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Metal menagerie at bush Christmas exhibition

METAL MASTERPIECES: Michael Walsh spends roughly six hours creating an animal and so far credits the sheep as his favourite to make. He is one of many exhibitors showcasing his homemade products at the Bush Christmas Exhibition.
METAL MASTERPIECES: Michael Walsh spends roughly six hours creating an animal and so far credits the sheep as his favourite to make. He is one of many exhibitors showcasing his homemade products at the Bush Christmas Exhibition. Dave Noonan

DRIVE by Toowoomba's Masonic Centre and you might do a double take at the herd of sheep, cows, chooks and a dog out front.

The metal animals, created by Michael Walsh, are just some of the handmade items available for keen shoppers at the Bush Christmas Exhibition.

What began as a hobby six years ago has become a bona fide business for the Chinchilla local, who said his animals were walking out the door quicker than he could make them.

"It takes a bit to design them. I try to make them look as realistic as possible," he said.

His latest crop of pets is made from tin off an old house at Quilpie that Mr Walsh estimated to be nearing 100 years old.

"I say let them age a bit and they look even better," he said.

Mr Walsh has joined more than 125 other rural and remote artisans to showcase products at the 16th annual Christmas sale.

Organiser Liz McClymont said there was something for everyone.

"It's by invitation only for exhibitors. That way we get a good combination of things and a balance," she said.

"Be quick though. It's the quick and the dead."

It is open from 9am to 6pm until Sunday, December 2, at the Masonic Centre, 58 Neil St (next to the Empire Theatre).

Admission is free.

Check out the photo gallery here.

Topics:  quilpie, toowoomba bush christmas exhibition


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