Laurens Otto, wood carver, admires his own work on the Museum door

Laurens Otto visits the Museum

Laurens Otto, who carved the wooden feature panels on the Museum‘s doors, visited Lord Howe Island this month.

In August, retired wood carver Laurens Otto visited the Island. He was very keen to visit and to see the finished product of his wood carving work that he completed in 2000 for Ian Kiernan, when the Museum was being built. Ian Kiernan had a vision for the museum to feature the World Heritage of the island – and engaged Laurens to carve plants and birds into the many internal doors destined for the new museum.

The project took some 8 months to complete all the carvings, with each one taking about 40 hours.

The photos below show stages of the work:

  • Stage 1 – the drawing supplied to Laurens
  • Stage 2 – a piece of plywood with the drawing and some support outlines
  • Stage 3 – the plywood outline cut
  • Stage 4 – the door routed to depth of the subject and
  • Stage 5 – the finished carving

In total there are 11 different carvings. Laurens was very pleased to see his finished work in use, and so many visitors and locals enjoying the building.


Otto and Sons have been wood carvers, sculptors and furniture makers in Australia for two generations. 

Their works include the Coat of Arms for the High Court of Australia and Parliament House; the Australia Coach for Queen Elizabeth, the Sydney Hospital memorial board, the South African Embassy A.C.T., the McWilliams Tasting Room Brisbane, and the America Club in Macquarie Street Sydney.

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