Elliot Jones of Telegraph Road specialises in bespoke furniture, commercial fit outs, and steel fabrication. Hardwoods hold a special place in his heart, along with other reclaimed and sustainable materials. In this snapshot into Elliot’s life, he unveils the insides and outs of Telegraph Road.
At Telegraph Road’s workshop situated in the scenic foothills of the Blue Mountains, Elliot creates a wide array of furniture from custom residential pieces to large fit outs. He utilises predominantly local and recycled materials in hopes that the pieces he creates will continue to blossom as ‘modern artefacts’ in the environments in which they’re used. In this snapshot of Elliot’s life, he unveils the ins and outs of Telegraph Road, including its history, recent successes, and his hopes for the future of the business.
What path led you to where you are now?
I was a abroad for almost 10 years, basically most of my 20’s working and travelling. Toward the end, I was working on super yachts in the US and Europe saving money to build the workshop back home in the Blue Mountains.
But, before all that I worked for an equestrian building company that built barns, stables, and hardwood fencing for polo farms – a lot of chainsaw joinery and metal fabrication, installing works with Bobcats, heavy duty stuff with solid materials. I was lucky enough to fall into the finer joinery side of the work, and given the freedom to develop my design and building style with no rules. It’s somewhat reflected in Telegraph Road’s style now.
I suppose like most makers, it’s very material orientated: focusing on the materials, doing them justice, understanding their strengths and weaknesses. Using steel and timber together is so versatile; I think basically anything can be built using the two together.
Is there a project you’ve completed that stands out as a favourite?
My favourite from this year would be the Sydney Flying Squadron fit out in Kirribilli. The oldest sailing club in Australia had seen better days and was due for a major facelift. We were taken on board to do the joinery and furniture throughout. Many long days were put in to get it done on time, but working with a great architect, client, and some brilliant builders made it thoroughly enjoyable.
For the next generation of builders. For the environment. For the conscience. For the planet.
What part of the creative process do you most enjoy?
I enjoy the whole process from the late nights on the computer designing through to the installation. It’s all creative. There’s even an art to sanding for anyone who has spent long enough doing it.
What is the beauty of buying bespoke?
Something bespoke is something designed with a purpose. It has thought put into it and it’s built with human hands. Bespoke is something that will be passed down and gain value over time.
I had a friend who worked for a contracting company to the electricity companies. They would take down huge hardwood power poles, and cut them into short lengths to go into skip bins, which subsequently became landfill. They can’t be burnt or ripped up for timber, as they are treated. I thought this was a crime. I bought a big flat bed truck with a crane, and he would give me a heads up as to when and where they where taking down good condition poles. [I offered him] a couple of cases of beer here and there, and I eventually collected enough to build a workshop.
How have you found Handkrafted so far?
Great! It’s such a good platform that gives clients so many amazing designers and makers to choose from. It also promotes bespoke work, which is brilliant and the first I’ve seen for the industry. It’s a great thing for all concerned.
What are you looking forward to?
Next year. This year we were scrambling to get some huge projects done whilst still setting up the workshop properly. Next year we are ready to roll and already have a few big jobs on the horizon.
Where do you turn when you’re in need of creative inspiration?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by crazy creative people. My sister Laura is an artist – she’s always killing it. My mum is creative in all walks. My old man who is a seriously prolific architect. Big Jon who works with me everyday in the workshop. All my friends. They’re all creative nuts.
What do you hope to continue to gain from your relationship with Handkrafted?
I hope to continue to work through and with Handkrafted to build our brand. It reflects well on Telegraph Road being surrounded by so many great furniture makers.
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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