Keeping It Auld School

When we asked Jack Auld of Auld Design for something ‘surprising’ about himself, he answered ‘not much to be surpsised about, I don’t think! I’m a family guy, hard working. Love to surf, and love my job.’ No fuss, no nonsense!

This approach to life is also evident in the custom furniture and joinery Jack creates in Moolap, Victoria.  We chat with Jack about designing and making with time and care, that the power of remaining relatively small-scale.

Miriam McGarry

Welcome to the Auld Design workshop and studio. Photo – Nikole Ramsey.

Jack Auld of Auld Design. Photo – Nikole Ramsey.

Custom made tables in Australian hardwood. Photo – Nikole Ramsey.

Timeless joinery techniques meets contemporary design. Photo – Nikole Ramsey.

Designed to last a lifetime. Photo – Nikole Ramsey.

Jack Auld in the workshop. Photo – Nikole Ramsey.

Keeping the production in-house. Photo – Nikole Ramsey.

Miriam McGarry
11th of July 2019

Jack Auld spent much of his childhood in the workshop watching his Dad and Pa, who we were both woodworkers. While he admits that he ‘probably got in the way’, this experience influenced Jack’s appreciation and understanding of the care and effort that goes into making furniture ‘the right way.’ After high school, Jack undertook a joinery apprenticeship, before honing his skills over ten years with different furniture makers.

When Jack and his wife had their daughter Audrey, it (perhaps surprisingly!) offered a moment for the pair to both ‘dial back’ their busy careers. Between changing nappies, Jack started Auld Design, and used the flexibility of parenting to slowly build the business. Now with two kids in school, Auld Design is a full-time pursuit, and employs several staff.

The Auld Design workshop and showroom is based in Moolap, outside of Geelong. Here, six custom tables made from Australian hardwoods are the main projects Jack creates – with a smaller range of cabinets, beds, and occasional commissions for kids furniture or even caravan fit outs.

For Jack, the beauty of a design is directly related to its functionality and durability. He reflects ‘when I was young, we owned a small hall table that was made by my Grandpa. It was made with passion and skill, and therefore was still functioning well and looked great for years after it was built.’ Jack’s designs marry aesthetics and practical purpose, without compromising on either. His joinery techniques are traditional and applied to contemporary designs. He succinctly describes his work as ‘made to last – kept forever, handed down, or sold.’

Jack is inspired by the natural materials he works with, and the process of working directly with clients to deliver something that will last them a life-time. He explains ‘it is very satisfying and can sometimes be emotional delivering a special piece to a client when they’ve played a part in the concept and design.’ This joy in the process means Jack really values a hand-on, small-scale approach to making and designing. He highlights ‘I never want to get into a large scale production situation… I want each piece to be personal.’

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