Lawrence Clain is the face behind Valley of Craftsmen, pioneers in locally made sustainable,
finely handcrafted timber boards. Lawrence turns pesky Camphor Laurel trees (weeds)
into stunning pieces of art. Made in the Byron Hinterland the boards are not only
aesthetically appealing with their unique smooth resin finish, they are eco-friendly and a
more healthier alternative board due to their antibacterial properties.
Camphor Laurel is an introduced South East Asian native that invades large areas of land in
The Northern Rivers and inhibits potential land use. It is often cleared for reforestation,
which helps the birds and wildlife confined to shrinking rainforest. Over 10 years ago,
working as a carpenter apprentice, Lawrence realised the value of the wood with it’s
unique rich honey colour and timeless grain. Instead of the trees going to waste he began
to turn them into something useful and beautiful – chopping and display boards.
Passionate about his craft, Lawrence is constantly experimenting with techniques and
extending his knowledge about the relevant processes – cutting, milling, drying and
crafting. Inspired by the patterns in the timber and the natural surroundings, he carves the
knots in the grain and pours vibrant resin into the holes, recreating the blue and green
waves of the ocean, flowing rivers and trees.
With a vision to create something sustainable, functional and plastic-free, Lawrence makes
sure that each board is designed to last – and they smell good! The oil in Camphor Laurel
timber is wonderfully scented due to a naturally- occurring enzyme, Linalool, which also
boasts high antibacterial properties. Applauded in the kitchen, the timber has become
popular also in the bedroom for storing clothes as it repels bugs and insects.
When he’s not in the workshop you’ll find Lawrence seeking solitude in nature, exploring
the national parks and waterfalls or carving it up on a wave.