As a second-generation cabinet maker, Martin Johnston values true craftsmanship, believing in the virtues of bespoke woodwork. All furniture is made by hand in his Billinudgel workshop on Bunjalung Country, around the corner from where he grew up, watching his dad work with timber and hand tools in the same way he himself does now.
Marty’s approach to his craft is as much about experimentation as it is honouring heritage and traditional techniques. In making furniture that serves the modern Australian lifestyle, Marty’s designs are clean and considered whilst evoking a nostalgia for the Australian designers of the 50’s and 60’s with whom he shares an affinity for qualities such as timelessness and durability.
For Marty, honesty of material and a respect for the landscape rests at the heart of his approach. He chooses to work with sustainably harvested plantation grown timbers, whilst making handles and hardware for all his pieces in-house. Where he can, Marty also sources local timbers as he believes that in sourcing materials locally he will be fostering a community that has always supported his family business.
Marty has made furniture and joinery in collaboration with clients such as Edition Office, St Agni, Fleet Restaurant, Allpress Coffee, DFJ Architects and various architectural firms who share his appreciation for beautifully liveable custom furniture, expert cabinetry and modern Australian design.
Words by Elisha Kennedy