Olivia O'Connor Rocking Horses. Hand carved timber rocking horses.
I specialise in handmade rocking horses and rocking horse restoration, I am living and working in South Gippsland, Victoria.

I grew up on a farm on Australiaโ€™s Mornington Peninsula. It was the perfect environment to develop a love for natural materials, such as wood and leather, and to appreciate the beauty of the countryside.

A love of working with timber led me to I study Furniture Design and Construction at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, for one year before being accepted into the competitive Prop Making course at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney. During this three-year specialised degree, I worked with wood, leather, foam-sculpting, model- and mould-making and puppet making.




Learn to hand carve your own timber rocking horse!

Over the course of 4 days you will learn to use traditional tools and techniques to hand carve your own rocking horse. Whilst being a simplified version of an heirloom rocking horse, your rocking horse will still use all of the same joinery and constructions techniques used in all of my rocking horses. Classes are suitable for beginners, whilst still have room for experienced students to carve a more detailed rocking horse.


Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Win your very own custom carved pet portrait (and postage!)!
Like my page, share and like this post then comment your answer below:
Q. How many seperate pieces of timber are in one of my small/pony sized rocking horses?
*Donโ€™t count the stand! 
*Clue - the body is hollow 
*Clue - dont count any dowels that may be used for joinery๐Ÿคซ
First person to answer correctly wins, entries also accepted on my insta page. Winner announced 7pm this Sunday. 
Good luck!

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Congratulations to Leigh, we had a lot of close answers but I was looking for the number 23! Thank you to everyone else who had a guess and a bit of fun! Now you all know just how many timber parts in a small rocking horse!

Currently a few people are close but no one has the right answer yet - keep guessing!

CLUE!! Do not count any dowels that may be joining the timber together!!

12 pieces for shaped but no tail. 13 if you include the timber at the attachment point of the tail.

Isvthat the gorgeous Ned starring

counting the lamented pieces .head and neck has 4 lamented pieces, 4 legs each with 3 dowels = 16 pieces, back saddle 1 piece, body has 6 pieces and 2 eyes total 29 no dowels = 17

Great contest!


My answers is - A LOT!

10..... I hope...๐Ÿ˜‚

10, including ears

I count 8 pieces

6 I think ๐Ÿค”

If I can guess again 16. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€


6 ๐Ÿคž








What a cool idea Olivia. Love your work.


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I’ve had a rocking horse . Loved it

Just gorgeous, beautiful work again, love the attention to detail xx

Stunning, my little girl would love to upgrade to one of these!!

What a wonderful renovation.

We have a big rocking horse with a plain saddle. Would love a side saddle hold.


very cool

Tracy Anne Jonas this is amazing!! <3

Linda Mealing

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Sadly due to injury and doctors orders, I am unable to make it up to the Lost Trades Fair in NSW this weekend as I had planned. 
I will have a little display set up there and a rocking horse. 
I was really excited to be there, talking carving, rocking horses and doing demonstrations for you. So instead Iโ€™ll just look forward to seeing you in NSW next year!!
Sketch by @shinyhappyart of me at Lost Trades in QLD earlier this year. 
#losttrades #losttrades2019

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Hope you’re ok Liv! xx

Heal quickly Olivia! See you in March I hope. Xx

Your rocking horse bought back memories of my childhood Best Wishes for a speedy recovery

speedi recovery and rest x

Speedy recovery Olivia!๐ŸŒบ

The Australiana Pioneer Village at Wilberforce is holding an '' Old Skills Weekend '' 29th Feb/1st March and we would love to have you join all the others coming if you would like to join us Olivia - and please get well asap x

Sorry to hear it! We’re on our way now, but glad I saw this update, would have spent the day looking for you otherwise! Rest up! See you at another fair!

Sorry to hear that I did see your display and the beautiful rocking horse. Hope you are felling better soon.

You are an amazing artist. Take care , rest and follow doctors orders.

