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By Fiona Cole
9 Dec 2011

Why I love what we do!

Last Saturday was a good day. Christmas is always a busy time for our business and with juggling work, tired children and a lingering illness I was feeling exhausted and just a little jaded. They say the universe provides and it provided exactly what I needed that day. No, I wasn’t transported to a day spa for a massage or miraculously given abundant energy; it came in the form of a couple and their toddler son. After more than a few visits to the Brunswick showroom over a number of years, we where we instantly connected and chatted naturally, they were ready to take ownership of two large pieces. The excitement emanated as, in turn and unable to hide their broad grin, they ran their hands lovingly and now possessively over the beautiful timber. Then it struck me- I absolutely love what we do and, it’s so rewarding!

One of these pieces was particularly special because Christian and I had watched it literally evolve from a dead log milled on a dry flood plain in Corryong to arrive at our factory as a rough sawn pile of timber fork lifted onto racks in our factory.

corryong june 2008 tree

slabs of dried timber

We moisture tested it regularly as it rested and adequately dried for over 2 years. Christian built this piece in his spare time and with a basic concept, let its design naturally evolve, ultimately creating a beautiful piece of timber furniture to be used and admired forever.

sentimental sideboard

Our Brunswick showroom is only open on Saturday’s, usually attended solely by myself; it’s personally one of my favourite spaces. The building is over 100 years old, originally Melbourne’s first self serve grocery store, very high ceilings, white painted original brick walls and original Tasmanian Oak flooring. Christian re- built the shop front creating a “massive” Recycled Oregon door and either side, magnificent windows which perfectly frame several gum trees on an adjacent reserve. Some days the tree’s green leaves just float, some days they dance furiously.

fionas favourite tea light candle holderI have a weekly routine – in order, unlock door, turn lights on, turn CD player on (Tracey Chapman or Sade), put mat and A-Frame sign out then arrange several smaller pieces outside the shop. I light my oil burner, carefully selecting oils according to my mood and five T lights in my favourite wooden candle holder. If it’s cold I build a fire in my combustion fire. Then I can sit at my desk and sip on my pre-made cup of tea. Appeasing all five senses I enjoy pure peace and tranquillity appreciating the absence of two noisy, boisterous young boys whilst being surrounded by the beauty of nature in the form of many types of wood.

Each Saturday I share this space with approximately 15 pieces of furniture that have been designed and hand made by our team. These pieces are “one off” designs, made primarily to demonstrate the different types of timber exhibit some design concepts and demonstrate the quality of workmanship. (Our business, however, is primarily building customised pieces of furniture or architectural joinery for the private and commercial sector).

a tree for you drawingOddly enough, as though the temporary custodian of these beautiful pieces, I felt sad that they were leaving me but also reassured in knowing that the new owners would truly appreciate, care and share their home with these special pieces of timber furniture.

As I kissed this lovely family good bye and shared Christmas good wishes, I couldn’t help but be moved by the smiles of excitement on their faces and the genuine appreciation they shared for not only the pieces of furniture but the timber and it’s story. Whilst tidying up the children’s play table, set up to entertain the kids, I thought about how well I now felt, and how this evening I would play with the kids as we wrapped the last of the presents. I felt rejuvenated.

Just then I discovered a drawing they had left behind. It was a hand drawn tree with a large trunk and many branches. I kept it of course!