VWA Blog

Victorian Craft Awards – Furniture Finalists

29 Apr 2022 Events & Exhibitions
Alex Pontonio: Biplane

American white ash, linen

Biplane Sideboard is a study in lightness. Referencing box kites, biplanes and objects that float, the sideboard features vertical parallel struts, lightweight fabric sails and long, horizontal planes. Unlike its flying counterparts, the sideboard’s resolve lands as a functional furniture piece. 

Alexsandra Pontonio is an award-winning Naarm/Melbourne-based furniture maker and designer. Working with timbers’ intrinsic material tactility, she creates bespoke pieces that are contemporary in design with a sensitivity to traditional woodcraft. Pontonio graduated with an Associate Degree in Design (Furniture) from RMIT University in 2015 and has since exhibited both in Australia and abroad.

Adam Markowitz and Oliver Tanner: Perigee

Salvaged African Danta, Bronze, LED

Perigee: the point at which two orbiting objects are at their closest.

Oliver Tanner and Adam Markowitz are craftsmen whose mediums are Metal and Wood respectively. Each artist has built practices around innovative and contemporary making processes while remaining guided by the traditional skillbase of their craft traditions. As a collaborative work, Perigee brings these two crafts into each other’s orbit, where a deep understanding of each craft’s mediums is interwoven with an adventurous and experimental approach to the design outcome.

Two thin, doubly-curved crescent profiles in timber and bronze follow two sweeps of offset circles sharing a central radial point. These two elements appear to clasp each other with their opposing crescent shapes. The bronze ring diffuses and reflects the light created by an LED mounted to the timber. The harsh LED itself can never be seen, in a careful control of light evocative of Poul Henningsen’s design approach, creating a delicate a soft, delicate glow.

The timber component has been constructed through an experimental method involving stack laminated African Danta (salvaged from discarded scraps). In order to achieve the double curvature of the shape, the stack laminated ring was then paper-glued to a sacrificial backing plate which was turned away on a lathe to create the double curved form, finally cut down to the dimension required. The paper glued region was finally hand carved to match the turned side.

The timber component was then shipped from Melbourne-based Markowitz to Sydney-based Tanner, who then created an exact 3D model of the turned ring, offset it by the required amount, and then 3D printed the resultant shape. The 3D printed former was used to sand-cast the ring from Bronze, before being hand hammered to create the faceted surface designed to both diffuse the light and trace the work of the hand as a textural element of the piece.

Anton Gerner: A Cabinet for My Favorite Handplane

Brazilian rosewood, Macassar ebony, plywood, celery top pine, pearwood veneer, 24k gold leaf, brass, polyester lacquer, LED lighting

A Cabinet For My Favourite Handplane is just that. It is made from veneer, salvaged in 1998 from the Rosando Furniture factory in Brunswick and features rare Brazilian Rosewood and Macassar Ebony. The inside of the cabinet is lined with 24kt gold leaf to represent the true value of the handplane.

Anton Gerner is an award-winning furniture designer and craftsman

based in Melbourne. Gerner combines traditional furniture making techniques with contemporary design to explore the cross-sections between functional furniture, design and sculpture. Creating works that range from modern Art Deco to ultra-contemporary, Gerner is known for his uncompromising attention to detail and unusual use of timber combinations.

Photo Credit: Annika Kafcaloudis
Photo Credit: Annika Kafcaloudis

Contact Us

Victorian Woodworkers Association (VWA)
Postal Address

42 Courtney St,
North Melbourne, VIC 3051
03 5776 2178

VWA Wood Design Centre and Workshop

5 Tyrone St,
North Melbourne, VIC 3051
View map



You can also get in contact using the form and we will make sure your message gets to the right person.

Contact form