As long as I can remember I have had the desire to design and make things. As I progress, I want to introduce more originality into my work and in recent times the ideas are flowing nicely.
There is a thread of deign and construct quality in my pieces. I strive to bring out the best in wood grain, in function, in design harmony. I see my work as an expanding catalogue that may be reinterpreted sometimes. Durability is also part of the workshop ethos; my unique pieces will become part of the world history of furniture design.
Form and function are strong in my furniture, nature and conservation lead my ideas in sculpture. My “Balance” buffet cleared my mind of conventional furniture, “Incubator”, “Interactive” and “Elemental” were hugely appreciated and launched my sculptural work. Small sculpture fascinates me and is very accessible. Short lengths and small slabs combined with metal, stone and glass enable the creative spirit to take flight.
My client base is from all round Australia and the Pacific and have something in common; instant recognition of original ideas and care in the attention to detail.
The workshop is currently in Darwin Northern Territory. Furniture has to be made to stand the extremes of the Wet and Dry seasons. There are some unique tropical trees available like ironwood, albizia species, even the garden-common Darwin black wattle is beautiful (but very difficult to work) Other species from different parts of Australia or the world are all available to order.
Pricing: My furniture and sculpture has no equal in retail stores. Please clear your mind of prices you have seen elsewhere! My pricing is simply based on an hourly workshop rate plus materials. Some of my pieces take hundreds of hours, and are priced accordingly.
From a young age I had a strong creative drive to make things. In the 1950’s this was normally in the line of tree-houses, billy carts and boats. After reading Thor Heyerdahl’s book about his Kon Tiki odyssey, I was inspired to build a big raft. However, home was 50km from the sea and all the trees were still standing, green and heavy. Maritime ventures were reduced to boats made from packing crates, launched in irrigation channels.
A farm hammer, blunt saws and rusty nails are a bad way to bring out the beauty in wood. It wasn’t until high school I discovered the joy of working with sharp tools and making joints fit. At the age of thirteen I tapped into a previously unknown part of my mind, which allowed the right attitude to apply itself to the task at hand. That is all I needed, sharp tools and the right attitude.
Upon finishing school, furniture making did not reveal itself as a career. I began silk screen printing then in the automatic controls industry. With a young family in the 1970’s I invested in a garden shed and set up my first workshop. I made furniture for every room in the house and took some orders.
With a passion for sailing and boat design I couldn’t shake off, I set about building a trailer yacht for family recreation. In just 12 months I had designed, built and launched an attractive sailing boat in my spare time. I wanted to market the design as a home-build in plywood but a career change brought me to Darwin NT.
I started my first properly equipped workshop in 1998 and quickly made a name for quality solid timber furniture.
Peter Cholmondeley, Darwin 2017