Oliver Smith loves designing beautiful pieces of timber furniture. He loves discovering the unique qualities of a piece of timber, the challenge of designing a piece that will last a lifetime, as well as the technical challenges that come in making beautiful furniture.
Looking back on it, Oliver was pretty much destined to be a custom furniture maker. Starting with a furniture making class in high school, Oliver discovered his talent for both design and the satisfaction that comes from building something from scratch. He was awarded with a prize both of his senior years, (one was for building a Le Corbusier chaise entirely from timber!!). Then there was a short-lived detour into photography. Then Carpentery (he won Apprentice of the Year twice) and time spent building homes. He began making small pieces of furniture to go into the homes he was building, and that brought him to where he is now.
Crafted Carpentery is Oliver’s business that he’s been running for five years. He builds custom pieces where he works with his clients design, or designs a piece especially for them. He enjoys working with clients to help them achieve their vision for the piece, while at the same time making sure it as technically well built as it can be.
Alongside his custom work, Oliver has designed a range of furniture under the brand, Eversly, a family name. The pieces in the Eversly range are all about combining traditional joinery techniques and best practice craftsmanship to come up with contemporary pieces that will stand the test of time. Think clean lines – Oliver isn’t a fan of clutter or anything overly decorative; and designs that allow the timber to speak for itself.
In creating the Eversly collection, Oliver is working with glass and metal, as well as timber. He’s also looking at trying to tackle the question of what is shippable furniture – which as any online retailer knows isn’t any easily answered question. Oliver’s been experimenting with high spec, flat pack furniture that is easily assembled and uses high quality componentry, but still can be shipped Australia wide. Oliver’s favourite example in the Eversly range so far is the Banded Coffee Table – which has been made in Walnut, Maple and Reclaimed Redgum so far.
Although creating and building custom furniture is Oliver’s first love, the Eversly range comes out of a business imperative to find more time effective ways to create beautiful timber furniture. The designs are less complex, and the componentry created in batches, which allows time to be invested on what’s truly important – the timber and it’s finish. As Oliver puts it, there’s nothing like the silky smooth finish of timber that’s been finished with 1000 grit sandpaper.
So where does all this beautiful timber that Oliver works with come from? He spends time sourcing timber – fossicking around old buildings and sites, as well as having some great relationships with mills in NSW where he sources slab timber like Grey Box and Grey Ironbark.
Furniture for Life
Growing up, Oliver remembers living in a home surrounded by beautiful pieces of custom furniture made by Adam Stewart from Moto – the felt lined drawers, the detailed joins, and grain of the timber. This is really what motivates him – he’s looking to create furniture that will be owned and loved for life; pieces that become a part of a family’s story, and the next chapter in the life of timber.
Oliver Smith from Crafted Carpentery, is a Melbourne based custom furniture maker.
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