Meet The Furniture Students Of 2020

From the students at Freshwater Senior Campus located in Northern Beaches Sydney. After such a challenging year 7 furniture students from Ben Percy's class were still able to produce incredible masterpieces in their final school year.

These students had the opportunity to use Tasmanian Blackwood Standard Grade supplied by Britton Timbers.

It is with great pleasure to annouce the winners for the Major Projects Award judged by Britton Timbers staff.

Best Overall Design & Craftmanship – Ollie O’Rourke (Carbatec $500)

Most Creative Design – Harry Smith (Carbatec $250)

Ollie O’Rourke the winner of the Best Overall Design & Craftmanship intended to make a modern 20’s Century chair deeply inspired by the danish innovations of the chair conveying a combination of comfort and style.

Harry Smith the winner of Most Creative Design initally intended on producing a guitar before later shifting towards an entertainment unit which aimed to fuse to popular aesthetic styles of modern and Scandinavian into a retro style blend.

Ollie O’Rourke

Harry Smith

“The use of sustainably sourced Australian Timbers is key toward preserving the natural resources helping maintain an inter-generational availability of timber for use om furniture making such as Tasmanian Blackwood used in my major project.” – Harry Smith.

Re-Thinking Timber: Abodo Webinar Series

Britton Timbers as the Abodo east coast distribution partner advise that in the month of April, Abodo will be conducting a webinar series of in-depth timber topics. The three-part webinar series will be run across multiple April dates covering the following topics.


Tuesday : 1pm to 2pm

  • 14/04/20
  • 21/04/20
  • 28/04/20

Abodo will be covering why timber is such a key material for the future of building and design, human well-being and sustainability.

In this 60-minute webinar, Key topics include:

  • Current building material impacts
  • Timber benefits
  • Human well-being
  • Current sourcing
  • Certification

Wednesday: 1pm to 2pm

  • 15/04/20
  • 22/04/20
  • 29/04/20

Learn what you need to know about designing and specifying exterior timber with confidence.

In this 60-minute webinar, Key topics include:

  • Timber genetics and movement
  • Design and detailing
  • Design for fire
  • Building types, applications, BAL and regulations
  • Coating systems and maintenance

Thursday: 1pm to 2pm

  • 16/04/20
  • 23/04/20
  • 30/04/20

Abodo will cover timber certification systems, and the latest technologies giving us high performing and sustainable timber solutions.

In this 60-minute webinar, Key topics include:

  • Timber and the circular economy
  • Timber and building performance standards
  • Timber types and species
  • Drying and processing
  • Timber technologies and treatments

Tasmanian Blackwood Makes It's Way To London

Mama Fuego is a 700sqm restaurant outside of London’s North Greenwich Pier. With a playful nod to the 60’s and 70’s throughout the interior’s luxe fit-out, the theme of the restaurant is brought to life through the use of the warm tones utilising 50 cubic meters of sustainably sourced Tasmanian Blackwood found throughout the space.

Designed by de La Vega Architects who have been executing projects around Australia and across the globe, Mama Fuego is a culinary fusion of South American and Australian cuisine,making the restaurant’s main material choice of an Australian timber, a perfect fit. Crafted by Justin Macri and his team at their Sydney based facility Metric Joinery,the venue’s joinery, bar tops, kitchen, coffee counters, wine fridge, sunken lounge, tables, wall panelling, banquet seating, and feature zig-zag half wall, are all made from sustainably sourced Tasmanian Blackwood.

“It was the first time I had used Blackwood and the timber performed beautifully. I really enjoyed working with the Blackwood and the client loved how the few Blackwood elements were coming together so much that the amount of Blackwood specified tripled in size,” says Macri.

With modular construction, the Blackwood pieces came to life through a collaborative effort between the architects, de la Vega Architects and Metric Joinery, and were manufactured to be easily dismantled with knock-down connections and then shipped overseas where the pieces were assembled like a puzzle.Using state of the art technology alongside traditional methods like wood turning to create 200mm diameter expertly designed and crafted table legs, each piece was hand finished with a Danish oil to show off the timber’s natural lustre and to achieve a pristine final product.

