|Project by TonyWard||posted 08-22-2006 08:52 AM||3519 views||3 times favorited||16 comments|
Koala – The Inspiration
The Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is a thickset arboreal marsupial herbivore native to Australia. Early European settlers to Australia called the Koala the Native Bear and the Koala is still sometimes called the Koala Bear, although it is not part of the bear family. The Koala’s scientific name comes from the Greek: phaskolos meaning “pouch” and; arktos meaning “bear”. The cinereus part is Latin and means “ash-coloured”.
The Koala lives almost entirely on eucalyptus leaves and spend about 3 of their 5 active hours eating. An average Koala eats 500 grams of eucalyptus leaves each day. The Koala is almost entirely arboreal. It does not make nests, but sleeps in a tree fork or on a branch. It climbs using its powerful claws for grip, usually moving quite slowly but can climb rapidly when needed.
A baby Koala is referred to as a joey and is hairless, blind, and earless. At birth the joey, only the size of a jelly bean, crawls into the downward-facing pouch on the mother’s belly (which is closed by a drawstring-like muscle that the mother can tighten at will) and attaches itself to one of the two teats. Young remain hidden in the pouch for about six months, only feeding on milk. The baby Koala will remain with the mother for another six months or so, riding on her back, and feeding on both milk and gum leaves until weaning is complete at about 12 months of age.
The Box Timber
White Cedar, Melia azedarach, A medium sized deciduous hardwood gown in the rainforests of northern Australia. Texture is very coarse and uneven due to the ring-porous nature of the wood, although difficult to give it a high finish.
The Box Construction
A bandsawn and hand carved box consisting of five drawers. Four of the five drawers each contain a hidden compartment.
The Koala is seen sleeping in the fork of a eucalyptus tree, with the joey clinging to it’s side. The mantle above the Koala depicts the over hanging branches and leaves of a eucalyptus tree. The marsupial is surrounded by the litter of leaves, each individual carved.
The box was constructed from one block of timber. Construction time was about 370 hours.