Ah bummer! Hope you are doing ok, and we will come out and visit soon enough ๐Ÿ˜Š

Sorry to hear this, hoping you are recovered soon.

Rest up! The rundown and unloved horses need you and so do we!!

I hope you feel better! Hugs from the other side of the world

Hope you’re ok my friend ๐Ÿ’“

Did you get kicked by a rocking horse? Well speedy recovery

You didn’t fall off did you?๐Ÿ˜€ I hope you’re doing ok

Take care & GET BETTER SOON!!

Get Well soon Olivia

Take care

2020 that is !

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Baby Sting: Restoration complete!
J & G Lines horse, shipped to my workshop from Ireland. 
Such a joy to find he still had his original glass eyes in perfect condition. Also a joy to make my first ever rosettes ( was super fiddly but well worth it for the end result!)!
#rockinghorse #antique #heirloom

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How beautiful Olivia! Wonderful job for some lucky family.

What a lovely finish. Love the quality of your work Olivia. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Wow so Beautiful it reminds me of the one i had as a kid ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Absolutely gorgeous Olivia โค๏ธ

Beautiful! Love the rosettes too!

Beautiful job Olivia ๐Ÿ˜

Absolutely beautiful I would love that one

Soo pretty, think mine might need to come for a makeover โค๏ธโค๏ธ

What a brilliant job you have done xx

Gorgeous xx

Great job ๐Ÿ‘

Beautiful work.

So handsome!

Looks beautiful ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜

Oh so beautiful

awww pretty โ˜บ


Just beautiful โค

Baby Sting is one special horse!


Do you Dodd repairs to old rocking horses? Can you send contact detaiils


So pretty

Wow!!! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿด

Are you in Australia and where please

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Finally Iโ€™ve found a good use for the internet! If like me you missed CroftersCraft - Horn & Fine Pewter - - on Better Homes and Gardens you can see it at , under TV tab, scroll down and there it is!
 #crofterscraft #hornandpewter
Clockwise from top left: after removing all of Baby Stingโ€™s additional paint layers i have made it down to the original paint layer. You can see itโ€™s full of holes and missing paint. Iโ€™ve patched the holes and painstakingly mixed many shades of artist oils to match the original paint and filled in the blanks with very tiny brushes. 
Restoring the original paint may take a lot longer then a new paint finish but it maintains the patina and character of your horse and a lot of the $$ value too. 
#rockinghorse #restoration #horse #painting #originalpaint #antique #heirloom

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That is amazing!

Great job!

Striking gold rocking horse style!! We crossed our fingers as I started to remove some recent paint work on Baby Sting and were lucky enough to discover he still had much of his original paint left underneath!
It took me 3 full days of exhaustingly careful scraping to remove 3 layers of recent paint and 1 layer of varnish to get back to his original layer! I then cooked up some hide glue and started some structural repairs. 
#babysting #rockinghorse #antique #restoration #sympatheticrestoration #oliviaoconnorrockinghorses #oliviaoconnor #bestjob #heirloomdollImage attachmentImage attachment

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Oh wow. He is going to be beautiful. I'll follow his journey with great interest.

Looking forward to seeing the end result, I am sure it will be worth all your hard work!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘

Great work Olivia ♥๏ธ

Going to be another stunner ๐Ÿ’ž๐Ÿด

How old do you think he is Olivia?

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Last month I farewelled Baby Sting, one of the most enjoyable restorations of my career. 
He is a J&G Lines (not the more common G&J Lines)  made in England. He was shipped straight to my workshop from Ireland (loosing his head along the way). 
Here he is before I started work. 
#babysting #rockinghorse #antique #horse #restoration

Comment on Facebook

Beautiful, love the details, can’t wait to see the resolution you did, l am sure he is now looking amazing xx

the Irish horse can not wait to see him finished ,my Mum would had said the luck of the Irish lol

Love to see your restoration of lovely Baby Sting

Rocked or loved a little too harshly?

