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With Australia being a vast and diverse land, it is no surprise that we have so many unique, striking and diverse timbers. The Australian timber gidgee aka ‘stinking wattle’ is one of our most distinct hardwoods. It is highly sought after for its depth of colour, beautiful lines and extreme hardness. The slow growing gidgee thrives in arid, challenging terrains. In humid weather, the leaves, bark and litter round the base of the tree give off a odour which accounts for the ‘stinking’ moniker.
Gidgee or Acacia cambagei is a member of the Acacia family and is identified by its distinct, dark brown hardwood with narrow band of yellow sapwood. Being a heavy timber, and classified as the 3rd hardest wood in the world according to The Wood Data Base, gidgee blunts tools with ease. Still, it is a wood well worth wrestling with. The native Kalkadoon people made Nulla Nulla's, shields, boomerangs, swords and clapsticks from its rich, brown wood. It is popular today for knife making, turned bowls, pens and jewellery boxes and recently musical instrument manufacturers have begun using it.
Personally I have enjoyed immensely the depth of colour highlighted in the gidgee timber jewellery i've handcrafted. It is a stubborn timber but the outcome of patient and persuasive time at the workbench is striking and unique timber pieces. Gidgee produces a distinct bespoke pen which sits well in the writers hand. In summary, gidgee is a satisfying timber to view and work with.