WIMMERA woodturner Brendan Stemp has completed one of his tallest projects to date.
The McKenzie Creek craftsman finished making a seven-metre tapered ladder on Thursday. It was transported to Melbourne on Friday and will form part of a display at the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London in May.
The ladder will emerge from a billabong and up a rock face in the Trailfinders' Australian Garden exhibit.
Melbourne landscape designer Phillip Johnson, whose projects include a record-breaking 33-metre vertical garden in Sydney, will design and construct the Australian garden.
He invited Mr Stemp, his friend and former teacher, to make the ladder in the show's centenary year.
Mr Stemp said he had created woodwork projects for Mr Johnson in the past.
"I usually make recorders and bowls, but Phil needed a big ladder," he said.
"I don't normally make ladders but potentially this project will have the most exposure for me. This would certainly be my most prominent project to date. It's the first time I have made a ladder."
Mr Stemp used black wattle from a neighbour's property for the ladder, which is a metre wide at its widest point. He oiled the ladder, which is also practical.
"I used black wattle because the trees were dead and I needed long lengths of timber," he said.
"The trees died during the drought a number of years ago. It's the best way to source timber rather than chopping down a live tree.
"I do source a lot of my own timber from farms or paddocks."
The ladder took Mr Stemp 50 hours to make. He described it as a love job.
"I am one of the sponsors and did it to help out, because it's a nice project to be involved in," he said.
"I also wanted to support my former student Phil, who I consider a friend now. Phil has had an enormous amount of success with his landscape designs.
"His projects include water features and billabongs, which are really quite ground-breaking for landscape design in Australia."