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11 Great Craftspeople Who Can Make You A Table

Creative People

We love to feature bespoke furniture around here, but we also fully understand that knowing where to start when commissioning your own piece can be a little daunting.

With this in mind, we have compiled a list of some of the very best furniture designer/makers in Australia. Read on below for a round-up of 11 great craftspeople who can make you a beautifully crafted table (or, in most cases, any piece of custom furniture you can dream up!).

As with any great ‘best of’ list, some absolute gems have been missed. We’d like to add a special shout-out to Laura McCusker and Tim Noone, who are also well and truly worthy of celebration.

11th December, 2018

Table design by Made by Morgen. Photo –Lillie Thompson. Styling and art direction – Bek Sheppard.

Table and chair by Made by Morgen. Photo – Lillie Thompson. Styling and art direction – Bek Sheppard.

Marble coffee table by Made by Morgen. Photo – Sarah Mackie.

Nicholas McDonald of Made by Morgen. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 11th December 2018

Made By Morgen

Nicholas McDonald of Made By Morgen made a real splash when we featured him on TDF earlier this year . After training as a carpenter and working as a structural foreman, Nicholas retrained as a furniture maker in Berlin and London.

Now working from Melbourne, Nicholas is now one of Melbourne’s most in-demand bespoke furniture makers. His designs are each handmade to order, and combine traditional joinery techniques with modern technology. His minimal designs are inspired by mid-century Scandinavian aesthetics, with a solid Australian edge.

Made by Morgen is a bespoke maker based in Brunswick, Melbourne. Make contact via his website.

Henry Wilson, with studio helper. Photo – Brett Stevens.

A-Joint table design by Henry Wilson.

Henry Wilson’s A-Joint is a simple joinery system to create multiple design outcomes.

Henry Wilson Studio

Henry Wilson isn’t *exactly* a bespoke table maker, however the celebrated Sydney designer’s beautiful A-Joint table system deserves a mention here!  Henry’s stunningly simple design takes its name from the custom bronze or aluminium joint, used to support and connect the table top and secure the legs. This clever mechanism offers a modular approach to bespoke furniture, giving rise to numerous configurations. Henry describes his approach as ‘doing more with less’, where reduced elements result in an enhanced experience.

Henry Wilson’s A-Joint tables are made in Sydney, available to order online, and ship nationally.

Cuthy dining table in American Walnut by Hugh McCarthy. Photo – Shara Henderson.

Hugh McCarthy with his strong and clean chairs. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Hugh McCarthy

Melbourne-based Hugh McCarthy‘s work is inspired by both Australian and Japanese designs, and the craftsman has worked in both countries over the past decade.

Hugh’s belief is that ‘furniture should be useful, sturdy and serve you for a long time.’ The designer works closely with his clients to ensure his pieces will suit their lifestyle, and be comfortable to use. He explains ‘with tables I’m always trying to develop something durable, that has decorative and practical value, and that highlights the character of the wood.’

Hugh McCarthy makes to order, and is based in Brunswick, Melbourne. Get in touch via his website.

Making recycled timber chic. Table design by Ingrain design. Photo – Dan Hocking.

Detail of Ingrain Design’s recycled timber table. Photo – Dan Hocking.

Ingrain Designs

Ingrain is a Melbourne-based family business, making sustainable custom furniture.  Director Ben Purchase works to source reclaimed and recycled timber, including old decking from Philip Islands Parade and timber from the bottom of Lake Pieman in Tasmania! While the phrase ‘recycled timber’ can conjure ideas of the rough and rustic, Ingrain show that sustainable timber sources can be transformed to ‘unique and contemporary pieces’ when placed in the right designer hands.

Ingrain have a retail showroom at 15 Johnston StreetCollingwood, Vic.

Maple Table by Cenzo. Photo – Peter Ryle.

Detail of Cenzo’s Maple Table. Photo – Peter Ryle.

The Cenzo studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Vincent Conboy of Cenzo. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Detail of Cenzo side table. Photo – courtesy of Cenzo Designs.

Cenzo Design

Vincent Conboy of Cenzo Design is a Melbourne based furniture designer and maker with a minimalist and timeless sensibility. Vincent is largely self-taught, and explains how his family’s ‘hands on’ approach informed his craftsmanship. While Vincent’s path into the profession has been non-traditional, his work is refined, resolved, and in high demand.

Revisit our previous story and studio visit with Vincent of Cenzo Design here!

Cenzo Design is based in Reservoir, Victoria. Get in touch with Vince via his website.

Woven Cabinet by Chloe Walbran. Photo – courtesy of Manapan.

The Fossil coffee table is designed by Liz Doube using the local Stringy Bark timber. Photo – courtesy of Manapan.

(Left to right) Terrence Baker, Josiah Baker and Shawn Yunupingu, makers at Manapan Furniture on Milingimbi Island in East Arnhem Land. Photo – Christopher Tovo.

