Steel a Look

It was a different sort of bushwalk, even by Australian standards. I thought we might see some wildlife but I wasn’t expecting this.

Giant butterflies,  a prehistoric looking dragonfly, a funny looking emu and a kangaroo that looked more like Robocop than Skippy.

You meet a lot of characters in the bush but I’ve never met sharper looking dudes.

I definitely never thought I’d be doing a tango with Sveltlana the Steel Ballerina.

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The walk certainly got interesting.

We passed a crocodile dozing by the river who seemed lazily unperturbed by us. As did the silent snake and the giant Redback spider that I swear had a smile on its face.

I felt like I’d stepped into a Grimms fairy tale.

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Or had we crossed over The Bridge into Terabithia?

No, we’re in the world of Tread Sculptures, in the Bend of Islands bushland of outer northeast Melbourne.

Who’d have thought that less than 15kms from home was this sanctuary of wacky sculptured art. This is a world created by Tim Read.

And this is the entrance. Mingalaba is Burmese for hello or welcome and that’s exactly what you feel when you arrive here.

Tim and his wife Karen greet you warmly to their five acre property,  which they open to the public on the first weekend of every month.

We’re handed a rough looking map and invited to explore their bushy sculpture trail. It’s an oasis of tranquility and we meet all manner of steely characters along the trail.

Much later, back at their house we chat to Tim, who clearly loves what he does and sharing it with others.

Originally in the earth moving and building business Tim says … A big part for me is connecting with stuff in a different way. Turning something that may have had an end date into something completely different. Not allowing it’s previous life to determine it’s value in the future. I truly believe that your past does not determine your future”.

I love his philosophy.

Not only does he turn the ordinary into the quirky and make new life out of unwanted materials but he carries this philosophy even deeper with his compassion for others.

He’s an advocate for those suffering mental illness and facilitates a local Mind Health Support Group called Blur, a safe place for those suffering mind health issues.

Tim Read beside one of his creations

His home is a relaxed environment.

As we speak with him, chickens roam freely and Karen is pulling out weeds in their garden, stopping regularly to greet new arrivals. Tim invites us into his workshop and studio where there’s a cuppa and freshly baked scones on offer.

We feel like old friends calling in for a visit.

This is a special place, where you can lose yourself in creative inspiration amongst a tranquil setting. But it’s also much more than that. He’s inspired me.

“Your past does not determine your future.” Those words have stayed with me.

Tim Read is an ordinary man pursuing a passion, creating beauty and a new life from things the world no longer considers important.

His steel art is proof that there’s a second life in everything. To me that’s extraordinary.

He’s a great reminder of the talent there is in all of us and all the artists who create and make the world a better place to live in.

We all have our gifts. How wonderful when we can share them.

Sometimes the most surprising and inspiring places and people are right on our doorstep.

Tread Sculptures is open to the public on the first weekend of every month from 10am to 4pm.

Happy Creating everyone. 

After all, we’re all artists in our own right, through our words and all we share, every one of us is the maker of something uniquely wonderful. 

Have a great week.


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65 thoughts on “Steel a Look

  1. I love his artistry! I’m a fan of quirky artworks like these and would have loved to explore it. I really liked the way you ended the post. So often, we forget that no matter what we do, however little or inconsequential it might seem, there’s magic in every little thing we create. It’s something that I need to constantly remind myself! Thanks for this, Miriam. xo

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    1. Hey Cheryl, thanks so much. I’m glad you enjoyed this and I’ve no doubt you would have loved to explore his sculpture trail. So many talented people out there, yes, including us, ha! 🙂 xo

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      1. It is really good to chat with you again Miriam and great to hear you are in good place now. Life is a series of events, the older you get, life experiences tell you that all things pass in their time – nothing is static. Wow, 52 and fabulous! I’m…cough a little? older and loving it. I may not jump off rocks now, yet still climb them! Your appreciation of life enhances. :)))))

