comments.

View David's profile


1969 posts in 5188 days

#13 posted 05-05-2007 06:20 AM

Chip thanks for bringing this piece up on the shuffle! Tony this is absolutely incredible! I really appreciate the detail and the wonderful story. Thanks!


View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5210 days

#14 posted 05-05-2007 01:55 PM

Tony!!!!! AMAZING.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12825 posts in 4206 days

#15 posted 03-10-2010 03:35 AM

wow, great mixture of talents… a little carving, little bit of bandsawing…. looks great…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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