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Aussie Brush Fires Leaf Memorial, make and send leaves.


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Calling all Blacksmiths from all over,We can Help,Lets grow a Tree from our Fires in Honour of all the volunteer Fire Fighters.You can make one or as many leaves as you can send with your own mark,the Australian Blacksmiths Association (Victoria) Australian Blacksmiths Association (Vic) Inc. - Welcome could co-ordinate the lot,make the trunk and branches and fix the leaves.the Tree could then be placed in one of the burnt out towns in country Victoria as a sign of our sincere thanks

Edited by steve sells
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Salty , count me in , even thou i's ain't a member ( ABA Vic ) , my family (wifes side ) lost peope up in Kinglake & we came pretty close up here in Wesburn too ,, bung me info on what's needed

Dale Russell

p.s , to any others around the world who want ta add to this you could send to me & i'll make sure they get to the right people

Co , Dale Russell
725 Old Warburton Rd
Wesburn Victoria 3799

Edited by Dale Russell
more added
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Just a thought about these leaves/tree, what if some of the leaves were made from copper - say one for each victim and/or town lost?
These would stand out bright against the blackness of the tree when they were new then as time passed would slowly fade until patination took hold and they turned green as new leaves/beginning?

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I would be willing to help out and send a leaf - What is the deadline for you to receive them and size limits and how much should be left or what shape (should holes be made to facilitate riviting?) for the stem as far as attachment. - JK

Edited by jeremy k
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I second everything Jeremy suggersted:

I would be willing to help out and send a leaf - What is the deadline for you to receive them and size limits and how much should be left or what shape (should holes be made to facilitate riviting?) for the stem as far as attachment. - JK

My $0.02
I would also like to take part in sending some leafs.
I would suggest that a leaf pattern be provided with the accompanying information necessary for uniformity.
Note: a photograph would help in a big way!
Type of leaf
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Hi guys, firstly thanks to Salty for kicking this off, and thanks to all who have pledged a leaf or two.

The Australian Blacksmiths Association (Victoria) Inc. is right behind this project and will be co-ordinating the fabrication and assembly of the tree and leaves. We are very thankful for all of your contributions and we are putting a design together now, which will outline the style and dimensions for the leaves.

The tree will be made from stainless steel and we are asking that leaves be either stainless or copper. I will be updating the website Australian Blacksmiths Association (Vic) with details soon and also post the details here on IFI along with an address on where to send your leaves.

We will be including pictures and dimensions, so please hold off until we get those uploaded.

Thank you all very much for your support.


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Well firstly we're in the clear here ( for now )

Followed 20 NSW x 2 man strike teams up the hwy tonite heading ta staging area across the road , hope they don't know something i don't

Down ta buiness , Quang0 , salty GREAT ,,, i'm in like Flinn as the sayin' goes

Please sent ta the leaves ta either Australian Blacksmiths Association (Vic) Inc. - Welcome or myself , i'll make sure they get ta the rite people

Salty , twern't me bloke , twas YOU who got this rollin' , as for the froffy , youse ave me number , give me a bell & we'll hook up ( & it'll be me buyin' you a coldie mate , not the other way around )

Dale Russell

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jackatrades, unless the do is officially cancelled I'd be going to your festival. It's now a time to be a lert not a larmed. As Glenn says above (quoting Dale by the looks) there are only awareness messages at the moment. Just keep one musical ear to the radio.

As for the leaves that's the sort of defiance against the powers that be that we Aussies are renowned for isn't it. What a great idea to use the very thing that has caused this tragedy to fashion a memorial. I rather think though that I'll collect a bit of charcoal and scrap iron from say Kinglake first as a personal act of defiance. It looks like we now need at least 189 leaves and possibly more.

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The Tree Project:
Victoria is suffering under the worst natural disaster to ever occur in Australia’s recorded history. The enormous destruction and loss of life has devastated our local communities.