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        1. You’re so kind Lexa. Yes, everything passes doesn’t it and you’re right, the older we get the more we appreciate everything and that nothing is static. Well, I’m not exactly jumping off rocks either but like you I’m loving climbing them. Here’s to conquering more of them. 🙂

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  2. Oh Wow Miriam that was a most excellent walk about. What beauty he has created out of things most of us throw away on the scrap heap.. So loved his art and his creativity .. Such a lovely sounding man with a heart to match his art.. Large and generous..
    Many thanks for sharing and so enjoyed.. And yes, the ‘Past does not determine the Future’ so true..
    Have a great week. 🙂

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  3. Thanks for sharing this, Miriam! I loved it…and I completely agree, our past does not own us in any way. We can create our own lives and our own identity, and what better way to do that than art? What an inspiration for us all!

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    1. Welcome home Louise! So nice to hear from you, yes I’m well. Your travels all looked amazing. Once you’ve recovered from your jet lag and things settle down we’ll have to get together for a coffee and catch up. xo

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    1. He is Tanya. There was no way I could go to a place like that, meet someone like him and not share it. Far too good. Hope all’s well with you. Have an awesome Friday and weekend. xo

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  4. Sveltlana the Steel Ballerina is quite Svelt, as are you!! Sweet tango. What great pieces of artwork, such fun! I can’t decide which one is my favorite. I love those pieces that are in drawer, I love the flower, I love the bird, I love them all!! What a lovely couple too. I totally agree too our past does not dictate our future, it was only there to guide us to our future. You are right, we are all artists and we all have something unique!! Hope you had a creative day today! Congrats on your photo being featured by All Around Australia, how thrilling is that!!! So exciting…big happy hugs!! xo 🙂

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    1. Haha, your first sentence made me laugh out loud. Doug thought I was crazy dancing with Sveltlana, you’d think he’d know me by now! Such a fun walk through there, you would have loved it. The whole place was amazing. And yeah, how about that photo on Instagram, I was blown away, so chuffed. Thank you my lovely friend. Hope you wake up to a fabulous Friday. It’s almost the weekend!! Big hugs xo

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      1. It looked like fun. I rather liked her skirt, quite fashionable! The pic on Instagram is you stepping closer to your reality, so very cool! Yay for the weekend. Hope your day was super and may your sleep be filled with magical dreams!! Big hugs to you my dear friend xo ☺💓

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        1. Maybe I should get a skirt like hers, haha. Then again, I rather prefer the grand scale of that rock, what do you think Deb, big things manifesting for both of us!
          I had a lovely day today. My sister is just back from Spain so I spent the afternoon with her which was really nice. Hope your Friday is wonderful. I’m staying up late tonight in celebration of the weekend!!! Big hugs xo 💖

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        2. It would be a steel, if you could get a skirt like hers!! Hehe
          Yes and I see more big things manifesting for us too.
          Oh so happy you had a lovely visit with your sister, how did she like Spain? Well enjoy your celebration, I’m going to go celebrate in the shower, ha! Big hugs xo 🌷

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        3. Hope you had a lovely shower…I always say thank you to the shower now for always working and giving me hot water to shower in…in fact I thank the entire bathroom for doing such a brilliant job each day!! My mattress is being delivered between 12:30-2:30 tomorrow…so excited, can’t wait!! Big weekend hugs xo

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        4. Oh wow, are we in sync!! I just mentioned your new mattress on your post!! Yes, very exciting. Here’s to lots of wonderful dreamy restful nights ahead on your new mattress. Big weekend hugs back xo

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  5. Wow – so much wonderful philosophy woven throughout this post. I feel compelled to go and share a scone with the man himself! I always love hearing of your adventures Miriam, yet even more so the beauty you weave into your stories ❤ Beautiful xx

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    1. Oh, I hope you do go with your lovely man Hayley. It’s such an amazing place and he’s such an interesting and inspiring man. Thank you for your lovely comment. xo 💕🌷

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