Woodsters Furniture and Carpentry is a Brisbane based company who are all about achieving handcrafted quality; something which can be hard to come by in the pervasive quick 'n' easy market. With a focus on café, retail and residential spaces, they produce simple, functional and beautiful designs. In their own words, no two jobs are the same, and that’s exactly how Woodsters likes it! In order to learn more, Woodsters' Director Oliver Burscough gave me some insight into the heart and soul of their practice.
Hi Oliver! Tell us a little about your team. Who makes up Woodsters Furniture and Carpentry?
The first 12 months was just myself doing the consulting, meetings, design, planning, building and manufacturing from under my previous house in Woolloongabba. Now I have a 150sqrm workshop/design studio in Albion and have recruited one of my good friends that is a shopfitter and an apprentice. They stick to the construction and installs, allowing me to focus on my designs, interaction with clients and quality control.
Where did the inspiration for Woodsters originate?
The inspiration for Woodsters came from being uninspired. There tends to be a lot of people in the industry that do this just for a job and pay-cheque. I could never imagine doing something every day that I didn't love and enjoy, so I decided to create an environment and surround myself with like-minded creative types who are willing to branch out and push the boundaries.
Your background is in the architecturally designed housing industry, how much has this influenced your practice today?
Coming from the architecturally designed housing industry has had a huge influence on my day-to-day thought process and how I approach my design and construction. I would say it's a blessing and a curse having the mindset that there is always a better way or a more efficient way of achieving the construction. This allows us, though, to push the boundaries, come up with new designs and produce better fit-outs and furniture.
How closely do you work with clients when designing and creating a new space? Is it a collaborative process?
It definitely depends on the clients, whether they want to take part or if they would rather let us have full creative control from start to finish. I always try to extract as much information, personal requirement and ideas from my clients to assure that we are on the same page and we can create exactly what it is that they want.
What are some of the main challenges you face when taking on a project?
People that watch "The Block" or any other home renovation TV shows have unrealistic/fake timelines. Sometimes the long days and nights for weeks on end can become a challenge, but once the jobs complete and the clients are happy it’s all worth it.
Browsing through your work, I see a lot of clean lines and natural materials. Is there any particular design style that you try to draw on in your work?
I would say my personal style would be called something along the lines of modern Australian. I always try and use a lot of restraint within my designs especially in the furniture, keeping it simple and practical (no silly frills). I always use Australian products, for instance all of my timbers are Australian. I also keep all fabrication within Brisbane as my dad is boilermaker. I design and he fabricates the steel components.
Finally, if you could describe your practice in three words, what would they be?
Observe, Design, Construct.
If you'd like to lay your peepers on some of Woodsters timeless work yourself, head to their website here.