The core of Splinter & Callous is not the tools or machines, it's our Craftsmen.
We're on the lookout for masters of wood and metal, and really hoping to find our first craftswoman to join the team. If this is you, please get in touch. We would love to discuss how together, we can support the maker community and preserve craftsmanship.
Martin is an award winning furniture designer/maker who got his start after making a lifestyle choice to work part time and complete two years of study in fine furniture making at the Coles School of Woodcraft. Soon after he ran a small business taking commissions to design and make individually crafted furniture. He also tutored for the Coles School which later became the Melbourne School of Fine Woodworking. Family commitments meant that woodworking took a back seat for some years, but his intention was always to get back to the tools again at some time. Part of the inspiration to do that has come through Splinter and Callous.
The majority of Martin's furniture has been made from the beautiful timbers growing locally - Blackwood, Victorian Ash, Red Gum, Jarrah and Silver Ash to name a few. Clean geometric shapes and simple elegant lines are the defining features of his designs, the result being functional without compromising the visual appeal of the piece.
Martin's awards include Best of Show at the Victorian Wood Workers Association "Create from a Crate" exhibition in 2005 and the Victorian Association of Forest Industries Best Use of Victorian Timber Award at "Living With Wood" in 2006.
Reza grew up between Perth and Iran. After finishing his degree in Environmental Design he moved to Melbourne to complete a Masters of Architecture. His studies took him to Mozambique, India and Mexico where he worked on a number of community projects including designing and constructing zero-cost and zero-waste builds. Between trips, Reza worked in cocktail bars around Melbourne. An interest in creating unique spaces and in the city’s laneway culture, led him to design and build several award-winning cocktail bars. He has given talks on retail design and professional practice for industry groups as well as mentoring individuals looking to start their own ventures. Wanting to extend his hands-on knowledge of materials, Reza decided to complete a carpentry qualification and left hospitality to pursue his passion for craftsmanship. He was attracted to the community focus of Splinter and Callous and the workshop has allowed him to both mentor students and to continue to learn and create.
After years in the business world Steve found himself yearning to return to a life of making and fixing things – beautiful things. So, on a business trip in 1991, Steve wandered into a newsagent and saw on the cover of FINE WOODWORKING magazine, a piece of furniture from the 1800’s known as the “Wooton Patent Secretary.” This fanned the flames of Steve’s passion for furniture and period architecture to a point where he bought books, tools, machines and timber and began designing & making things.
Since then he has never stopped. With a design library exceeding a thousand publications, a fully equipped studio and workshop, Steve has made hundreds of pieces for his family and customers.
Steve plans to make a desk of this calibre one day, but in the meantime he gains great satisfaction from designing and making affordable, heirloom pieces to be used and cherished. Over 25 years Steve has made one-of-a-kind tables, chairs, kitchens, bathrooms, libraries, display cases and treasure chests for his clients.
Steve says: “To have the opportunity to share my knowledge to help others learn how to make lasting functional pieces is a great privilege. You will help me refine and develop my skills too, so everyone advances together.”
Dean was born on a farm in Northern Victoria in 1968 and soon developed an interest in art, nature and the made object. In 1987 he joined The Fantasy Workshop, producing work ranging from fine art projects to physical effects for films and television. This experience led to a very broad skill-set encompassing diverse mediums and techniques. Working in a fine art bronze foundry for 2 years added further skills and experience before moving to channel 10 as a designer/maker of props and sets for shows such as Double Dare, Neighbours, The Comedy Company etc... as well as freelance work on films and MTV.
In 1997 Dean Formed the company Aludean with his partner Louise Skacej, designing and producing high end concrete and steel products alongside their sculpture practices.
In 2012 Dean was commissioned to produce a major work for the Peninsula Link Freeway, the work titled ‘Rex Australis’ has become a much loved part of Melbourne’s “linear gallery”.
Dean is currently working as a supervisor at the VCA and developing a new body of sculptural works. He’s passionate about the process of making and believes that it’s a fundamental aspect of the human condition.
Bruce is a designer/maker who specialises in furniture but who ventures into many territories. His work history is eclectic; reflecting a wide breadth of interests and temptations. He has worked as a carpenter, arts administrator (Manager Artists & Industry), as a project manager in architecture (NFK, FKAU), public art project manager (Visible Art Foundation, City of Melbourne), furniture designer/maker (Urban Works), and Production Manager in modular housing (Arkit Prefab). In 1986 he initiated the first Fringe Furniture Exhibition.
His current practice as a partner in Studiololo encompasses design-art furniture, landscape and a variety of art and building industry design and construction projects. Bruce values the opportunity to pass on design and making skills, and is a firm believer that for many people learning these types of skills can be very empowering and enriching. His involvement in Splinter and Callous is based on his desire to share his enthusiasm for design and making, both for the practical skills involved and also as a therapeutic process.
Robert Leonard grew up in Melbourne in the 1950's and left school at the age of 13 to help support his family. He learned how to earn a living by doing whatever it took to bring in a wage. He worked in retail and on the docks as a general labourer and to save money he learned how to repair his own cars when they broke down. As a youngster he pulled apart machines to find out how they worked. Although not formally qualified, Bob is a capable mechanic and can turn his hand to fix anything with a motor or a gearbox. Bob has recently been teaching young people how to repair bicycles and how gears work. Along the way Bob also learned about carpentry and has over the years built quite a large number of items and structures out of wood and metal. He has even built his own house from the ground up using different timbers and methods of joinery. All learned from many visits to the library and a load of trial and error.