Workshop Envy

Today we revisit some of the most wow-factor workshops from the TDF archives!

These craftsman-caves are the ultimate creative spaces – beautifully bright, spacious enough to accommodate even the most ambitious project, and full of tools and materials to realise every creative idea.

Elle Murrell

Inside the workshop of furniture craftsman Bernard Chandley. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Bern’s well-worn and loved hand tools. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Working in his Alphington workshop. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Bern Chandley’s Workshop

Bernard Chandley meticulously crafts traditional Windsor chairs and other exquisite furniture pieces at his workshop in Alphington, Melbourne.

Bern’s workshop is kitted out in plywood and various other timbers, giving the space a warm, layered feel. The maker’s neat and orderly collection of well-loved tools is displayed at arm’s reach – the stuff OCD dreams are made of!

Inside the workshop of Melbourne-based furniture and art brand, Den-Holm. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Steve Clark is a collector of intriguing objects and interesting tools. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

The Reservoir workshop is as much a sculpture museum as it is work space! Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Den-Holm Studio

Steve Clark is the creator and maker behind Melbourne-based furniture and art brand, Den-Holm.

The Scotsman’s Reservoir workshop is as much a sculpture museum (where you’re dying to touch every tactile curiosity!), as it is a work space. ‘I surround myself with found objects of interesting shapes, forms, colours and textures,’ tells Steve. ‘I’m quite a manic worker, with varying materials and interesting tools.’

We’re in awe of the crisp-white-and-rustic-brick contrasting walls, as well as EVERYTHING on display!

Inside the studio of Like Butter. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Like Butter is located in Young Husband Woolstore warehouses in Kensington. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Like Butter Design and Fabrication

The busy studio of Like Butter is located in the Young Husband Woolstore warehouses in Kensington.

The husband-and-wife duo behind the brand, Jem Selig Freeman and Laura Woodward, took a leap of faith and invested in their prized power-tool: a CNC plasma cutter (shipped all the way from Nevada, USA!!), when they launched their business 10 years ago.

Plywood is Like Butter’s material of choice, and there’s no shortage of it in their bustling workshop. The pace of their manufacturing process also demands lots of handy organisational containers for screws, fixtures and fittings. This is a surprisingly clutter-free zone!

This workshop of Brunswick-based furniture designer Hugh McCarthy. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.


H.R.McCarthy Joinery and Furniture

Furniture designer Hugh McCarthy’s studio in Brunswick Melbourne has power-tools-a-plenty.

The landscape design graduate came to his craft as a casual labourer at an Italian-run furniture company in Prahran. ‘My bosses Orio and Ottavio Randi put me to use right away – making sure the tools were sharp, the finish was top-notch, and that I was accurately cutting the timber… not my hands!’ tells Hugh.‘I’m very fortunate to have had insanely meticulous teachers and bosses before starting my own business,’ he adds.

Hugh’s respect for a meticulous finish is evident in his tidy workshop, which he shares with buddies Scott McCormack and Ky Starcevich.

Inside the studio of local furniture and object designers  Dowel Jones. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Dowel Jones’ HQ is in North Fitzroy. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Predominantly assembling and packing on site, having everything in its place is imperative. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Dowel Jones’ HQ

The studio of local furniture and object designers, Dowel Jones, is located in North Fitzroy. Founders Dale Hardiman and Adam Lynch share a utilitarian approach, and a commitment to manufacturing locally.

‘We used to manufacture a large majority of our products in-house, but decided to begin outsourcing so we could focus our efforts elsewhere’ Dale explains. Now, their stdio is used primarily for designing, assembling and packing of the products.

We’re loving the muted palette here, and all those everything-in-its-place tubs! The guys also tell us they’d  like to add more indoor plants and a coat of pink paint to the workshop floor!

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