“We always employ the latest technology in all of our projects, but the finishing touches are done by hand. The work ability of the Blackwood enabled us to achieve a great end result. Blackwood is a beautiful product,” says Macri.

As Tasmanian Blackwood remains a favourite amongst joiners,architects and furniture makers within Australia, the use of Tasmanian Timber in the international market has begun to take off.Shawn Britton, Managing Director of Britton Timbers, one of Australia’s leading timber suppliers, says they’ve noticed Tasmanian Blackwood has raised the interest of architects and designers abroad.

“Over the past five years, we have seen a steady increase in demand for Tasmanian Blackwood from international clientele, primarily the USA, Japan, Korea and the UK. As Blackwood is so versatile for internal fit-out, joinery and furniture, we have found that some international customers involved in architecture and design are looking for something different to the standard American species that they have specified for years.” says Britton.

With the increase in demand for Tasmanian Blackwood, Britton explains that is readily available for domestic and international markets.

“Britton Timbers have been exporting small volumes of Tasmanian Blackwood for decades and while it is not available in huge volumes like some species, it is readily available–direct from Tasmania, in a range of solid timber of varying dimensions as well as decorative veneer and panel products,” says Britton.

The swamps of north-west Tasmania have been the primary source of high-quality Blackwood for more than a century. This resource has been the cornerstone of Tasmania’s fine furniture industry over that time and Britton shares he’s proud to see Tasmanian Timbers reaching the upscale international market.

“Having seen the completed project first hand in London, I can attest that the finished article is simply stunning and it certainly makes me proud to see our Tasmanian timber used in such a high profile project in London. There are not many species in the world as beautiful as Tasmanian Blackwood that you would have confidence shipping the finished article across the equator pre-dabbed ready to fit together on the other side of the globe,” says Britton

Britton Timbers To Acquire Burnie Veneer Business

Britton Timbers announced today that it will acquire the Specialty Veneers (incorporating Corinna Timbers) timber, veneer and panel processing facility at Somerset in North West Tasmania The acquisition includes the entire Somerset facility stock and ongoing supply contracts for Tasmanian Oak, Blackwood as well as small volumes of Huon Pine, Myrtle and Celery Top Pine.

Britton Timbers General Manager Shawn Britton says the acquisition aligns perfectly with the company’s ongoing strategies to produce quality decorative timber and timber products for the furniture and joinery industries, including meeting the increasing demand for natural timber products in commercial applications.


“The Somerset facility produces decorative veneers and veneered panels, primarily in Tasmanian Oak and Tasmanian Blackwood as well as small volumes of myrtle, huon pine, celery top pine and sassafras. The mill is operated by a highly skilled team of over 20 employees and we are thrilled to secure their employment and welcome them to the Britton Timbers team. Specialty Veneers has a loyal customer base that we will continue to supply with the same high-quality product they are used to and the mill’s current processing capacity will also be maintained.” said Mr Britton.

“When the opportunity to purchase the veneer processing facility presented itself, we jumped at it. The veneer and panel business is a very important asset to the entire Tasmanian forestry industry and the purchase signifies a strong and prosperous future for Tasmanian veneers” Mr Britton said.

Flooring - Tasmanian Oak: The Wide Board Experience

Now available in 133, 160 and 185mm widths. Premium wide board flooring – once the exclusive province of imported timbers – is now available in fine Tasmanian Oak from Britton Timbers.

Today, the wide board ‘look’ is all the rage in upscale residential and commercial developments. At Britton’s mill, the best Tasmanian Oak is quarter-sawn to enhance the clean-grain look of this blond timber. Due to its renowned stability as a flooring timber that few other Australian species can match, Tasmanian Oak lends itself perfectly to wide board flooring applications. Britton Timbers’ manager Shawn Britton says the mill’s wood machinists ‘love’ the product.

