Bamboo sculpture competition 2016

bamboo sculpture, bamboo competition, bamboo contestThere is another bamboo sculpture contest being organised by the Bamboo Society of Australia.  The entries will displayed and judged at the Brisbane International Garden Show in October 2016.

Three prize categories are on offer. Fist prize is $3,000. Entry fee for non-members is $100. Alternatively, you could take out a yearly e-membership for $20, enter the competition for $75, and have access to years of current and back-issues of the Bamboo Bulletin. The Bamboo Bulletin offers stacks of information about identifying, growing, maintaining, and using bamboo.

The Bamboo Society of Australia will have a booth at the Garden Show. This is a fine opportunity to quiz some experts about growing bamboo.

See you there!

 

mini dustpan and broom with bamboo

bamboo, bamboo dustpan, bamboo brushFor some time now I’ve been looking for a dustpan and broom small enough to use and store in my Caddy van home. I was thrilled to find the perfect little set with, no less, a bamboo handle. Then I saw the price – over $30. No.

But I’m persistent.

A little more searching came up with the same product, shipped from the US to Australia for about $10 (it was on sale). Yes.

dustpanbroomApart from looking great, with its bamboo ring handle, it is a good size for me to keep in the van and it is made with recycled plastics. The brush just clips into the pan and stays there. Measuring 170 mm at the base, a tiny bit more in height, and only 45 mm wide, it can be hung up, or stood on its edge.

It’s cute and it works well. The bristles on the brush are the just the right length and thickness and the soft flexible edge on the pan helps with getting the sand/dust/dirt/whatever onto the pan. The whole unit has a quality feel to it. In summary, I love it!

Mine came from iHerb. You can use this link  to get $5 off your first iHerb order (search for Mini Brush & Dustpan). Or find one on Amazon or eBay.

Bamboo on the Internet – one more for 2015

raindance

Kokopelli silhouettes dance under a stormy sky in hopes for rain.

Here in the Southern Hemisphere, there is no sign of a wet season coming to break the drought in this part of Central Queensland. Perhaps that’s why I noticed this very handsome bamboo-handle umbrella but was a bit taken back by the $450 price tag. It’s just the sort of thing I’d leave behind in someones umbrella bin, I’m sure. There are, however, some much more reasonably priced ones on Amazon.

 

bamboo, bamboo toothbrushYou’ve seen bamboo toothbrushes on these pages before. This one comes from Selfridges, with a marketing strategy focused on dirty weekends???? No prices because they were out of stock when I looked. Is that an indication of popularity? Of course you will find a large range, probably much cheaper, on Amazon.

Not on Amazon but interesting all the same:

bamboo, bamboo robot

This looks really different – a bamboo robot kit. Geekdad was gifted one and tells his little story about making it.

bamboo steamerThere’s nothing new, or even exciting about bamboo steamers. Ubiquitous in the East, here is a lovely little story from Taiwan about the construction of, and demand for, bamboo steamers. Of course there are plenty on Amazon, just not of the size of the ones featured in this story.

If I still ate toast, I’d love to have one these: eco+toaster. Yes, it’s a see-through toaster with a bamboo frame.

bamboo toaster

Random recipe: Bongulo chicken, from India.

KostaLife gives us images and a recipe:

Ingredients:bamboochicken

  1. Chicken skinless – 500 grm.
  2. Salt to taste.
  3. Red chilly powder -1 tsp.
  4. Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp.
  5. Ginger Paste -1tsp.
  6. Garlic paste -1tsp.
  7. Garam masala Powder-1tsp.
  8. Oil- 2 tsp
  9. Chopped onions -2 tsp
  10. Chopped chillies- 1 tsp
  11. Chicken masala powder-1 tsp

BambooChicken3Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl. Stuff in bamboo and cook over fire, according to the images. An alternative recipe can be found here, with more details about how to put the chicken mixture in the bamboo. A quick YouTube search will give more detailed instructions.

 

That’s probably all from me for 2015. May all life’s best be yours in 2016.

 

Bamboo spectacle frames

bamboo, bamboo spectacle frames, bamboo glassesI was in Cairns for a short-term contract in September. One of the good things in Cairns is Rusty’s market. There is always a fine selection of fresh produce, and on a Saturday you will find more non-perishable, crafty-type goods as well. On this trip I fortunate enough to be pointed to a man selling bamboo glasses frames (thanks, Di!).  There were several different frame shapes, in a range of different colours. Some were ready-to-wear sunglasses and others were ready to receive prescription lenses. The frames are hand-crafted, beautifully finished, and extremely well-priced.

bamboo, bamboo glasses, bamboo spectaclesAfter much agonising and indecision over which frames to choose, Cameron solved the problem by producing a two-toned pair from under the counter. Just the thing for a librarian, he thought. The outer surface of the frames are a reddish brown colour and the inner is natural bamboo. The arms are attached with a springy hinge that keeps the spectacles comfortably on the bridge of my nose. The frames are very light-weight and very comfortable.

Cameron gave me the contact details of an optical wholesaler, also in Cairns, who fits prescription lenses in the bamboo frames. I’m very happy with the quality of the lenses fitted. When I return to Cairns next year for another short term contract, I plan to buy some more frames and have the optical wholesaler fit some high quality sunglass lenses.

Need inspiration? Have a look at Cameron’s facebook page.

Want to try your hand at making your own? This Instructables may help.

More on treating bamboo

During a recent visit to northern NSW I stayed at Bonza Bamboo and had the opportunity to cut some bamboo, and the time to treat it. There was also the opportunity to call in to Byron Bamboo, in nearby Tyagarah.

