Updated July, 2017
I (Simon Martin) was born in, Devonport, Tasmania, Australia in December of 1981. I am a Bible-believing Christian and I have put my faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe the Bible is 100% true and it tells me that God sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for my sins and shed His blood on the cross for me around 2000 years ago. Because of my faith and desire to follow Christ's example, I know I have been saved from hell and one day I'll be on my way to Heaven, not because of what I've done (I'm a sinner just like everyone else), but because of what Jesus did for me. The Bible is an amazing book. I use the King James Version, which I believe is the most accurate translation of all English versions and is indeed God's word to man. If you haven't read the Bible before, I would encourage you to start reading from the book of John's Gospel in the New Testament. Ask God to help you understand it.
As of 29th of October, 2014 I started an official friendship with Sophie and we have now married on the 5th of September, 2015. Sophie was my first ever girlfriend and yes it took me 32years :o) We have very similar interests and both love working with children. Marriage is a wonderful God given institution and should be protected as it was intended to be for the benefit of future generations.
Sophie and I when we started going out. Sophie on the way to our wedding on the back of her brothers ute. Nice mudflaps Hayden :o)
Sophie and I on our wedding day.
Our first child Isabel and one on the way in August 2017 :o)
Further down the page you will read my "Whipmakers Story" which I wrote when I first set this website up in 2004. A lot of water had been under the bridge since then and my business has grown quite a lot (thankyou to my customers and fantastic staff). While I still use this website for custom made work, a lot of my business now comes from my other site www.simonmartinwhips.com.
Running a business is something I really enjoy doing. I have met so many different people and it gives me many opportunities to be a help to them where I can. I really enjoy working with children/teenagers and one day would like to own a property where they could come and do horse riding, whipcracking, fishing, shooting, motorbike riding, leatherwork and craftwork ect... This property would be especially for those kids who are having educational and behavioural issues at school and they could come to the property to get help with education as well getting them off computers and Tv's to spend time outside and enjoy God's creation. Many kids just need an opportunity and if I can help change kids direction in life for the better I will and I think this is what keeps me working hard each day.
My city (most of you would call it a town!) of Devonport has a population of roughly 25,000 friendly residents living in it. Devonport is a rural city surrounded by rich fertile, red soil farmland and the sea. Tasmania (The Island below mainland Australia) as a whole has a population of about 500,000. It is the best place in the world and I wouldn't dream of living any where else. Come and visit some time, and say G'Day.
The first photo from left is Cradle Mountain, then Mt. Roland, Russel Falls, and a paddock of tulips not far from home. Tasmania has hundred of places to go hiking, and if you visit you would get the chance to breath some of the world's cleanest air and drink the purest water.
Mustering Hereford Cattle at Irishtown, Tasmania with William (on left) a good mate and employee and his brother (Hudson) on the right.
Blue Fin Tuna I caught at Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania.
A couple of hours of Australian Salmon fishing with my best mate (and cousin) Justin. We had a great time!!!!! We had smiles on our faces for weeks telling everyone :o)
Exploring an old mining track in North West Tasmania on my Suzuki DR250. Yes, I know it's as old as me:o)
All set for another muster on "Brumby".
Mustering Wagyu beef cattle from Robbins Island (Largest privately owned island in Australia), with owner John Hammond, to mainland North West Tasmania. I really do live in a most amazing part of the world.
Gummy Shark caught at the mouth of the Tamar River, Tasmania.
"Charlie" my first horse.
The Whipmaker's Story
About when I was 13 or 14 years old I really badly wanted a whip. Having saved enough money I purchased a cowhide stockwhip from Bernie Wojcicki. It got to the stage where the whip needed a new fall, so it got put in the cupboard for a long time.
I left school in the year 1997, and began a four year apprenticeship with my father and my brother, as a bricklayer (A third generation bricklayer). In my final year I was privileged to be awarded Best Apprentice over All Building and Construction Trades in Tasmania. After my apprenticeship finished, my brother and I became the boss, and we paid Dad. It was about this time that I found the whip in the cupboard and decided I'm going to repair that, so bought a Ron Edwards book on whipmaking and a new fall, and thus repaired my whip. After this, I thought I'm going to make a whip, so I asked Trevor Barrenger my leatherwork teacher from high school days whether he would let me plait a bit of a whip. So he cut a whip out and had started plaiting the overlay. He rang me and I went to his house, took the whip back home, and finished plaiting it. June 2002, now I thought, "I'm going to make my own whip". So I bought a kangaroo hide and a few tools and, with the help of the Ron Edwards book was able to make, an 8ft. 12plait stockwhip with a 24 plait handle which I plaited my name in. I took this whip and showed Mr. Barrenger and he said I'd done a great job. He and his wife showed a lot of interest in me and what I was making. In April 2003 he passed away and his wife very kindly gave me his tools, I was a bit embarrassed but she said "He would have wanted you to have them" and I was very grateful because they have come in very handy.
After I had made my own whip I was hooked. So I made another and another. Then I thought I just can't keep on making whips without being able to sell some, so off to the local saddlery I went and showed them what I was making. Brian from the saddlery made me crack the whips then he said "Yea, I'll buy a couple off you". This was my first sale. From then on the whipmaking got busier and busier (mostly just from word of mouth) . Most of my nights, after bricklaying for the day, were spent whipmaking. I didn't even seem to have much time to go trout fishing in the many lakes, river, and streams here in Tasmania. Below are a couple of my favourite fishing spots, firstly Lake Fergus, then Scamander River and then my catch from Arthur's Lake.
12 months after I had made my first whip, I made a pair of 4 1/2 ft, 12 plait thong, 24plait handle, stockwhips for myself. This got me into whipcracking. One matched pair wasn't enough so I made a pair of 3 1/2 ft stockwhips. Now I also have a pair of 5ft and 6ft stockwhips. My 5footers get used most of all of them. A lot of people make the mistake of buying to big a whip, to do many tricks with, I recommend a 4 1/2 ft - 5ft stockwhip or 6ft - 6 1/2 ft bullwhip for beginners. Can you juggle? If you can you will find this will help you pickup two handed whipcracking quite quickly as it helps with left/right hand coordination.
So after nearly 6 1/2years on the trowel I made a decision to do what I enjoyed most. In April 2004 I put the trowel away in the cupboard, said goodbye to my Dad and brother Phillip, and took up whipmaking full time. I must say whipmaking is not unlike bricklaying in that everything you do is a challenge. Photos below are of the last house I bricked before going whipmaking. The owners of this house run a Motel on the site as well. It is called the Sheffield Country Motor Inn. (Phone them on your international code + 613 64911130 or within Australia on (03) 6491130. Sheffield is famous for it's murals, and is only ten minutes from Mt. Roland and 1hrs drive to Cradle Mountain.
The last photo on the right is a section of the Motel
which my Dad, my brother, and I also bricked.
In November, 2008 I was presented by TAFE with a "Certificate 4" in "Whipmaking". This certificate recognizes my whipmaking trade anywhere in Australia.
Being presented with my certificate at my shop.