“Our long-time wood machinists are used to working with magnificent Tasmanian timbers, but when it came to machining the wide (185mm) Oak, our head machinist – the man responsible for Britton Timber’s Australia-wide reputation for the highest quality machining – described the finished flooring as ‘gorgeous’.

Architects and designers would agree. Wide board flooring is now going into Australia’s finest homes – and Britton’s is a premium home-grown product that compliments thoughtfully planned, modern interiors.

Shawn says boards in 133×19, 160×19 and 185x19mm sizes are now available from Britton’s sales and distribution centres in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

“Tasmanian oak wide board flooring is new to our already extensive range, and we expect to see it installed in a range of situations where a definite ‘wow’ factor is required.”

Request a Tas Oak Wide Board Flooring Sample & Introductory Quote

Introducing Accoya

Britton Timbers is now an Australia-wide distributor for Accoya - the innovative, new, sustainable high-performance wood.

Accoya is a structurally-modified product – acetylated in a unique process that ensures unsurpassed durability and dimensional stability. This means that it’s ideal for tough climates, either indoors or out. Accoya is FSC certified, non-toxic and carries the highest international environmental credentials.

Dominic McNeil of Britton Timbers says Accoya has filled an important market niche. “Accoya is a unique product that can be used in so many areas, from major structural projects to domestic decking. The market has been looking for a versatile product such as this for some time.”

Perfect for nearly any application, Accoya is especially suited to windows, doors and decking where resistance to warping or shrinkage is paramount. Accoya is guaranteed for applications in ground and in freshwater contact for twenty-five years and above-ground for an astonishing fifty years. It’s a revolutionary product that is being used around the world for such diverse projects as marinas, boats, furniture and bridges – even major art installations, such is its versatility.

Accoya is easily machined and is also used widely for cladding and facades – the only limit is your imagination.

Britton Timbers carries large stocks of Accoya at its distribution outlets in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane for immediate delivery across Australia.

Britton's Backs Afia Winners

The 2015 Australian Furniture industry Awards were once again a great success in showcasing Australia’s furniture design talent. The awards acknowledge excellence, encourage innovation and design within the industry and celebrate the success of the Australian furniture sector.

Britton Timbers won the Timber Supplier of the Year Award, but principal Shawn Britton said the most gratifying aspect of the awards was seeing how Britton Timbers’ specialty species were used.

‘Two of our customers and one of our RMIT students won awards, which was a thrill for us, but it was their innovative use of our Tasmanian Blackwood, American Walnut and Cambia timbers which had everybody talking.’

AFIA judges OAM Babette Hayes, Dr Brandon Gien, Chief Executive Officer of Good Design Australia, Cameron Baker, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA) and International Judge, Zilahi Imre, Vice President of the International Alliance of Furnishing Publications (IAFP) praised the year’s standard of this year’s entries.

They were fulsome in their praise for Michael Hays’ 2.3m x 1.1 m Luther dining table crafted from Britton’s Cambia, saying it was ‘an elegant and minimalist design with exceptional finish and detail.’ Michael won the Excellence in Dining Furniture Award, the criteria for which included design and aesthetics, ergonomics, quality of materials and finish, workmanship, durability, sustainability and value for money.

RMIT Student Andrew Beveridge won the Creative Vision Award for his FORMU coffee table, which featured a solid Blackwood top. The Creative Vision Award recognises pieces that successfully tie together the main elements of design whether or not the piece is fully completed.

The judges said Andrew’s FORMU table ‘linked function and form while maintaining simplicity. The cleverly designed curved metal legs double as magazine racks large enough to hold large books to records.’

‘The judges just loved it!’ was the catch-cry at the awards when Earl Pinto won the award for Excellence in Occasional Furniture.

Earl’s ‘Simon’ coat stand is a solid timber freestanding coat / hat stand with ‘antlers’ designed to hold coats and hats and umbrellas. Britton Timbers supplied the American Walnut, which featured an oiled finish.

The judges saw the Simon Coat Stand as a simple, elegant and refined piece that was ‘beautifully made.’

