Broached Goulder: an Australian Furniture Designer-maker’s Multigenerational Narrative
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Fourth generation Australian furniture designer-maker and Tasmanian Timber ambassador Jon Goulder, is celebrated for his fine craftsmanship, attention to detail and award-winning designs. His works have made their way around the world, having made custom pieces for private clients, one-off installation designs with some pieces becoming permanent fixtures in State and National museums across Australia. Commissioned by design trailblazers Broached Commissions, Goulder has just completed Broached Goulder, a collection of pieces that meld the complex intricacies of generations of furniture making- all made with Tasmanian timber species.
In the Company of Australia’s Design Leaders
Highly regarded in the design world, Broached Commissions is a narrative and research-driven furniture and object design studio. Following a research led process, by fusing deep historical context with contemporary design, the studio creates, curates and commissions new work that combines legacy with modern functionality and material expectations, making the collaboration with Jon Goulder a natural fit.
“The people that have been involved with Broached Commissions have a true international reach and are deeply respected on that level. I’m really happy to be included in this stable of artists and for them to represent a collection of my work that is quite easily the highlight of my career thus far,” says Goulder.
An Australian Collection That Champions Tasmanian Timbers
Pouring over the design process for most of 2019, Goulder has released Broached Goulder, the highly anticipated collection of limited-edition furniture pieces made from sustainably harvested Tasmanian Celery Top Pine and Blackwood.
Working through decades of design and craftsmanship, each piece represents a different design period from the generations of Goulder family furniture making. Two credenzas, a chaise lounge, and a freestanding mirror make up the Broached Goulder collection. A true representation of Australian craft, in addition to the Tasmanian species used, Goulder incorporated a special leather formed motif on the back of the Blackwood freestanding mirror by Australian graphic artist, John Warwicker and intricate weaving by Australian textile artist Liz Williamson in the collection’s three other hero pieces.
“Liz Williamson is the matriarch of Australian textile weaving and is quite easily credited as one of the best and most innovative textile weavers in the country. We have a great respect for each other as craftspeople,” says Goulder.
The Olympics of Design
With a patriotic upbringing, Goulder is a proud Australian, and is no stranger to using Tasmanian timbers in his works. Goulder explains the importance of using local timber in the Broached Goulder collection:
“My attraction to Tasmanian timber is really all about how this collection sits from an international context. I guess it’s like the Olympics of design and I’ve made this collection to represent my country. I wouldn’t import a timber from America or Europe to make a collection in Australia- there’s something there that doesn’t add up for me. If I’m going to take a collection of furniture to the world, I want it to represent Australia, so it’s really important that I use Tasmanian timber, which is at the top of what Australia has to offer.”
Old and New Favourites in Blackwood and Celery Top
Having released Innate Night last year, a collection made from pickled Tasmanian Oak and Blackwood, in collaboration with Sydney based Spence & Lyda, Goulder was pleased to be able to work with Blackwood again and to find a new joy in working with Celery Top.
“Celery Top Pine is my new favourite material. It’s the most beautiful thing to work with and was a great fit for the chaise lounge. I’m not sure if I could have made this piece without Celery Top because the whole back of the lounge is one piece of stack laminated timber that’s been hand carved. There’s no other way you could get that form from any other timber.”
Celery Top was also used to create one of the credenzas, where Liz Williamson’s brightly coloured textiles pop against the creamy light tones of Celery Top. On the contrast, the second credenza was made out of Blackwood and Maharam leather, also woven by Williamson. The credenzas represent the postmodern pieces in the collection with their layered sliding doors signifying the four generations of layered knowledge in craftsmanship.
Tools over Tech
Priding his work on the detail and attention to craft, Goulder explains that there’s something special about furniture that’s been made by hand as opposed to a technique that uses technology or machinery made for mass production.
“The best thing about craft is the embodied energy. There’s definitely a transferal of energy from the designer-maker that goes into every piece. When we create, we’re putting our energy, heart and soul into what we make.”