A retired teacher, Gippsland artist Laurie Collins has been making “stuff” for years.
Ever since completing a course at Melbourne State College in Arts and Craft (B.Ed) studying subjects such as painting, drawing, woodcraft, sculpting, printmaking, metalcraft, textiles, design, art history, psychology and more.
He and his wife Marian eventually found themselves working in the Western Victoria town of Mortlake where Laurie taught at the local highschool. It was here that he began making small boxes, natural edged mirrors and Red-Gum pedestals and sold artwork to Ishka, Rosies and Donvale Craft Cottage.
Laurie and Marian spent seven years living on a 20 acre hoby farm at the foot of Mt Shadwell and had three children (Kathleen, Emily, and Caleb) before eventually moving to the Gippsland town of Warragul where Laurie began teaching at Drouin Secondary College.
Teaching Design & Technology as well as Metalwork, Pedal & Power, Art, and Woodwork, Laurie was willing to teach anything they threw at him. He helped teams in Tournament of the Minds, went on and ran some camps, and has always valued kids developing their creativity by developing their ideas through challenges.
During his time in Gippsland Laurie completed a welding course at Warragul Tafe, and began to make other arty-crafty items with his new skills. Most of the initial work was done in his garage before moving to a two acre property at Jindivick, where Red Tree Gallery eventually came to be.
Since then Laurie has sold work at Town & Country Gallery in Yarragon, Ishka (10 stores in Melbourne) Outhouse, Fitzworks, Mirboo North Art Show, and Drouin and Warragul Art Shows.
Now retired, Laurie works most of the day in his shed and welcomes guests to the gallery and sculpture garden at Jindivick, which has become somewhat of a tourist attraction.