Furniture makers Nick Bailey and Broc Cattley.
Furniture makers Nick Bailey and Broc Cattley. Warren Lynam

Unique furniture MADE with passion

AMONG slabs of timber, carpentry and recycled materials, the old Eudlo shed where Nick Bailey and Broc Cattley work on their furniture designs can be called an art studio.

Two of the Sunshine Coast's leading furniture makers are finishing up on individual pieces to be shown at the third annual Makers and Designers Exhibition in Brisbane later this month.

For MADE co-founder Nick, choosing an art gallery as a venue this year was the most fitting location for the eight members to display their unique works and craftsmanship.

"There's a bigger breadth of work in this year's show," Nick said.

"The guys have challenged themselves a lot more this year in the pieces they've produced.

"All the guys show slightly different styles, and that's what's so good about the group.

"They're very original."

Nick always had a passion for furniture making, dating back to when he was a young boy.

"I used to build things out of scrap timber under the house - even built a dog kennel," he said.

Nick later got his formal qualifications as a furniture maker in the late '90s with the Worshipful Company of Carpenters in the UK, one of the Livery Companies in London's historic core.

Nick returned to Brisbane to run his own furniture- making business for the past seven years.

"I suppose it has always been a goal, particularly going out on your own and making your own furniture," Nick said.

"It's a lot more rewarding, I guess, and certainly a lot tougher."

Nick also recalled his time spent working with and learning from the best furniture makers in the US and England as part of the Churchill Fellowship, and how meeting exhibiting makers and designers helped spur the idea for MADE.

"It was absolutely amazing," Nick said.

"Seeing how people run their businesses and to just compare the quality and type of work to that in Australia.

"We've actually got some pretty talented people here (at MADE) who can rival these skills any day."

When it comes to studio furniture design for MADE exhibitions, Nick is inspired by the simplicity and beauty of the art deco period.

"I like being able to see the actual beauty of timber coming out, instead of the carving and ornate attachments and adornments that go on furniture. It's more about simple lines and proportions," he said.

For fellow MADE member Broc Cattley, the quality and longevity of recycled or salvaged timber created a basis for his four conceptual furniture pieces in this year's exhibition.

Broc said being a part of each exhibit opened up doors to other possibilities in furniture making, and a different customer base than in mass furniture production.

"There's definitely a higher standard for furniture pieces, and it puts me right in the heart of the type of clientele I'm looking to pitch to," Broc said.

The MADE Group will present its third exhibition MADE For You from now until Sunday, October 2 at Graydon Gallery in New Farm, Brisbane.

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