Mick Corker - Knot your Average Mate

Mick Corker - Knot your Average Mate

FINDING MICK CORKER

It’s people first in business for me, it has always been this way. I meet many folks and some go on to make lasting memories with me. Mick Corker of Jack Tars Locker is one of those people and I refer to him as Matey.

In 2016 I was setting up a pop up type store on the shores of Currumbin Creek.  I’d heard tell from another amazing person Heidi Bartholomew from The Sun Lounge Collection about this fellow who worked with rope. So I sought him out and a great friendship was to be born that day. Mick soon became a daily friend while I was setting up and we went on to provide “shiploads” of his rope decor pieces to happy decorators once the store opened. We even undertook a collaboration on work for a new commercial tourist boat with a nautical theme here on the Gold Coast.

Mick and I met recently at The Galley at The Boat Works in Coomera where his rope work helped create an old world schooner bar feeling perfectly.

Pictured above and below are a snippet of his amazing work at The Galley which is located at 200 Beattie Road Coomera on the Gold Coast, Queensland. The Galley is right on the water and the service, breakfast and company were A plus. It’s really worth a visit and an idea is to wander around and look at the boats too!

JACK TARS LOCKER – THE STORY

Mick Corker grew up in Freemantle and he considers that his love of rope work was possibly born by a memory of a rope mat on a cray boat when he was a boy. The memory may well have lain dormant in his head for years waiting for the right moment to reappear. His first finished piece was to be an ocean plait mat made from an old piece of rope he had laying around from his tree lopping days. In his own words “I was taken in hook, line and sinker”.

Mick started tyeing knots ten years ago and basically taught himself from books. He was fortunate to learn some “tricks of the trade” from a well and truly weathered and seasoned sailor named Russ and a very helpful bloke named Jim who creates the most amazing leatherwork and turksheads you are ever likely to see. Mick says ” There’s nothing quite like sitting down watching and talking with real passionate artisans at work”.

For the first 3-4 years tyeing knots was a hobby which increasingly became a huge passion and as Mick quotes “it was bordering on obsession”. When he first started it was nothing to spend hours, even days working on perfecting just one knot. With grit determination he succeeded and once he worked it out he never forgot it.

JACK TARS LOCKER – WHAT’S IN A NAME?

In the days of the tall ships, the rope rigging was made from hemp rope, which being a natural product expanded or contracted according to the weather conditions. A product called Stockholm Tar was rubbed over the rope to prevent the weather affecting it as it could do serious damage to the ships rigging if not protected. The sailors who did this work were called Johnny or Jack Tars.

DIVERSITY IN PROJECTS AND APPLICATIONS

Micks work has involved him in many projects including creating rigging for the Pirates of The Caribbean movie filmed on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. Mick grins as he tells me of rebuilding the ships rigging late into the evening on occasions as the movie crew had blown it up during filming that day.

Recently Mick created all of the rope decor items including toilet roll holders and rope towel rails for an entire new hotel in Cagliari on the island of Sardinia in Italy !

One of Micks favourite projects was installing balustrading on a large children’s playground up in the trees at Currumbin. (Pictured Above). He’s even traveled to Nantucket Island in the United States of America to create big floor mats on site in a beautiful coastal home (I reckon that’s another story I need to hear all about!)

Mick is pictured above at the Hobart Wooden Boat Festival where he was happy to display his decorator items as well as to present the skills he has to owners of vintage wooden boats.

Each year you will find Mick at the Sanctuary Cove Boat show too!

I asked Mick to write down some of his story on paper and send it to me for this article and I just loved how he finished it off : “Come on board and share this old world journey with me through my new world on social media and then take a seat and like the sailors of old after a hard days work, “Splice the Mainbrace.

“Happy sailing me Hearties”

If you are interested in following along with Mick you can click below to follow Jack Tars Locker on Instagram.

https://www.instagram.com/jacktarslocker/

If you would like to check out Micks latest creations or make a purchase you can find him on Etsy at the below Link.

https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/JackTarsLocker

If you are looking for custom rope work for a bar or restaurant or other themed venue Mick will be happy to meet with you on the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast or when he’s at Boat Shows in Sydney and Hobart.

By Lisa McGowan:: My Matey Mick :: 15 August 2018 For Oars Galore: Info: info@oarsgalore.com.au

All information contained in this article was correct at the time of publishing and is based on my own personal experience. This is NOT a paid advertisement for any parties mentioned.