Reviving the Wye River Community

The Wye River and Separation Creek communities were devastated by recent bushfires. We speak with furniture maker Luke Collins and artist Tanya Keenan about their tribute to this tragedy, via their Created with Care auction collaboration.

Bluethumb & Handkrafted came together to launch Created with Care – a pairing of talented Australian makers and artists who have collaborated on one-of-a-kind pieces for charity.

One of the most bid upon collaborations in the auction has been the Wye River Buffet. The piece created by Bombora Furniture Co.’s Luke Collins and Bluethumb artist Tanya Keenan is a tribute to the tragedy of the devastating bushfires at the Wye River and Separation Creek on Christmas Day of 2015. Accordingly, the duo nominated the Spirit Foundation, which has been supporting the Wye River and Separation Creek communities after the fires.


The front panels of the buffet are painted with Tanya’s signature abstract landscapes. The artwork has a dreamy coastal feel and the style would suit any modern home. Luke’s choice of American ash timber compliments the art perfectly.

Luke first designed the piece several years ago in collaboration with a client who requested some interesting features. “I [now] like using angled and tapered legs in my designs and this piece is the start of that love affair,” says Luke. He thinks this piece would be perfect for someone whose home has a bold style and loves fine quality.



Tanya Keenan Tanya’s abstract design reflects the beaches and water near where she lives. “My artwork is inspired by the love of life and nature,” says Tanya. She wants the buyers of the Wye River Buffet to take home a piece of her coast.

The duo worked well together and managed to agree on most things right from the start. Luke’s design just seemed to be a perfect fit to showcase Tanya’s work. “We only met once in the planning phase and all was decided within 10 minutes,” says Luke. The only challenge was timing and trying to fit an additional piece into their full production schedule.

The structure of the Spirit Foundation was established to be able to assist local individuals or communities in case of emergencies. It is also great to see that the organisation seeks advice from the locals to decide where the funds should go. So far the charity has gathered some funds in support of the bushfire devastations but there is much room for help.

Luke’s family would camp at the Wye River over the Christmas holidays, go for day trips and surf. “Wye River is a special place for me and my family,” says Luke. It was hence an emotive response to integrate Tanya’s coastal art with Luke’s furniture to honour the Wye River story.

The charity’s next priority is to upgrade the facilities at the local Surf Lifesaving Club. The artists hope that the money from their efforts will assist the community to be better able to handle any future emergencies.

Bid now on Wye River Buffet and the other collaborations at Created With Care.


Written by Sanghamitra Das from Bluethumb

About Handkrafted:

Handkrafted is a community marketplace connecting people with passionate makers to commission custom goods. We have brought together hundreds of Australian independent, bespoke craftspeople and artisans who specialise in producing high quality, sustainably made pieces.

Our makers can help you realise your own idea or collaborate with you on a new design. Many also feature a range of original designs that can be made to order or customised to suit your specific needs. Whichever option you choose, we’re here to help make it happen. Support local makers and kick-start your own project today.  

Sign up for our newsletter to receive all of the latest updates… and a bit of fun.

You Might Also Like