Traditional Cooper - George Smithwick - History and how to make a wooden bucket

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Genre: Education

Family friendly? Yes

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Sydney Living Museums

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Shared June 26, 2016

George Smithwick is a sixth generation cooper who makes traditional wooden buckets and barrels. He is continuing a family tradition that began in the 18th century in Ireland.

George talks to us about what a Cooper is, some history of the trade, tools he uses, and the step-by-step process of making a wooden bucket.

Edward Washington and Jimmy Murray from the Sydney Living Museums' Programs team flew down to catch up with George to see if he could help with making us some new buckets and he was happy to show us how he worked; using tools, techniques and practises that have remained the same for hundreds of years.

George also let us into what was once a very tight-knit and sometimes secretive coopering industry – and we captured it all on camera.

See our other traditional trade vids here: