News

'Fun hobby' becomes career for Fraser Coast man

WHAT started out as a fun craft idea to keep Peter Thorndike's students occupied at an outdoor education centre, has turned into a full-time career and passion for the Point Vernon man.

Peter has been named Australian Champion Whip Plaiter five times over, and has sold his work for thousands of dollars.

A master of his craft - 2017 Australian Champion Plaiter Peter Thorndike has won the Doohan McMaster Trophy for the past five years.
A master of his craft - 2017 Australian Champion Plaiter Peter Thorndike has won the Doohan McMaster Trophy for the past five years. Valerie Horton

The 41-year-old has always had a strong eye for detail, and after making leather bracelets with his students, he fell in love with the art of leather work.

"At the education centre where I worked in Toowoomba, we had vocation care programs where we had to do crafts with the children, we'd do all sorts of things like woodwork, and someone suggested leatherwork," Mr Thorndike said.

"We started with simple little bracelets, it was only a project to do during the holiday but I just loved it. I went from bracelets and started making whips, I got bitten by the bug."

After almost 20 years in education, Mr Thorndike resigned from his job as a PE teacher in Toowoomba at the end of last year, to sell his leatherwork full-time.

TOP FRASER COAST STORIES:

JOBS UP FOR GRABS: 120 jobs created by solar farm project

JOBS BONANZA: 150 supermarket jobs up for grabs on Wednesday

'Keep walking you fat f***king cow': Mum abused on run

The champion said being able to stop teaching allowed him to take care of his wife Sharon, who lives with chronic fatigue.

"It went from being a hobby to being a distinct part-time job while I was teaching full-time," he said.

"My wife's got chronic fatigue, she can't work anymore, that's part of why we moved to Hervey Bay so I could take care of her and do the whips full-time."

Mr Thorndike also makes belts, hat-bands and other leatherwork, but he is most known for his fine-detailed whips.

2017 Australian Champion Plaiter Peter Thorndike.
2017 Australian Champion Plaiter Peter Thorndike. Valerie Horton

To make a simple whip, with about eight strands of leather in it, it takes Mr Thorndike a day, but last year he made an exact replica of a whip from The Man from Snowy River, which was a much bigger task. "I based it off paintings and illustrations," he said.

"It had 72 strands in the handle, that took about 300 hours to make." The snowy river whip was sold to a buyer in the United States for about $10,000.

The whip plaiter doesn't sell his work in stores, but creates custom-made pieces based on orders.

Mr Thorndike already has a waiting list up until September.

Want to place an order? Go to peterthorndike.com.au.

Topics:  fcbusiness fccommunity rural



State election tipped to be declared on the Fraser Coast

EARLY ELECTION? Parliamentary insiders have tipped the State Government to declare an election during their week-long visit in September.

Insiders suspect the election will be announced next month.

Jet ski 'morons' chase playing whales out to sea

Jet-ski riders get close to a whale in waters off Noosa National Park.

Jet skis riders spotted harassing whales in Coast waters

Future entrepreneurs learn about business at Founderfest

Founderfest 2017 united young, local and motivated people to learn about starting a business. The two-day event was held in Hervey Bay on August 12-13.

The two-day event was held in Hervey Bay.

Local Partners

ATO pop-up kiosk offers tax time tools

THE Australian Taxation Office will be visiting Hervey Bay this week to give residents all the tools needed to confidently lodge their own tax return online.


Jemma's bewitching voice

STAGE PRESENCE: Suzie Mathers and Jemma Rix in a scene from Wicked The Musical.

Wicked musical theatre star Jemma Rix has released her debut album.

This laughter yoga video will have you in fits of giggles

BEST MEDICINE: Karen Flannery is spreading happiness through laughter throughout Hervey Bay.

New members needed for a laughing good time

What's on: VMR events on in Hervey Bay this Saturday

Volunteer Marine Rescue generic.Photo: Emily Smith

This is the second year VMR has run this event.

Fancy a head full of Coldplay on Samsung VR?

Coldplay fans will be able to enjoy the supergroup's A Head Full of Dreams Tour live in virtual reality from Chicago’s Soldier Field on Friday.

CMC ROCKS: Organisers reveal 2018 festival dates

CMC Rocks will return to Willowbank in March, 2018.

Country music fans mark these dates in your calendar

MOVIE REVIEW: Cinderella story classic comedy of errors

Toni Collette in a scene from the movie Madame.

EVERY time Toni Collette does comedy, a fairy takes flight.

Nikki responds to rumours she’s now dating Richie

Nikki Gogan, Richie Strahan and Alex Nation on The Bachelor.

Bachelor runner-up has responded to rumours she’s now dating Richie.

The Dark Tower review round-up

Idris Elba and Tom Taylor in a scene from the movie The Dark Tower.

Stephen King adaptation disappoints both newbies and fans.

WATCH: Johann Ofner's run on Australia’s Ninja Warrior

Johann Ofner on Ninja Warrior

Ofner’s girlfriend, model Kati Garnett, shared a montage of series

‘Lose 10 kilos in two weeks’

Be Fit Food founders Kate Save and Dr Geoff Draper.

A WEIGHT loss meal plan sparked a bidding war on Shark Tank.

Developer tears up couple's contract for new home

Jade and Edward Roberts were stung by the sunset clause on the first day of their honeymoon.

The developer has the right to do this under the sunset clause

Reports of Ibrahim family connections to farm and food hub

John Ibrahimat Bluesfest 2012.

REPORTS circulate colourful Sydney family have investments on the NR

Stunning, heritage-listed Coast home going under the hammer

STUNNING: Buderim House, a stunning heritage-listed Queenslander estate, is going to auction.

Coast home that played host to royalty is set for auction

Internet king Kim Dotcom house-hunting

Kim Dotcom and his partner Elizabeth Donnelly have apparently been in Queenstown scoping out houses. Photo / Kim Dotcom

Dotcom tweeted pictures and video of himself and partner Elizabeth Donnelly