Designer Spotlight: Furniture Designer and Master Craftsman Will Marx
For award-wining Australian furniture designer and master craftsman, Will Marx, there is no greater joy than a day spent in his workshop, building a piece of furniture with his bare hands.
Since discovering his passion as a child, Will Marx designs and hand makes bespoke, luxury furniture with painstaking sophistication and intricacy. His work is far from ordinary; combining his deep respect for native materials and sustainability with his own brand of creative freedom, distinctive design and impeccable skill.
When you admire his creations, each of them honouring the tree from which it’s crafted in a true labour of love, it’s not hard to see why Will’s work has earned him the esteemed title of Master Craftsman.
We spoke to Will about his inspirations, his passion for sustainability and why Tasmanian Blackwood is one of his favourite species of wood.
How would you describe your design style?
My signature style demonstrates how solid timber can be used to create soft, delicate lines in an organic, flowing manner.
What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from being in the moment. It could be nature, beaches, animals and trees, maybe a beautiful piece of music, my wife, or anything that moves my spirit.
What has been a career highlight for you?
Being a custom furniture maker, each piece brings new challenges and unique elements. I love the challenge that comes from working on one-off pieces, so it is really hard to say that one job is better than another.
I would definitely say that the highlight of my career is being able to build beautiful furniture in my home workshop and being able to see my wife and kids all the time. It doesn’t hurt that my acreage workshop and home is surrounded by gumtrees and an abundance of wildlife.
Do you have a favourite piece that you’ve crafted from Tasmanian Blackwood?
I was once sold a pack of highly figured Blackwood. It had some uniquely exceptional quilting and figure. It was enough timber to create a few beautiful pieces and the results were stunning and definitely some of my favourites.
Why do you choose to work with Tasmanian Blackwood?
It is a beautifully rich, mid-brown colour and it sometimes has very distinct quilting figures that other timbers don’t have, so I can create exceptional, unique pieces for my clients. The colour of Tasmanian Blackwood is a wonderful incentive to use it in my projects, as it makes it easy to pair with both dark and light timbers.
It’s stable, not too soft and not too hard, easy to work with, and finishes beautifully. For such lovely timber, it’s priced competitively. Being able to use native timbers like Tasmanian Blackwood and showcase it in my work has been very satisfying.
Tasmanian Blackwood is locally and sustainably sourced. How much of a factor is that in your choice?
It’s very important to know where my timber is coming from, so it’s great to be able to use Tasmanian Blackwood and support our local industries. I buy sustainably sourced timber because, as a furniture maker, I feel a huge responsibility to not only create with wood but to be a good steward of this amazing resource. Part of that means honouring the timber I’ve been privileged to work with and making sure that it’s exceptionally made so that it can continue its legacy.
“A furniture maker’s job isn’t just about designing beautiful furniture; it’s our responsibility to ensure that each piece is built to last for generations to come.”
When you think of how many seasons a tree has had to undergo from seedling to a being a well-established tree, you cannot help but be humbled by the privilege you have been given to work with it. It is a privilege and with every piece I design and make, I never forget that. It is my ode to the tree.