Gene McLaren, Tasmanian born and bred (sorry in advance), growing up in Launceston in the 70’s and 80’s I attended the local public school, living the typical life that is almost forgotten on today's standards.
My dad was a motor mechanic who had a reasonably well appointed shed in the backyard of our house for doing weekend work on the side. It was working along side of him in his spare time where I found a love early in life of tinkering, from making to destruction, yearning to know how something works and to re-purpose just about anything, often failing!
By the end of high school, I had managed to top the class in just about all of my chosen subjects, metalwork, woodwork and technical drawing…. These were the disciplines I loved, I had work that backed up my ability but in all honesty didn't have a clue where to turn to next. Before I graduated high school I had the head of our manual arts department tap me on the shoulder and highly recommend that I applied for an apprenticeship at the local steel foundry as a Pattern Maker.
I applied for the job and got it, turns out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made, attending formal training at Melbourne’s R.M.I.T and being surrounded by highly skilled tradesmen, soaking up every skill imaginable, using timber, steel and fibreglass to create precise, intricate three dimensional objects from two dimensional engineers drawings. After many years of training in a vast array of disciplines, my skill set reflects that of a true Artisan restoring real craftsmanship to local manufacturing.