While Lance and Carolyn were away exhibiting at Strand Ephemera 2015, I was holding the fort at Bonza Bamboo and cutting and treating some of their bamboo to take away with me. Some poles were left standing with the solution inside for 3 weeks. For others, I availed myself to Lance’s simple and efficient PVC storm water pipe method. This is ideally suited for bamboo splits and very small diameter poles.

45 degree stormwater junction at one end

45 degree stormwater junction at one end

PVC storm water pipe of varying lengths, as seen in the photos, are fitted at one end with a 45 degree junction. Both ends are capped with a screw fitting. The lower part of the junction facilitates the loading of the bamboo. Once the bamboo is loaded the cap is screwed on. The upper facing part of the junction is where the preservation solution is poured in. The other end of the storm has an inline tap fitted into an end cap. In Lance’s system, this drains to a large drum that sits at a level below the PVC pipes to use gravity to empty the pipes after the treatment is complete.

bamboo treatment

… inline tap at the other end

All the parts to make this treatment system are readily available at your local hardware or plumbing suppliers. I couldn’t locate any 90mm fittings on eBay, but there are some  inline taps there.

Once treatment was underway I was keen to visit Byron Bamboo to follow up on the experiments they were undertaking with Freemite after the workshop in January this year. The product showed such promise as an effective and natural method to treat bamboo. Kaye is still awaiting test results for Freemite from UTS, but she did have some comments after trying the product. There were some major concerns:

  • The cost: It is an expensive product and, once diluted for use, is only effective for a month.
  • It’s very strong chilli content makes it dangerous to skin and eyes. It has a real burning effect, so from a WHS point of view here in oz it wouldn’t be deemed safe.

Ultimately, she has returned to using soluble boron, Dissolvabor, like Lance.

 

Bamboo on the Internet for April, 2015 (and May)

A very late Bamboo on the Internet, but with some very fine excuses. Really. Some of them may even be translated into posts for this blog.

  • Two more items for a bamboo WTF category: Bamboo water. Yes. Water infused with an extract from bamboo leaves. Variously described with words like, “clean, fresh, bright, energising, sweet…” the creator has chosen to add cane sugar, unfortunately. Learn more here.  The second, and more perplexing bamboo product is Gucci’s Bamboo Fragrance. Presumably named for the bamboo shaped lid, not the top notes of bergamont.
  • furnitureThe bamboo furniture seen at the left is simplicity personified. Follow the link for a gallery of 14 more images.
  • I know how handy bamboo skewers are for fixing/supporting/balancing/holding, even though I’ve never used them as skewers. This model of the Eiffel Tower used over 200 of them.
  • Bamboo fences are very popular in northern NSW, where I was earlier this year, but how about a bamboo fence 11 kilometers long? Its part of a competition to promote the use of bamboo fences in Sabah.
  • Froute PodMore gorgeous, practical, and innovative ideas from Giant Grass, in Melbourne. It may be just the thing if you want to be an airbnb host and don’t have that extra room for guests. The pod is transportable and easy to set up with only 2 people.
  • Bamboo charcoal is now a trendy go-to ingredient for cocktails, according to The Drinks Business.
  • vietnam milan expoThe Vietnam pavilion for the 2015 Milan Expo features a ‘forest’ of bamboo-clad columns. More images and a story at arch daily.
  • Here is a lovely, and short, story about a Buddhist monk in Vietnam who saves rare bamboo species.
  • The Huffington Post recently published a photoblog featuring colourful bamboo and paper umbrellas.
  • pickled bambooSome food items of interest over the last two months include: a bamboo shoot and squid flavored with green leaf-bud miso dish from Asahi Shimbun; a recipe for pickled bamboo from a new book (available from Amazon) reviewed here; and, I was going to include a video called ‘bamboo cooking‘ but it turned out to be only a very poor interview to promote the bamboo water mentioned above. It’s so dreadful, it’s almost worth watching.

Bamboo on the Internet for March, 2015

bamboo prawnsBetter late than never? Bamboo on the Internet for this month is delayed by an abundance of delightful small and large adventures – none of which have anything to do with bamboo. To start, Bamboo Prawns, but not as we know it. Should you find yourself in An Nhon Town in the central province of Binh Dinh, Vietnam, you could pick up a pair for as little as US$16.

bamboo bikeNow that bamboo bikes are all the rage, the competition is fierce to gain an edge over all the other bikes on the market. Last month I wrote about a bamboo-flax composite bicycle. This month I’m bringing your attention to a bamboo-balsa composite frame with 3D printed parts. The bike has an inner layer of carbon fiber, followed by laminated layers of woven bamboo, a balsa core, another layer of woven bamboo, and finally a protective layer of resin.

Learn how to make fire with bamboo. The lesson starts at 4.45 minutes:

bamboo massageAnother must-have from Japan. Chris sent me a photo of a bamboo massage tool. It’s hollow, and he assures me it’s not as uncomfortable as it looks. (Thanks, Chris.)  Tattoos created with bamboo needles on the other hand, are painful. Read a first-hand account of a Westerner getting some traditional tattoos at Wat Bang Phra in Thailand. Interestingly, he mentions that invisible tattoos are becoming popular. Using sesame oil instead of ink, the tattoos still imbue the same protection as ink tattoos because the monks use the same process, design, mantra and powers as they do for ink tattoos.

winerackThis bamboo wine rack caught my attention for it’s sheer simplicity. But once you start looking at wine racks on Amazon, there are lots of different designs.

To finish up, here is another purely gratuitous image involving food. If you’re lucky enough to be dining out in Seoul, you’ll find the Spring Bamboo Delicacies special set at The Westin Chosun. bamboo shoots, bamboo spring