My career started in 1982 in Yallingup, Western Australia, where I spent 6 years working for a local furniture maker establishing the skills that I have developed over the following 28 years as a designer maker. In 1988 I built my own workshop and gallery on my property on Blythe Rd in Yallingup, where still reside and work today.
After 25 or so years of surviving off my reputation as one of the finest furniture makers in Australia, creating iconic pieces such as the Cone Table and Parralell Universe table, it became apparent that I needed a more suitable environment in which to exhibit my work. With the dynamics of the Margaret River Region changing, it was clear that Caves Road was the ideal place to situate a new gallery. Opening in February 2009, my new gallery brings together my work along with that of other recognised local artisans. The expansive gallery space provides a more accessible setting in which the public can view my work accompanied by the likes of glass blowers Alan Fox and Kent Le Grand, artists Naomi Grant and Alise Sinclair and forger Antonio Battistessa.
Creating this collaborative space allows beautiful objects to come together to give people a picture of how they could see their own domestic surrounds.
The opening of the new gallery coincided with us gaining Cattlean Italia in Western Australia. The family owned company produces superior quality furniture manufactured in Italy. Their chairs especially complement my designs.
My beautiful partner Pamela has been instrumental in allowing me to pursue my passion for design and furniture making and as curator is an integral part of the new gallery.
As a young country, Australia has a relatively short design history from which to draw inspiration. From the beginning I have set out on a path of creating furniture which reflects part of my being as an Australian and the environment in which I work. Drawing on what this country has to offer in terms of its landscape, climate and resources; most importantly our rare and unique locals hardwoods such as Jarrah and Marri.
I realised from the very beginning that I wanted to create a unique Australian design and have had a certain unwillingness to take inspiration from outside influences, however always understanding the importance in being aware of them. I have aimed to create a sense of cultural history in my furniture that will still be around in hundred of years to come thanks to clever design and construction techniques.
In all of my table tops I use solid veneers (5-6mm), laminated onto the most sophisticated ply in the world and set inside a solid timber frame with dovetail mitres. This ensures that they will never warp or split. These techniques are nothing new but in fact used by the most distinguished furniture makers throughout history such as Chippendale. All of my work is guaranteed with a signature carved leaf.
We have all heard the words passion, vision and beauty used to describe work, but it is whether or not all of these attributes come to fruition in a final piece. At the end of the day it is up to the public to decide.
Judging from the outstanding response we have had to the gallery so far it seems my work speaks for itself.
If only we could see the world through art, what an incredible world it would be.