Meet our Members: Andrew Potocnik
1) Introduce yourself – where are you based, what do you do and how long have you been a VWA member?
I’m based in Macleod in suburban Melbourne working from a home based workshop which I share with several Brush-tailed Possums. They don’t make much noise and sleep through the day, but do
sometimes like to re-arrange stacked wood as they stretch out in hot weather, or as they head off foraging in the evening. I’ve always felt that if you’re a one person show, there needs to be a direct connection to who you are, hence I trade under my own name. While doing my unit of ‘Professional Experience’ with Vic Wood in preparation for my final year at Melbourne College of Advanced Education (now Melbourne University), Vic encouraged me to join the VWA, so that means I’ve been a member since 1986.
2) When did you first get into your craft/practice and what was your journey to it?
Wood always held a magical fascination for me since I was a child. I’d tinker with icy-pole sticks, Tarzan’s Grip and string, advancing to simple hand tools and then ‘real’ woodworking tools at Macleod High. The first Wood teacher I had was a retired cabinet maker / returned soldier who had three projects that everyone made, but was able to ‘individualize’ with an Ironcore wood burning machine. The next wood teacher had a battle to change the established perception of how wood should be used. He saw it as a medium for artistic exploration as well as making functional items, which opened new doors for my mind to explore. This became the focus of later years of secondary schooling, leading me to tertiary study which made me a teacher, and that is what I do unto this day, but in a number of different formats.
3) Current top three music tracks you listen to or all time favourite song/artist
The music I listen to is varied, from West Africans such as Angelique Kidjo to Baba Maal, Salief Keita to Indian Tabla players to Pink Floyd. It depends on my mood, or what’s on the radio, but Springsteen’s ‘Glory Days’ often comes to mind… well they pass you by…?
Follow Andrew on Instagram here.