Flipped his lid!

Ooh after photos??


Mary Atkins is this one similar to Aunty Marie Frouds

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Well done Olivia. Getting the message out there of your wonderful talent.

Amazing to see you killing it! I remember when I first hear you talk about it oh so many years ago!


Well done, bet you’ll be even more busy now more work coming in.

Aargh missed it. Is there a link we can hear it on? Xx

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Carving grapes...damn lucky that I love undercuts!
#grapes #wip #woodcarving #joblove #imadethis #custompiece

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So good !

That looks like difficult carving Olivia.


That looks a big job

If youโ€™ve got any rocking horse questions bring them down to @carbatec Springvale store this Saturday (10am - 2pm) where Iโ€™ll be carving legs and some walnut grape vines - see you there!
#carving #carbatec #rockinghorse

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Doug Parke

Jackieandfred Hess ๐Ÿ‘

Planning out my carving: pink = low points, blue = high points. Easy to remember, the sky is high and blue (and also sometimes pink just to confuse this shaky logic). 
#carving #woodcarving #walnut
Quick sticks! This Thursday, Friday and Saturday Iโ€™ll be doing carving demonstrations at the Melbourne Carbatec store!Iโ€™ll also be talking rocking horses, carving legs and these rather special Walnut vine leaves (just ask doggo apprentice Ned). Hope to see you there! 
๐Ÿ˜Š๐ŸŽ ๐Ÿ‡ ๐Ÿด๐Ÿพ
#woodcarving #woodcarver #carbatecImage attachmentImage attachment

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Well done

Store address?

Hello Ziggy!
Two weeks ago Ziggy left my workshop, headed home where heโ€™ll be a favourite reminder of Ziggy (an actual real horse). Who is ridden by 3 generations of the same family! Letโ€™s hope wooden Ziggy does such a trusty job as well!
#custommade #handmade #rockinghorse #ziggy

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Oh what a beautiful remembrance momento for that family to have -Ziggy to be appreciated for many years yet! ๐Ÿ’–

That is beautiful xx

Absolutely gorgeous xx

well done Olivia , another beautiful restoration .

That pony is so beautiful ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›

Wonderful restoration work! Awesome!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•

Love this one ♥๏ธ

Absolutely gorgeous โค๏ธ

Stunning Ziggy โค

Hi what is the weight limit for the rocking horses please .

How beautiful ๐Ÿ’ž

A bit like our Jasper ๐Ÿ™‚




wish I was a kid again

Just beautiful


Love ๐Ÿ’–


This rocking horse is a tribute to my Amy who I owned over 25yrs & my kids rode her..the rocking horse was used by my siblings in 60's,70's & then by their children. Now I've restored it & my siblings grand children use it..I'll keep it always.. Love your works..looks incredible!!

Dianne Goschnick

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3 complete beginners to woodwork + 4 days = 3 brand spanking new rocking horses! Howโ€™s that for some fun maths?!
Big congratulations and thanks to this awesome bunch for making my job to spread rocking horse love so much fun!

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Well done to everyone ๐Ÿ˜

I’m impressed! Great work guys!

Awesome results for the three students. Congratulations

Well done.

They look fantastic

They all look so good!

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  • Lost Trades Fair Australia
    9-10 MARCH 2019
    Lost Trades Fair VIC
  • Seymour Alternative Farming Expo
    15-17 Feb 2019
    Seymour Alternative Farming Expo
  • Lost Trades Fair Australia
    4-5 MAY 2019
    Lost Trades Fair QLD
  • Lost Trades Fair Australia
    5-6 OCT 2019
    Lost Trades Fair NSW
  • 19-21 JULY 2019
    Australian Sheep and Wool Show


Please do not hesitate to phone or email me to discuss your dream piece, place an order or enquire about a piece on this site. I am always happy to work with your particular specifications.


PHONE: 0449 933 043


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