Shawn Britton says Britton Timbers was proud to win the AFIA Supplier of the Year award which recognised excellence in all aspects of customer service, timeliness of deliveries, goods as ordered, quality and pricing of goods supplied, customer liaison and technical follow-up and support.

The Pop-Down Bar Pops Back Up

Design Office’s Pop Down Bar, made in thermally-modified American (Cambia) ash from Britton Timbers, was a winner at IDEA 2015 and recipient of a high commendation at the Eat Drink Design awards 2015, has now been repurposed to highlight the environmental credentials of American hardwood use.

The Pop Down Bar for which Britton Timbers supplied the Cambia ash and assisted with construction, was unveiled in 2014 as the launch venue for the 2014 Eat Drink Design Awards in Melbourne. The basement of Space Furniture in Melbourne’s Church Street was transformed into an immersive bar by architecture studio Design Office.

Created in collaboration with The American Hardwood Export Council, Britton Timbers, Space Furniture and Architecture Media, the bar was crafted from Britton Timber’s Cambia thermally modified American ash. Lined in gold fabric with muted lighting, the glamorous setting became the venue of choice for Melbourne’s design community during Melbourne Indesign in 2014.

At the Eat Drink Design awards in Melbourne this month, guests were given a gift of a specially engraved tray repurposed from the American ash that had been used to create the original Pop Down Bar.

Tasmanian Timber Is Claiming It's Place

This trend comes at a time when our collective awareness of timber’s powerhouse credentials in carbon sequestration and storage is helping inform choices. Combined with innovative processing methods that are extending timbers bounds for construction applications, and Wood First policies around the nation, use of this Ultimate Renewable material is rightfully on the rise.

The emerging research in timbers biophilic properties is not telling us anything we haven’t intrinsically always known – that humans are happier and healthier with wood around them. But it’s great to see that patriotism is also coming to the fore.

Jon Goulder said it best: “As my international market and recognition grew, I found I wanted to use my local product. If I’m showing work in Milan or New York as an Australian, why would I want to use timber from another country?”

Jon started to use Tasmanian Blackwood and says he just fell in love with it.

“It was beautiful. And it felt good to use a native species. I feel an amazing connection to Australia… I’m patriotic. We’ve got access to the most beautiful timbers in the world. Tasmanian Timbers are most definitely at the top of what Australia has to offer. I can’t see myself using any other timbers for the rest of my career.”

The Innate Collection, a collaboration with Spence & Lyda of furniture using Tasmanian Blackwood and Tasmanian Oak, was nominated for an INDE award this week amongst tough competition. They wanted to create something that is Innately Australian.

Patriotism was also a driver of the materials choice for James Fitzpatrick in The Seed House. Tasmanian-born, James always knew he would feature Tasmanian Blackwood strongly in the house. Blackwood shines in the heart of the home, showing off its unique grain and character across the entry hall and the kitchen, which was just nominated for a Sub-Zero Wolf award.

“When you walk into a timber building it just feels beautiful, it feels warm, it feels inviting in the detail. How often do you hear a person say, ‘look at this lovely aluminium window or glass table.’; it’s an inherent touch of nature that we all really love as humans,” says Fitzpatrick.

The Blackwood and Tasmanian Oak for Innate and The Seed House were supplied by Britton Timbers.

With distribution Centres in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and distributors in South Australia and Western Australia, Britton’s is Australia’s primary distributor of Tasmanian timbers to the Australian Marketplace.

Born in Tasmania, the Britton’s brand, despite being Australia-wide and supplying more than 50 species from around the world, is synonymous with Tasmanian timber.

Having commenced operations in 1907, Britton’s have been sustainably producing Tasmanian Timber for over a century.

With their longevity in the marketplace, Tasmanian timbers are proven for their durability, stability and workability for furniture, flooring, joinery, internal claddings, lining boards, architectural fit-out and shop fit-out.

It’s exciting to see these iconic Australian species quietly claiming their rightful place in their home country, at the award-winning end of Australian design.

