Wolfgang Bottcher has been a member of Taree Craft Centre for only a short time, but it took no time at all for this popular woodworker to fit in to the crafty family that is Taree Craft Centre.
His wonderful wooden creations have been a welcome addition to the already extensive range of handicrafts on display, with many pieces going to new homes with excited customers.
Wolfgang was born in East Germany where at 16 years of age he got a job with a local carpenter. He then moved to West Germany where he worked in coalmines for two years.
At 19 years of age, Wolfgang decided it was time to seek greener pastures and adventure, so alone he boarded a ship and headed for Australia.
The only English he spoke was what they taught him on the ship, which was basically “yes, no, please, thank you etc.”
He landed in Melbourne and worked in a very smelly leather factory for a while, then he and a mate moved to Wollongong to work in the coalmines, a profession he knew. His boss saw potential in Wolfgang and sent him off to university, guaranteeing him the job of deputy on his return.
After 12 years Wolfgang met and married Aussie girl Margaret, who became his soul mate and the love of his life. They bought a farm at Merriwa where they looked after 173 goats, delivering milk to homes, hospitals, etc. They raised four children of their own and fostered another three.
Wolfgang did several courses in woodturning at Newcastle TAFE during 1997 and 1998 and passed with distinctions.
Five years ago, Wolfgang and Margaret moved to Wingham where he is involved with the Men’s Shed.
Wolfgang readily admits that he is obsessed with wood and spends time every day working on several pieces at a time.
Examples of Wolfgang’s woodwork are on display at Taree Craft Cottage on the corner of High and Pulteney Streets, Taree. The cottage is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 3.30pm, phone 6551 5777.