Greg Allan is a furniture maker and designer from Aotearoa New Zealand, currently residing in Naarm, Melbourne, Australia.
Greg's furniture making journey and process was born from a curiosity and enthusiasm to understand traditional craftsmanship. Having had the great privilege of growing up in a sustainable and creative environment surrounded by an abundance of beautifully crafted furniture by his ancestors, including carvings and artwork. In homage to his ancestors, he started Poole's Design to reflect the creative talents and spirit of those who came before him and his desire to make and design sustainable furniture.
Greg's design process pays respect to the natural beauty of the timber he works with while fostering a contemporary aesthetic in the pursuit of function with a sense of poetry. The design process also includes considering the traditional and modern woodworking practices required to bring a piece to life.
To develop his traditional woodworking skills, Greg enrolled in 2015 on a beginners woodworking with hand tool course at Handsome & Co. As a student, Greg excelled, and after completing the course, he was accepted as a resident maker at Handsome & Co until its closure in 2019. Keen to continue his exploration of the furniture making and design process, the closing of Handsome & Co provided a creative opportunity to work out of Josh Carmody's West Heidelberg workshop.
"CERES Fair Wood is a remarkable resource for sustainable, unique, and local speciality timbers. A core part of my business practice aligns with CERES Fair Wood's transparent supply chains and preference for salvaged lumber. This supply chain origin story carries over to the pieces themselves".
The furniture created is not just another piece of furniture. It has a narrative and, in turn, becomes a talking point for his clients or visitors to his home. Such a narrative is vital for promoting the connection between the furniture he makes and its natural state.
Greg designed and built the Manifold shelves using sustainable Blackwood sourced from John Lord's property in Tasmania (Lutruwita Country).
The Manifold Shelves "A whole that unites or consists of many diverse elements", features lower slatted shelves comprised of breadboard ends, split-top frames, and brass rod bookends.
Built to accommodate working from home needs but designed to represent a warm aesthetic that doubles as a feature of the space it inhabits. To achieve this, Blackwood timber was selected to allow the grains swirls, eddies, and colour variations to enhance the modern and functional design.
Greg found inspiration for the Manifold from the elements familiar to him of the harbour and ocean he grew up around. The slatted boat decks, brass hardware and fixings, curved bows of the yachts, and other common aspects of harbour-side staples are evoked in this unqiue piece of furniture.