Linear sideboard by Ashleigh Parker. Photo – courtesy of Manapan.

Manapan Furniture

Manapan is an indigenous owned-and-run furniture making collective, located in Milingimbi, a remote island 500-kilometres east of Darwin. Director Mark White explains that the name Manapan means ‘together’ in local Yolngu language, which reflects the community focused business model.

Manapan can make anything to order (cabinetry, tables, you name it!) – and their work isn’t quite like any other contemporary furniture maker we’ve seen. These are functional furniture pieces, that border on art-pieces in their own right.

Revisit our original story on Manapan here.

Whilst their workshop is a long way from the big smoke, lucky for us, Manapan have a Melbourne showroom! Visit them at 18 Wilson Street, South Yarra, Victoria, and say we sent you!

The award winning Fred Table in Peter Stutchbury’s Cabbage Tree House. Photo – Sam Page.

An unconventional and stunning table by Adam Markowitz. Photo – Ben Clement.

The Fred Table. Photo – Ben Clement.

Markowitzdesign

Adam Markowitz is a seriously well qualified designer, maker and architect, who trained in design and woodcraft in Copenhagen, Hobart and the USA!

Now settled in the Meat Market Arts House in North Melbourne, Adam combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary humanist design. The maker and designer creates award-winning production pieces, as well as one-off sculptural pieces.

Revisit our recent studio visit with Adam here.

Adam is a bespoke maker based in North Melbourne, get in touch via his website.

Josh table in Tasmanian oak by Simon Ancher. Photo – Adam Gibson.

Sunburst dining table in Tasmanian Bloodwood by Simon Ancher. Photo – Adam Gibson.

Rose dining table in Celery top pine and steel by Simon Ancher. Photo – Adam Gibson.

Simon Ancher studio

Simon Ancher is a New South Wales-born, and Tasmanian-trained furniture designer. After ten years as the Program Director of Furniture Design at the University of Tasmania, Simon and wife Lisa now run Simon Ancher Studio in Launceston, designing objects with honest materiality and longevity.

Their latest ‘Clipped Wing’ range explores light and shadow, with Simon explaining ‘the details are subtle, and firmly rooted in a desire to create intriguing objects that engage with those who use them.’ Alongside their own original designs, Simon and Lisa take on bespoke projects and commissions, servicing both residential and commercial projects across Tasmania.

Simon Ancher’s Launceston studio and showroom features his handcrafted furniture alongside other Australian brands including Armadillo & Co, Cocoflip and InBed.

Simon Ancher Studio
11 Herbert Street,
Invermay, Tasmania.

Open 10.00am – 2.00pm Thursdays and Fridays, other times by appointment.  

Sleek joins by Thomas Lentini. Photo – Caitlin Mills.

Dorset House custom dining table and sideboard by Thomas Lentini. Photo – courtesy of Studio Thomas Lentini.

Thomas Lentini in his studio. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Thomas Lentini

After training at RMIT, and working for four years at Lowe Furniture, finessing his technical skills, Thomas launched Studio Thomas Lentini in 2017 – and has fast become one of Melbourne’s most sought-after furniture designers. He describes his process as based on ‘creating a friendship with each client to understand their style and requirements’, where each design is a considered response and solution to a specific brief.

Thomas’ beautifully resolved work is evident in our very own art director Annie’s kitchen – her treasured Thomas Lentini dining table has got to be one of the best we have featured on TDF!

Thomas is a bespoke maker based in Melbourne. Get in touch via his website.

Softer Studio side table. Photo – Sam Wong.

An assemble of Softer Studio pieces, in Dustin’s workshop. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The most tactile of drawer openings from Softer Studio, as seen in the home of Annie Portelli (again!). Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files.

Dustin Fritsche of Softer Studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Softer Studio

Softer Studio is a furniture manufacturing and design studio based in Melbourne, overseen by the talented Dustin Fritsche. Dustin describes his designs as following a ‘simple yet playful aesthetic, with a focus on quality and craftsmanship.’

Dustin creates bespoke furniture to a brief, working closely with his clients in the design development process. Dustin started to Softer to showcase his own designs, with an eye to launching new up-and-coming designers under his label in the future. He still creates heaps of custom-made furniture too!

Revisit our studio visit with Dustin here.

See Dustin’s own designs at Softerstudio.com, or snoop his custom orders and stay up-to-date with new releases by following @softer

Where engineering meets design , the furniture of Timbermill. Photo – courtesy of Timbermill.

Timbermill

Timbermill was founded in 2013 by Tom Coles and Sally Taylor, applying their combined skills in civil engineering and interior design to their new furniture design enterprise. Today, they’re at the helm of an impressive studio producing high quality custom made and handcrafted furniture from recycled and new hardwood timbers. Their bespoke furniture is sleek and contemporary, with an inventive edge!

Timbermill are based in Sydney. Their impressive website offers the opportunity to select timber species, finishes and style types, a build-your-own-adventure table!

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