To honour those that have been lost to the fires and our brave CFA men and women who battled the elements to protect our towns, the Australian Blacksmiths Association (Victoria) Inc. is inviting blacksmiths from across the country and around the world to contribute to the Tree Project. We are asking you, our fellow ‘smiths to contribute, not monetarily, but to help us to grow a tree from our forges and fires. We ask that you forge a gumleaf from stainless steel or copper to be added to a forged gumtree to be erected in one of the affected townships as a memorial of these events for all time.

If you wish, you may forge a complete branch, a twig with a few leaves or some gumnuts. All contributions will be gratefully received. For ‘smiths not familiar with Australian gumtrees, we attach some images and notes for your reference. *** Please don't make your leaf stems too thin, or your leaf may well become a trophy for a local vandal ***

The A.B.A. (Vic) Inc. will be co-ordinating this project and will be forging the tree and attaching your leaves.

What you need to do:
Forge a gumleaf following the styles and sizes shown here in stainless steel or copper. Please note, that these are guidelines only and we do not want 1000 exact copies of the same leaf! Each leaf will be as individual as the ‘smith that created it.
If you have one, we ask that you put your touchmark on your leaves, or at least mark it in some way so we can identify your work and mark your contribution.
Please send your finished leaves and your details to:

I posted an address to send the leaves to, I just realized that we're not receiving leaves there any more (some weird postal issue) could you please change it to:
The Tree Project
c/- Paul Mills, Sefiira Forge
PO Box 542, Hurstbridge
Victoria, Australia 3099

Get your completed leaves to us by 30 June 2009 so we can assemble the tree. Our plan is to have an unveiling ceremony in September 2009 to coincide with the Association’s 20th anniversary celebration.

Thank you for your efforts in helping us build a lasting memorial.

Paul Mills
(on behalf of Australian Blacksmiths Association (Victoria) Inc.)







Edited by Quang0
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Bollygum's fine by me. Good one Ray!
Paul, I can't enlarge the pictures so can't read the dimensions. If our overseas smiths are having the same problem gum leaves range in length from two or three inches to up 14 or 15 inches. The shape is also wide ranging but for all intents and purposes I suggest the elongated ones shown are pretty much typical and instantly recognisable as the ubiquitous "Gumleaf". Gumnuts too vary from a few millimeters in diameter to over and inch. So lads and lassies there's plenty of scope.

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You should be able to either view the image by clicking on the link then right-click and save as or just right-click on the link and save as. it kinda depends on your browser. It works for me anyway!
We're not far off having the official website up (should be up this weekend) and that should be easier to navigate etc.
I will contact Murrindindi council this week to discuss locations and options.

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I was going to work on something else this weekend, but I think I will practice making leaves. What a great project, thanks to Salty and ABA(Vic) for getting the ball rolling. Sad to see the toll has risen, the authorities warned that it would grow, but it doesn't make it any easier for the people involved.

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Folks, you have to realise that us Aussies are all descended from a bunch of thieving convicts. If you feel your design is going to go walkabout or fall off at the first gust of wind perhaps the design needs reconsidering. Nobody is too sure yet what the design of the tree will be but I think we'll be breaking a leg to accommodate every offering in one way or another. If we think your design may have legs we could unite it with another thereby creating strength in numbers. Here's a thought, look at the photos Quang0 posted. See how a bunch of leaves can emanate from a number of little branchlets coming from a larger stick. That makes for a number of anchor points. In anycase I'm sure there's at least 200 people (201 as I type) that will appreciate your every effort although you'll never hear it from them.

And Salty I know this thing has got off the ground through your vision, please don't think I'm having too much to say on the matter. I just want to do what I can to keep the ball rolling in memory of the lost souls and in honour of those that thought of themselves last on Black Saturday and those that have done so since.
Final thought
In the bush we'll never use a straight stick off a gum tree to stir a cup of tea lest it gains flavours other than a lovely eucalyptus tang. But that's a discussion for another time.


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