We take a look behind the scenes of Handkrafted’s showcase at this year’s Denfair, Australia’s most celebrated design event over three days at Melbourne’s Exhibition Centre
DENFAIR brings together an inspiring collection of furniture and design brands under one roof and is one of the most anticipated design events of the year. In only it’s second year, it has doubled in size to over 9,000m² and 140+ exhibitors.
With an emphasis on quality craftsmanship and original design, it’s an event that we believe our makers are confidently able to showcase their pieces on an equal footing to some of the largest and most established Australian and international design brands, including Jardan, Zuster, Great Dane and many more.
In the words of Habitus Living, “Denfair had visitors enter a world of design creativity, as exemplified by the presence of Handkrafted.”
Our stand this year incorporated a curated group of seven of our Victorian makers, each with their own distinct styles and specialisations. This diversity is a reflection of the broad spectrum of bespoke furniture makers we represent across Australia.
A new brand launched at DENFAIR by Elliot & Louise Gorham, Apparentt is a creative collaboration between a designer and a maker, to create and be resourceful. Their driving philosophy is to create exclusive products that are beautiful, simple and durable. Each product is hand crafted using the highest quality materials, coupled with credible methods of construction to ensure that each piece is made to last.
Bern originally trained as a carpenter/joiner he has now been making bespoke furniture for 15 years, the last 6 of which he has specialised in building and designing windsor-style chairs, both traditional and contemporary.
At DENFAIR he launched his Windsor Modern range, a pared back contemporary take in the windsor chair tradition. The quality of Bern Chandley’s craftsmanship in producing his pieces is nothing short of exceptional, clearly evident from the admiration Bern received from many furniture makers and manufacturers during the fair. Designers were equally impressed in the versatility of this new range as it’s beautifully suited to both a traditional or contemporary setting.
Julian Glencross McCartney is a qualified furniture and cabinet maker with a background in traditional restoration and reproduction. He seeks to apply a specialised and passionate understanding of timber design to functional, thoughtful, and ultimately beautiful pieces.
He launched his FLIGHT SERIES range at DEN this year, incorporating a shelving unit, bar stool and entertainment unit. The shelving unit, pictured below, can be tailored to different heights, lengths and finishes.
Based in Castlemaine Victoria, Hugh Makin is a maker of furniture with the soul of an artist. The love of his chosen material is obvious in the way he encourages beauty out of each piece of timber, even unpromising ones. He celebrates the ‘imperfections’ in his materials as an aspect of the perfect.
Based in Geelong, Jack has over 20 years in the industry and has extensive experience designing and producing high end custom furniture. At this year’s DENFAIR he launched his Delirium Sideboard, a matt black Paperock cabinet with birds eye Messmate doors. Paperock is a super strong, dense & sustainable product made from recycled or renewably sourced paper (which is heat resistant and almost impervious to water).
After 15 years studying and practicing Architecture in the UK, Netherlands and Australia, Bryan Cush established Sawdust Bureau. His end goal is simple; produce high-quality, handmade, low-volume, fully-customisable pieces of furniture made only from Australian timbers.
Bryan debuted his magnificent ‘Ancestors’ table collaboration with indigenous artist @sarritaking and a new pendant light design as pictured below. Alongside was his breathtaking Pinch Noir bench, a limited edition version of his Pinch Bench in brass and ebonised timber.
Founded by Kyle Smith and Jesse Thomas in 2014, these two pride themselves on a collaborative, honest approach to design, with a good sprinkling of fun in the mix too. Their Walnut and steel bench below was displayed with encrusted resin-set hundreds and thousands – it drew in a curious crowd and brought a smile to many faces.
We were also pleased to see many other Handkrafted makers exhibiting throughout the fair, with a strong sense of camaraderie and mutual respect evident among the many independent local furniture designers and makers present.
We hope you’re as excited as we are for next year’s DENFAIR, it’s clear that the interest in small artisanal designers and makers is continuing to rise fast.
Acknowledgements and thanks to…
Stand design, layout and graphics by the wonderful Joanna Longbottom
Stand build expertly executed by Jem at LikeButter, with a build that minimised waste with the vast majority of components being re-used in their workshop.
Plant hire and styling by the very lovely Paul at Glasshaus Nursery in Richmond and Cremorne Melbourne
Photography by Michael Gordon Hill
And finally, a big thank you to Thibaud, Claudio, Damien and the rest of the fantastic team at DENFAIR!
Handkrafted is a community marketplace connecting people with passionate makers to commission custom goods. We have brought together hundreds of Australian independent, bespoke craftspeople and artisans who specialise in producing high quality, sustainably made pieces.
Our makers can help you realise your own idea or collaborate with you on a new design. Many also feature a range of original designs that can be made to order or customised to suit your specific needs. Whichever option you choose, we’re here to help make it happen. Support local makers and kick-start your own project today.
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Flyer chair design based on the Layla Chair by Maeker Studio