With the likes of Jon Goulder and Fitzpatrick+Partners leading the way, we predict this quiet resurgence of Tasmanian timber will soon become a roar.

Contact a Britton’s timber expert to explore how Tasmanian timber can transform your next project.

A Look Inside The Seed House

By James Fitzpatrick

The Seed House: Fitzpatrick’s timber monument

James Fitzpatrick has been designing buildings across Australia and Southeast Asia for the past 30 years. As the founding partner of Fitzpatrick+Partners, one of Australia’s leading architectural design studios, the firm has come to be known for pushing the boundaries on technology and building systems with every new build. When it came time to design his own family home on Sydney’s lower North Shore, Fitzpatrick curated the ultimate mix of materials. The design includes his signature combination of geometry, an engagement with the surrounding environment, and a dedication to sustainable and natural materials. The result is the staggeringly impressive Seed House.

With a desire to create a space in harmony with the surrounding scenic lush bushland, sourcing sustainable and natural materials was of utmost importance. Choosing various species of Tasmanian Timber to shine throughout the home was an obvious choice for Fitzpatrick. The timber met the high standards and environmental focus of the modern home, and also brought back memories of Tasmania’s North West and West Coast, where Fitzpatrick was born and grew up.

Timber rich in character

Purchasing the Sydney property eight years ago, the Fitzpatrick’s took that time to understand the site and its ecosystem. Armed with this knowledge and a clear objective to create a long-term home that would develop its own character with age and patterns of use, the palette of materials and products was carefully chosen.

Fitzpatrick’s admiration for Tasmanian Timbers began long ago, so the long lead time allowed him to grow his already existing collection of Huon Pine and to source Celery Top Pine and Blackwood from recycled or renewable sources. Blackwood timbers were always intended to feature in the furniture of the house, and the search commenced to find the perfect logs and slabs.

Within the Seed House he used his spectacular collection of Huon Pine in the bath house for shelving and wall panels and the Blackwood now shines in the heart of the home, beautifully showing off the grain and character across the entry hall and kitchen joinery.

Throughout the rest of the home, the Tasmanian Celery Top Pine was used for the structural columns, floor and wall linings, doors and exposed stud walls.

“We quite often get asked why we used such a wide variety of Tasmanian timbers in the home and it comes back to my roots- being born in Tasmania, growing up and studying there. It’s what I was surrounded with so using this timber is bringing part of that into a different environment and it’s bringing part of my history into the house.

It’s important that a house tells many stories and this house is full of memories and collections of stories not just from myself but also my wife and the children as well. Tasmanian timbers were all selected obviously to work together but also selected because of the stories they have.”

While using timber generally is important, it’s Tasmanian Timber that Fitzpatrick has a particular fondness for.

“What we like about Tasmanian Timber is that there is a story attached with the species and it’s a story you can touch and a story you can hold and share. It’s also about the locality of the timber, it’s a part of our continent and a part of our history.”

Sustainability and stories aside, as with all architects, aesthetics is always considered which is another reason for the choice of Tasmanian Timber throughout The Seed House.

“When you walk into a timber building it just feels beautiful, it feels warm, it feels inviting in the detail. How often do you hear a person say, ‘look at this lovely aluminium windows or glass table.’; it’s an inherent touch of nature that we all really love as humans.”

Using timber is good for the environment

This is not the first project of Fitzpatrick’s where timber was predominantly the main component of the structure and design. Using timber more and more often for its sustainability and carbon sequestering and structural properties, it’s becoming commonplace in Fitzpatrick’s projects.

“People are starting to understand that using timber is good for the environment which is good for the people of the building and good for the wider world.”

We thought about ways in which we could use the timber to express the integrity and honesty of the material but also look at new environmental technologies and systems from all around the world and how we could bring those into Australia and get them to a residential home and make something special. These concepts were front of mind for this project.”

Specialising in large scale commercial and entertainment projects, Fitzpatrick+Partners have enhanced cityscapes across Australia through carefully considered design using a framework set around geometry and the environment.