Sydneysider Tim Noone has been inhaling the sweet smell of sawdust since his youth, so it was only natural to transform a lifelong passion for woodwork into a prolific living. Steph Schaffer caught up with the craftsman to uncover his story.
One might say Mother Nature and nurture played equal roles in leading Tim Noone to his spotless Roselands workshop. He descends from coach builders on one side of the family, and Heron Creek timber mill owners and operators on the other. Wood is Tim’s bloodline.
“Woodwork was always a field of interest for me growing up. I loved to make things,” he recalled, reminiscing the days he used to fly handmade balsa wood gliders with his brothers.
“Woodwork was an interest and furniture became a passion. It seemed like a natural step to take.”
Unadulterated love of and exposure to the craft drove Tim to pursue design for a living, starting with a kitchen company apprenticeship and TAFE trade courses at night while working a full-time job. Not too long ago, Tim added Handkrafted to his expanding list of affiliations, which also include the Sturt School for Wood and Studio Woodworkers Australia.
“I joined Handkrafted because I was impressed by the vision of the founders,” he explained. “What they are trying to achieve has been a long time coming. I really hope this marks the beginning of a new era for Australian craft.”
Equipped with an esteemed background, Tim differentiates himself as a top-of-the-line maker who occupies the same space as some of Australia’s leading craftspeople. His going rates may seem steep to an unfamiliar eye, but the inherent value of his flawless craftsmanship means you receive what you pay for…and then some.
Tim goes to extreme lengths to procure the finest timbers, implement upstanding craftsmanship, and produce an impeccable finished product; his love of the craft is reflected in every facet of his work.
“Handkrafted gives me access to the people I would never have access to otherwise,” praised Tim. “It gives me an opportunity to price things the way I would like to make them, so I don’t have to compromise on quality. Handkrafted helps me aim where I want to reach.”
Driven by a desire for beauty, Tim employs organically flowing designs with soft curvatures and uncluttered forms, which reveal grain patterns that would otherwise remain unseen.
His greatest inspirations speak to his appreciation for minimalism: Japanese and Scandinavian design, as well as Australian furniture maker Tony Kenway’s work, whose craftsmanship Tim replicated in a piece of his own called the ‘Elemental’ hall table. When it comes to timber preference, he definitely plays favourites with a keen appreciation for walnut.
“From a making perspective, walnut avoids a lot of the headaches that you get from other timbers,” Tim exclaimed. “It looks amazing as well, with a really nice colour and fantastic distinctive grain. It ticks every box.”
What boxes would Tim himself like to tick in the future? Realistically, he said he hopes the upcoming year brings commissions with design and construction challenges, as well as time to express himself creatively and make something remarkable.
“I’ve seen a few really nice church sets and thought, ‘Aw, I’d love to have a crack at doing my own,’” Tim commented. “Each piece is quite unique and for a specific purpose, but also relate. It would be a nice challenge.”
In the meantime – with support from Handkrafted – Tim will continue to transform his lifelong passion into a viable full-time business, churning out one exquisite piece after the next.
“Handkrafted has provided me with a new avenue to find potential clients, and push myself in the area of design and problem solving to meet clients’ needs and expectations,” Tim extolled. “I think it is a wonderful piece of the Australian craft puzzle.”
Photography by Saskia Wilson
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