So what’s so special about Huon Pine, and why a shoehorn?
Huon Pine is the prince of Tasmanian timbers. The wood contains a natural preserving oil with an unmistakable and unique perfume that comes from an oil within the tree, methyl eugenol to be exact. The tree is also very rare tree now. As a conifer, not actually a pine tree, ‘Lagarostrobus franklinii’ (its proper name) is the only member of its plant family. It grows incredibly slowly, averaging just 1 millimetre in girth per year. They can grow to be 2,500 years old, which means some of the trees we still have in Tassie now were around before Christ! They only start to reproduce once they’re 600-800 years old, so you can see why its one of the rarest trees on the planet. And it only grows in Tasmania! We haven’t cut one down since the 1970’s but there was a small stockpile created when Lake Gordon was flooded in 1972. It still supplies the majority of logs released for use each year. Robin Walker, who makes our shoehorns and bookmarks (get ‘em while you can) uses offcuts and found timber pieces walking along the mossy riverbanks where they grow and are still buried. It fragrant oil makes it a very water and insect resistant timber and pieces are still viable, even after being buried in damp earth for thousands of year. It has been said ‘the only thing slower than a Huon pine’s growth is its decay!’
So to shoehorns: No trees were harmed in the making of these shoehorns ! They are lovingly handcrafted from found pieces of wood by gifted woodsman Robin Walker. He can and does make bigger things, but chooses to specialise in Good Things that make life easier and pleasant for older people. Add a shoehorn to your morning routine and you’ll never look back. Apart from keeping your dress shoes in better nick, a shoehorn sees an end to straining and stretching to get your shoes on. If you need one, you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, lucky you but you probably know an older person for whom these would make the perfect gift. Our shoehorns, and bookmarks are a low cost and attractive way to introduce the richness and perfume of huon pine into your domestic life.