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People

Handsome & Co seeks out and employs tutors that are professional designer/makers, who are currently engaged in their own creative practices. These tutors will bring a wealth of extensive technical knowledge in the methods and application of traditional and modern woodwork techniques. Most importantly, our tutors are role models, who can inspire students through their active industry practice.

Our tutors will provide demonstrations and knowledge in timber and traditional technique, but most importantly our tutors act as the vehicle to influence their student’s exploration of materials, ideas and processes.

Meet our tutors below, each has their own history in furniture design and manufacture, but all have a common passion for timber as a material and the production of high quality products.

Liam Thomas – Tutor

Liam completed his studies in furniture making whilst living in the United Kingdom and went on to work for a number of different workshops with experience in CNC manufacturing to high end residential projects. Upon his return to Australia in 2008 he began studying the RMIT Diploma of Furniture Design. Since finishing the course he as worked for a local furniture maker specialising in solid timber furniture for architectural clients. More recently he has set up his own workshop specialising in furniture making and restoration.

Liam’s own work is influenced by simplicity in design driven by a construction based view. His restoration business Medium Rare specialises in Mid-century design, restoring and repairing both local and Scandinavian pieces and the contact with such furniture has inevitably influenced his own view of design and making.

Website: We Eat The Sun


Elliot Gorham – Tutor

Elliot studied at the Australian National University Art School, specializing in furniture making, he spent three years plus an honours year perfecting the craft of design and construction. Studying under the head of workshop Rodney Hayward in the Furniture / Wood Department, Elliot completed his BVA with first class honours in 2007.

Heavily influenced by the artistic environment and involvement in complimentary studies in Sculpture, Life Drawing, Tool Making, Art Theory, Ceramics, Gold & Silver Smithing, Photography and Textiles, his work has developed quirkiness and carried a conceptual context.

Elliot currently operates his designer / maker business, ‘Noddy Boffin’, for which he produces excellent quality furniture and lighting products with contemporary and conceptual aesthetics. Elliot is an experienced tutor in woodworking and has previously instructed at the Melbourne School of Fine Woodworking.

Website: Noddy Boffin


Douglas Maloney – Tutor

Douglas’ career in the furniture making and the timber industry has spanned 10 years. In this time, he has worked in a variety of roles for a number of accomplished furniture-making workshops, such as; Charlie Sandford joinery, Tide design and Jardan, each workplace afforded him the opportunity to grow his knowledge and develop to refine his skill set.

Douglas’ interests and areas of knowledge in woodworking include; all aspects of traditional joinery techniques, 18th century reproduction work, mid century and contemporary furniture making, vast timber knowledge, traditional French polishing, traditional and contemporary Windsor chair making, woodturning, steam bent shaker boxes and lastly, a vast knowledge of safe machinery use and techniques.

Douglas has a genuine fondness for classic American design, including ‘Shaker’ furniture and late colonial period work, from which he draws inspiration for the pieces that he makes in his own personal furniture making practice.

Douglas is also an experienced tutor in woodworking and has previously instructed at the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking, where his enthusiasm for teaching stems from.

Blogpost: Douglas Maloney


Julian McCartney – Tutor

Julian is a qualified furniture/cabinetmaker, having completed a formal trade apprenticeship under the tutelage of Robert Brown, specialising in antique furniture reproduction and restoration. This involved intensive training in the use of traditional cabinetmaking hand tools and techniques, finishing methods including french polishing, and materials/design appreciation.

Moving away from the antique sector in late 2012, Julian acquired a shared workshop space in Collingwood to develop his own contemporary custom furniture business, whilst also acquiring new skills in the workshop of local design stalwarts: Tait.

Inspired by the family history of his great-great-grandfather (Charles Glencross: a coach builder), Julian adopted his middle name of Glencross as the moniker for his business name. Glencross Furniture now operates independently from his Thomastown workshop, specialising in high quality custom made furniture and design objects made predominantly of timber. The design styles are varied, inspired by ever-changing residential, commercial and natural environments. Key to his work is a keen eye for proportion, an understanding of materials, and a tactile finish.

Website: Glencross Woodworks


Patrick Holcombe – Tutor

Patrick Holcombe is the founder of local furniture company Douglas Fir Design.

He was taught joinery and construction techniques from a young age by his father, who built their family house and all their furniture around them as the family grew.

In the years before starting his own furniture company, Patrick completed a Bachelor of Ecology and Botany at the University of Melbourne and worked for Parks and Wildlife in Tasmania chasing Platypus and Tasmanian Devils through the bush.

He stepped away from scientific fieldwork to play guitar in a touring band for a number of years, during which time he rekindled his passion for woodworking and started Douglas Fir Design. When the band wound down, he was able to throw all his energy into furniture design and now works full time from his Campbellfield workshop. He specialises in large custom furniture made from Australian recycled timbers for commercial and residential clients all over Australia.

Website: Douglas Fir Design


Brett Chesterfield – Tutor

After completing his furniture making apprenticeship in Western Australia in 2008, Brett discovered the joy of travelling and ventured on a year on – year off travel routine for the next 6 years. Putting furniture making aside, he picked up his camera and delved into photography, which became his main creative outlet during these years. While travelling, he began studying Graphic Design online and gained a deep appreciation of design theory and principals, realising he can use this skills along side his knowledge of traditional joinery. With this newfound desire, he decided to give up his FIFO/travel lifestyle and moved to Melbourne to continue learning and sharpen up his skills under Elliot during Handsome and Co.’s tutor sessions in 2014.

