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Peter Martin

Volunteer since 2014

Peter developed an interest in plants exploring the bushland on the edges of Sydney as a child. Peter completed a Certificate 2 and Certificate 3 in urban horticulture at Padstow TAFE 2013.

He became a volunteer guide at the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney in 2014, following in his mother’s footsteps and joining a group who have been delivering daily free guided walks of the garden for over 35 years. His interest in trees deepened as he learnt more about the Garden's unique tree collection and in 2018 he developed a specific walk on our tree collection, Seeing the Wood and the Trees.

Inspired by two exhibitions, The Kauri Project (2010) and Tree Cycle (2016) in which timber from trees in the Garden was used to create bespoke timber objects, Peter changed his preference from turning metal to wood turning. He joined the local wood turning club at Como and quickly developed great skill and sensitivity in creating pens and bowls from a diverse range of timber, informed by his knowledge of the trees the timber came from.

Peter has been able to use timber from native and exotic species pruned at the Garden to create some of his works. Peter says, “the rare, Bermuda Cedar (Juniper bermudiana) is the most exciting and unusual timber he has had the opportunity to work with and the diversity of colour in the wood grain continues to surprise him”. Two of these wonderful trees are growing near the Woolloomoolo Gate in the Middle Gardens precinct.

A selection of Peter's woodwork can be purchased at The Calyx.