The design side of furniture industry came second to the manufacturing process for Jack and Mark Fearon, who are a plumber and boilermaker respectively. The brothers are the brains and the brawn behind the Bread with Butter collection – a range of lightweight aluminium furniture pieces available through vintage seller Curated Spaces.
Despite perfectly contemporary curves and aesthetically appropriate colour combos, neither Jack nor Mark’s design background involves formal training; instead, a natural eye for art, colour and form supplements their extensive trade careers.
After undertaking a plumbing apprenticeship while he finished high school, Jack worked as a plumber for ten years while pursuing various creative side-projects – like opening an art gallery on the Gold Coast, and launching a clothing brand with a friend which then evolved into a design agency. Plumbing work took a hiatus as he worked for the agency over in Japan, bringing Mark along with him to help out with the manufacturing.
‘My brother and I would fabricate trade shows that would fit inside our surfboard bags so we could easily move them around Japan on the trains,’ says Jack. Transporting collapsible shelving from one side of a foreign country to another proved excellent practice for eventually going into business together, which they did, when they returned to Australia two years ago.
After some low-key furniture prototypes for friends and family, and a contract gig making water trucks in Melbourne (!), Jack and Mark ended up on the Gold Coast in early 2019. It was from this warehouse workshop in Burleigh Heads that they made the very first piece of furniture in this range, from extrusions leftover from a recently constructed truck!
Moulded around cylindrical, pillar-style legs, each seamlessly welded structure gives the appearance of a single form. Aluminium was selected for its lightness and durability. Not only is this advantageous for a purchaser (hello, chronic room re-arrangers!), but the flexible material makes it easy for Jack and Mark to fabricate their pieces and experiment with new forms. ‘We always try to make a piece look like it was formed and not welded, which gives it a soft, ceramic-type of feel,’ explains Jack.
The collection currently comprises a bench seat, coffee table, dining table, bed frame, side table, stool and console, as well as accessories like a lamp and vase. That’s a long way from their humble launch last year, where they debuted with just the ‘Chub’ stool!
The Bread with Butter collection will make its first IRL appearance in April when it will be installed at Yeah, Nice Gallery in Byron Bay for an exhibition. This is the colour of my dreams will feature new pieces from the Fearon brothers, alongside artist Sarah Darling’s paintings. We can’t wait to see it!
The Bread with Butter collection is available here through Curated Spaces. All commission inquiries are made through CS.