CARVING HISTORY: Jim Muldoon, left, presents the coat of arms to the Clarence Valley Council administrator Neil Payne.
CARVING HISTORY: Jim Muldoon, left, presents the coat of arms to the Clarence Valley Council administrator Neil Payne.

Carving his niche in local history

By EMMA CORNFORD

ARMED with two slabs of timber and a few extremely sharp chisels, Jim Muldoon has carved a new version of the Grafton coat of arms.

The immaculate detail of the white birch depicts the crest which was endowed to Grafton in 1923 by the Duke of Grafton, John Charles Fitzroy.

The Duke may have foreseen Grafton's love of racing when he let Grafton use the heraldic device; on one side there is a lion and on the other a greyhound.

Mr Muldoon took 40 hours to carve the coat of arms, which is mounted on a red cedar shield and will be displayed in the conference room of the Grafton Civic Centre.

"I'm very, very proud as a Graftonian and a craftsman that I've been able to do something significant for the city and that it has been placed there," Mr Muldoon said.

Ensuring the crest was accurate was not a quick process.

"I went to the original one which had been damaged and looked at that first, particularly in regard to the details.

"Then I went to the Historical Society and looked at the arms. The Duchess of Grafton had presented Schaeffer House with a coat or arms when she visited here."

After studying the details, Mr Muldoon selected the two timbers, red cedar and white birch, which are both native to the Grafton area.

Hours of painstakingly detailed carving later, he presented the crest to Clarence Valley Council administrator, Neil Payne.

But the coat of arms is not the first artwork commissioned to Mr Muldoon by the council.

His work is also on display in Japan after he created a relief woodcarving of the Grafton Bridge over the Clarence River for Grafton's sister city, Izunagaoka.

The 795cm by 355cm carving took a whopping 100 hours of work for Mr Muldoon to complete.



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