Brett is now a resident at Handsome and Co in 2015, where he will use this opportunity to not only create personal / commissioned / exhibition pieces – largely influenced by mid century designers Jens Risom and Paul McCobb – but to also improve his skills and grow within a supportive and inspiring environment.

 


Brendan Stemp – Woodturning Tutor

For 20 years Brendan Stemp combined part time woodturning with a full time teaching career in art and craft. His original woodturning teachers were Richard Raffan and Vic Wood who provided him with not only a solid grounding but also the desire to make it a full time pursuit at some stage.

In 2005, after a move to rural Victoria, Brendan finally took the first tentative steps away from the classroom and started working full time with woodturning. He now concentrates predominantly on making unique pepper/salt grinders and bowls for the tourist market and the occasional gallery piece but also teaching and demonstrating.

He now has over 30 years of woodturning experience that he enjoys sharing with others.

Website: Brendan Stemp


Alichia van Rhijn – Carving Tutor

Alichia van Rhijn is an artist based in Central Victoria. She is a self-proclaimed maker of things and vintage lover who spends her time handcrafting goods ranging from woodwork, ceramics and metal casting to lovingly restoring and re-purposing vintage finds.

Although primarily self-taught, she has a background in Architecture and Design, as well as having a strong passion for aesthetically pleasing objects and the processes in making them. Her natural progression into craft was a culmination of the pure enjoyment of making and the satisfaction in creating beautiful objects.

Alichia is deeply passionate about nature and draws a lot of her inspiration from the natural environment around her. Australian native flora has been a huge inspiration in her work, from which the subtlety of overall aesthetic and the contrasting complexity of biological design, inspire a progression in her own handmade wares.

Website: Hearth Collective


Louise Gorham – Operations Manager

Louise is a creative with a background in comedy, writing and performing who graduated from BAPA in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts. She has multiple film and TV credits including Neighbours, Rove and was featured in a Mitre 10 commercial with Scott Cam (quite relevant). Louise is co-creator and the more freckled half of the female sketch comedy duo, Girls Uninterrupted. Highlights include receiving a 4.5 star review from the Herald Sun for their MICF show ‘Good Value’ and creating an original Christmas sketch for the ABC. Keep a look out for her appearance in the series Get Krack!n on the ABC later in the year.

Louise is the co-owner and Creative Director of Apparentt™, Melbourne based furniture design studio developing attractive and innovative solutions for residential and commercial interiors. Apparentt’s driving philosophy is to create exclusive products that are beautiful, simple and durable.

Since launching in 2016, Apparentt™ has been featured on the Design Files, in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Artichoke, Home Beautiful, House & Garden, Inside Out and Houses magazine. Apparentt™ products have been showcased at Denfair and Indesign.

Website: Apparentt


Josh Carmody – Resident

Josh completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Architecture at the University of Canberra in 2008 and a Master of Architecture at the University of Melbourne in 2011.

In parallel with his studies, Josh designed and made furniture on a commission basis and by the start of 2010, was also exhibiting works in exhibitions and competitions around Australia.

Throughout his post-graduate studies, Josh worked at design and architecture studio, Russell & George and continues to work in the field of architecture at Woods Bagot.

Josh’s furniture designing and making is inspired by his work in architecture and vice versa. The satisfaction of creating highly resolved work with attention to detail, material choice, and craftsmanship being driving forces behind each piece.

Website: Josh Carmody


Dan Thomas – Resident

Dan Thomas has been studying furniture making and design with Handsome & Co since 2013. After an 18 year career as an Architectural Draftsperson, Dan is now transitioning into furniture making on a more full time basis. With his background in design and detail documentation through the residential and commercial areas of architecture he has worked along side many cabinet makers, joiners and furniture makers. The last 5 years he specialized in Architectural Interiors design and detailing for high end residential projects for a well respected firm in Melbourne. This has given his design work a minimal, straight line feel which he will develop further in his bespoke furniture.

Outside of furniture, Dan has a love for classic cars with one already in the garage and another soon to be purchased. He also has a passion for travelling both in Australia and overseas which helps to inspire some of his design ideas.


Greg Allan – Resident

Greg’s background in commercial furniture manufacturing, design and logistics management has enabled him to develop a comprehensive understanding of streamlined production, design and furniture assembly. From working within this industry, Greg discovered his passion for traditional handcraft methods, including the use of natural materials.

Greg now produces high quality wooden furniture, speaker cabinets, and homewares with a dedicated focus on using purely FSC certified Australian timbers coupled with non-toxic food safe glues and finishes. Operating under his successful business Eco Dad Creations, Greg concentrates on clean lines, intuitive functionality, contemporary design, and having minimal impact on the natural environment.

Greg was a student at Handsome & Co in 2015, further developing his hand tool skills and more importantly the skill of being patient.

When he is not creating and designing, Greg dedicates his time to playing in a band and recording music – another one of his passions.

Website: Eco Dad Creations


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