George’s Royal carving collection
Age: Favourite song?
(Holds up four fingers)
Ice. It’s Elsa’s song. And Anna is the water one.
Favourite colour? Favourite game?
Who is your best friend? What makes you laugh? What makes you sad? What are you afraid of?
Happy. Talk. Michael’s crying Seth’s going in the toilet! There’s three taps! There’s a lot of taps! And Seth needs to wash his hands.
If you could change your name, what would it be? Maddison What are you really good at? Play. To see our
Do you have any jokes to tell me?
What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch?
Sandwiches with butter, cheese, lettuce and the broccoli.
What is your favourite fruit?
my dinner. I like watermelon.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to grow up like this many (holds up seven fingers), this many (holds up eight fingers) and this many (holds up nine fingers).
This many (holds up five
How old is grown up?
I play some unicorns. They play (Shakes Carrots. No, they’re FROM a wall unit in Uncle George Mason’s lounge room, a myriad of faces survey their surroundings. There are beautiful faces, cheeky faces, interesting faces and ones with lines like a road map.
The portraits form part of Uncle George’s collection of emu eggs, painstakingly carved over many years of patience and practice.
“I’ve been carving for 20 years,” he explained with a gentle smile.
Growing up in Goodooga as one of 13 kids, Uncle George said they lived on rabbit and goat meat. When he left school at the age of 14, he started working in the shearing sheds.
“I used to roustabout and started learning to shear at 16,” he told Dubbo
His career was also the beginning of Uncle George’s artistic endeavours.
“I’ve always liked art. The Aboriginals working in the sheds used to carve eggs at night. That was how I learned and I just started carving too.”
The elders used sharp knives to do the carving but Uncle George has a shearing cutter (which forms part of the comb) and a special engraver for the finer details.
“A knife can be awkward, I find that a cutter is easier to manoeuvre,” he said. The process involves etching into the many layers of the eggs, from dark to pale green then white. Unfortunately, due to the drought, this year’s eggs have been small and fragile. Carving also requires concentration and a steady hand. “And patience, lots of patience,” Uncle George laughs.
Over the years, he has carved many portraits, including his children and grandchildren, and emu eggs for the weddings or birthdays of friends, as well as remembering a loved one after their death. A portrait egg can take a few days to complete, and once he starts, it can consume him.
“He started with images of birds and flowers and moved on to people from there,” daughter Narelle says. A special theme which brings together many of Uncle George’s egg portraits are images of the Royal family – including Duchess Kate and Prince William, Princess Diana, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Duchess Meghan. He is looking forward to the upcoming Royal visit.
“I liked Princess Diana, my wife Betty did too. She was the people’s princess. I