A Bit About Me

Me with the Dame Mary Durack Award for being awarded Leatherwork Champion at the Toowoomba Show, 2012.  The stockwhip I entered was a gift for my wife.

This was a special moment for me.  With Dennis Gardner at the Packer Leather Australian Plaiting Championships 2014 after winning the Open Stockwhip and Open Hatband sections.  Dennis was one of the judges.

The 2015 Packer Leather Australian Plaiting Championships was a successful one for me, placing first in the Open Decorative Stockwhip and Open Working Stockwhip Divisions. Pictured here holding the Doohan-McMaster trophy as well as the George Yorkston Memorial Trophy after being awarded the Australian Champion Plaiter 2015.

Sashes with the winning stockwhips from the Packer Leather Australian Plaiting Championships 2015.

Above, being presented with the Doohan McMaster trophy the Packer Leather Australian Plaiting Championships 2016 for the champion stockwhip and again in 2017 below.

SHORT VERSION

  • I'm a Christian

  • Married, 3 sons

  • Worked in Physical Education and Outdoor Education for 19 years.

  • Working as a professional whipmaker.

  • Live in Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia

  • Started leatherworking in 2007, plaiting bracelets

  • Liked it

  • Learned whipmaking from books in 2008

  • Got taught properly by Dennis Gardner

  • Won some competitions

 

LONGER VERSION

If you've come to this point to read this part, thanks!  I'm grateful.  It took me ages to type...

 

It's fair to say that I'm pretty keen about this whole leathercrafting caper. It sure has a significant role of my life, but it is only part of my story. I am a Christian, I'm married to the most wonderful person I know and together we have three terrific sons that keep us on our toes. I recently resigned from my job as a Physical Education teacher to build my whipmaking and plaiting business. We live in the beautiful town of Hervey Bay in the great state of Queensland, Australia.

 

I came across leatherwork virtually by accident. It was towards the end of 2007 and at that time, I was working at an outdoor adventure centre near Toowoomba, Queensland. We were regularly looking for different crafts to do during our holiday programs and someone suggested we have a go at leathercraft. It was here I had my first experience with plaiting. Simple round 4 plait bracelets and necklaces to be exact. I was captivated! I couldn't get enough of it. I started plaiting anything that looked like it might be able to be plaited. Bits of baling twine, rope, grass, reeds, or basically anything else lying around. Some accused me of becoming obsessed. I would say enthusiastic!

 

After a while, I thought it would be pretty cool to make a whip. I had no idea how to go about it or what I needed so I had a bit of a look around on the internet to see what I could find. Not much at the time, but I eventually got on to some books by Ron Edwards and RM Williams that set me on my way. The result was an 8 plait kangaroo hide stockwhip, 15 blisters, the inability to make a fist for three days and a great deal of satisfaction. When I finally got the use of my hands back, I entered a whole new world of hurt when trying to learn to crack it! I managed to get the hang of it after a while and despite the fact that both making and using the whip caused significant pain, I loved the whole process and couldn't wait to make another one.

 

Over the next few months, I made and sold a few whips which gave me the chance to practice and improve my skills and techniques a bit, but I still wanted to improve. Towards the end of 2008, I heard about the Australian Plaiting Championships at Glen Innes in northern New South Wales and made the drive down to see what it was all about. It turned out to be a very significant day for my whipmaking. I had seen some nice whips around the place but didn't really know what sort of standard would be there. Well, I was just gobsmacked by the whips, belts and hatbands that were there.  Amazing, beautiful, classy work with Chris Barr's 72 strand effort the standout. Wow! I was so inspired by what I saw. I'd love to be able to produce stuff like that! I was also pretty impressed by the incredible whip cracking that was also taking place there too.

 

The most significant thing that happened that day was meeting Dennis Gardner. Dennis had won this competition a few times before and was also from Toowoomba. One of the organisers of the competition, Bob Green, introduced me to him and he was kind enough to invite me around to his place to help me out with my whipmaking. A few weeks later, I took a couple of whips around to his house to show him and we started working through an 8 plait kangaroo hide whip. Over the next few months, Dennis gave up hours and hours of his time to teach me the steps and techniques involved in making a high quality whip, which I was eventually able to produce. This whip performed beautifully and put all my previous whips in the shade! 

 

Dennis had certainly put me on the right path and has continued to mentor me and help refine my skills, which I will always be extremely grateful for. Since then, I have competed in many competitions and have achieved some very satisfying results, with some of my highlights listed below.

 

Awards

(pictures of some of these award winning items can be seen in the gallery)

 

2009

  • 3rd- Novice Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships

 

2010

  • 2nd and 3rd- Novice Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships

 

2011

  • 1st- Novice Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships (Ron Edwards Memorial Trophy)

 

2012

  • 1st- Open Decorative Stockwhip, Queensland Plaiting Championships

  • 1st- Open Decorative Stockwhip, Toowoomba Show

  • Dame Mary Durack Award, Leatherwork Champion, Toowoomba Show

  • 2nd and 3rd- Open Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships

  • 1st- Open Hatband, Australian Plaiting Championships

 

2013

  • 1st- Open Hatband, Queensland Plaiting Championships

  • 1st- Open Hatband, Australian Plaiting Championships

  • 1st- Open Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships (Doohan-McMaster Trophy)

 

2014

  • 1st- Open Hatband, Australian Plaiting Championships

  • 1st- Open Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships (Doohan-McMaster Trophy)

  • 2nd and 4th- Open Decorative Stockwhip, APWA National Plaiting Championships

 

2015

  • 1st- Open Decorative Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships (Doohan-McMaster Trophy)

  • 1st- Open Working Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships

  • Australian Champion Plaiter (George Yorkston Memorial Trophy)

2016

  • 1st- Open Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships (Doohan-McMaster Trophy)

  • 1st- Open Decorative Stockwhip, APWA National Plaiting Championships

  • 1st- Open Working Stockwhip, APWA National Plaiting Championships

  • 2nd- Open Hatband, APWA National Plaiting Championships

  • Most Outstanding Entry (Snowy River Stockwhip) APWA National Plaiting Championships

2017

  • 1st- Open Stockwhip, Australian Plaiting Championships, (Doohan- McMaster Trophy)

  • Australian Champion Plaiter (George Yorkston Memorial Trophy)

  • 1st and 2nd- Open Decorative Stockwhip, APWA Australian Plaiting Championships

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2018 by Peter Thorndike Stockwhips