This is not your typical furniture showroom.
Walk through the doors of the old tin garage in Clunes and you can feel the stories of the place, and of the furniture inside.
The humble building is steeped in history – it dates back to 1921 and was originally a blacksmiths before becoming a mechanics garage, but is known world wide for featuring in the film Mad Max.
Now a beautifully finished bar table runs through the centre of the space, slabs of timber are leaning against the left hand wall and apple crates and side tables are stacked on the far right.
Welcome to Timmermans.
Designer and craftsman Peter de Deugd sits at a table made from timber he salvaged, milled, dried, machined, designed and finished with his own hands.
He says visitors to the showroom appreciate the story of each piece of furniture.
“A lot of furniture makers buy their material in from wholesalers or demolition yards, but we collect our timber from job sites or parks or gardens and wherever the trees have fallen over or have had to be removed. Then we mill them and dry them and often keep in a slab in its natural shape,” he said.
“I wanted a resource that had more character and it was also an opportunity where these logs were not being used.
“Furniture makers who make from raw material to furniture are appreciated more nowadays. If you can say where it came from and show buyers some photos of removing it from where it grew, that extra sourcing step really completes the picture.
They can tell that story to whoever comes to their home and sits at the table.Peter de Deudg, Timmermans
Each log has a drying time that can be up to five or ten years.
Mr de Deugd explains each piece of salvaged timber can be vastly different, so the final product is decided depending on the best use for the wood.
Slabs are on display for customers to see the wood in person before they commission an item to be made.
It is this natural process and appealing design that attracts visitors to the showroom, most commonly from Melbourne and Ballarat but from as far as Sydney and Adelaide on their way through to the city.
Mr de Deugd says the growing interest in natural handcrafted goods with a story is exciting.
“I am not quite sure how long it will last, whether it is long term, but we are excited to be a part of it,” he said.
“Someone asked me the other day whether I thought the industry was doing well. I said there is not really a strong industry anymore – there used to be a furnishing industry, but now it is more of a handcrafts industry. The sole trader, handcrafting person is the remnant of an industry it once was.
“The interest is very exciting for us.”
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