THE LOST TRADES
David & Tobi spend their days getting hot and sweaty in their workshop at Ashmore Arts, Torquay. They both share a passion for iron which has landed them in their dream jobs today.
David is a Black Smith / Sculpturist who studied the trade at the age of 17. Due to the demand for cheaper products therefore leading to offshore manufacturing, David was forced into a new trade and became a carpenter. He spent the next 20 years working as a carpenter whilst being very frustrated that he couldn’t practice his art of forging iron. During his career as a carpenter he also became disheartened by the issue of overconsumption in the building industry and the impact this had on the environment.
Identifying a returning demand for quality, long lasting iron products, David reignited the hearth and returned to his passion of forging iron. He continued his carpentry work to maintain cashflow, and within a few years his reputation spread and he was able to put the building tools down and pick up the irons full time.
Simply Forged Custom Ironworks has now been in operation for five years and the demand for David’s work is continuing to grow. His work varies from heritage restoration, to large scale sculptures and kitchen utensils. Nearly every custom order he receives is different, and a lot of the time he is required to make new tools to complete the order.
The philosophy of Blacksmith work flows through every job David completes. His products do not require a warranty, because they are made to last forever.
You can visit David at www.simplyforged.com.au and follow him @simplyforgedcustomironworks
Tobi, originally from northern Germany, moved to Australia 12 years ago to work as a German and English language assistant in schools. He had a strong passion for cooking and discovered he could not find the exact knives he personally required. Tobi completed a weekend course with a blade smith where he learnt some great skills, although this course specialised in hunting knives. He began buying vintage Japanese knives and restoring them, but was still not satisfied with the equipment.
Metal Monkey Knives was established six years ago and was a side business specialising in kitchen knives. Due to high demand for Tobi’s product, he is now operating full-time and working on customised orders for world wide clients.
Tobi’s work is the epitome of handcrafted products. Each knife requires extreme patience and detail, with a basic knife taking 15 hours to complete.
You can visit Tobi at www.metalmonkeyknives.com.au and follow him @metalmonkeyknives
AL & IMO HANDMADE
Al and Imo are a husband and wife duo, building their dream life one handmade piece of furniture at a time from their home in Freshwater Creek, Victoria.
Al was born and bred in Melbourne and spent ten years as a carpenter but always had an interest in furniture making (like his grandfather). Growing up he had a passion for skating until injuries and work forced him to hang the skate shoes up. Not too long after Al discovered his love for surfing and spent his weekends driving down to the Surf Coast searching for waves.
Imogen grew up in Far North Queensland and studied fashion and marketing. After completing an internship in the fast fashion trade, she quickly realised the industry wasn’t for her. Imogen then found herself a marketing position with a Bridal House where she worked for five years and learnt great skills in selling high valued product. The skills she learnt in this position now assist her in the sales and marketing of Al & Imo Handmade furniture.
They were living in an inner-city share house in Melbourne when Imo first commissioned Al to build them a bed. One Sunday they spent the day building in their Elwood carport, at the end of the day Al turned to Imo and said “that’s the best days work i’ve ever done” it was in that moment they know this is what they needed to be doing.
Al and Imogen decided they needed more space to pursue their dream of making furniture. Their options were either move to the outer suburbs of Melbourne, or move down to the Surf Coast. The decision was easy for them especially with Al spending a lot of time down the coast already. They made the move to the coast in September 2016 looking for more space to create and both describe it as the best move they’ve ever made.
Up until August 2017, Al worked on the business in his spare time and continued to work as a carpenter. It was a good day when he made the switch to working on Al + Imo full-time and a move that came a lot quicker than expected. Al spends his days in his workshop meticulously hand-crafting custom furniture from recycled timber.
While Al builds, Imogen works behind the scenes - styling, photographing the products and customer communication. Recently Imo has been working in the workshop with Al to keep up with the demand and is really enjoying learning new skills.
Al and Imo firmly believe in only making what is needed which is why you won’t find their furniture in shops. One thing they love about their customers is that they are dedicated to sustainable living just like them. The two plan to continue to design and build furniture that is made to last a lifetime and hope by sharing their story they inspire others to follow their passions.
Their moto for life is good design and good people and encourage others to choose lifestyle above all - because what’s the point of building a life together if you can’t enjoy it?
For more information visit www.alandimohandmade.com.au and follow them @al_and_imo_handmade
Kinsfolk Farm is a 1/2 acre organic market garden located in Moriac, Victoria.
Bridie and Tom, previously living in Melbourne, followed their dream of working and living a more fulfilling lifestyle on the farm. After finding a new love for permaculture from building a small veggie patch in their backyard, they packed up their life of working in design and music and took the leap of moving south.
Tom landed himself a job working at the Brae in Birregurra in the garden kitchen where he learnt great skills in preparation and cooking of quality ingredients. Bridie taught singing and was also lucky enough to have six months experience in a local market garden. During this time of casual work, the pair spent a lot of time self educating on biointensive garden/vegetable farming through books, apps and the world wide web. They soon realised there was a gap in the market for a local organic vegetable direct distributor in their area. In December 2016 Kinsfolk Farm was created and they used crowd funding to help begin their dream.
Starting part time, Bridie and Tom built their first veggie patches on a pocket of fertile soil in Moriac. They have grown to 1/2 acres of up to 40 types of vegetables, herbs and flowers. They use locally sourced compost for fertilisation along with bio intensive and bio diverse techniques to ensure quick and healthy growth. To further reduce any impact on the environment they only use hand tools in their daily labour.
You can find Kinsfolk Farm’s fresh organic products every Saturday at the Torquay Farmers market where they have regular local customers coming to stock up on their weekly ingredients. If you have dined out anywhere between Anglesea and the Bellarine Peninsula you have most like been lucky enough to enjoy some of their products as they supply to 15 restaurants in the area. There is also veggie boxes on offer which gives you the option of using their delicious products in your own recipes.
Bridie and Tom have made their dreams reality and are proud to share their love for quality produce and cooking with you. For more information on Kinsfolk Farm you can visit them at www.kinsfolkfarm.com.au
and follow them @kinsfolk_farm