Anton Gerner is Melbourne fine furniture designer and maker who cites his influences as Biedermeier, Shaker and Art Deco. His work is a mixture of private one-off commissions, architectural fitouts and batch production work that he wholesales to architects, interior designers and retailers. Many of his designs feature highly figured veneers, however he prefers to work in solid timber, both Australian and imported. Contrasting timbers and inlay details also feature often in his work. Anton is all about high quality construction and finish and loves to harness the full power of jigs and top end technology to achieve his aims. Anton has written numerous hand tool, power tool, jig and machinery reviews for AWR. He has also written about various techniques and aspects of furniture design and making.
Q: Okay we know you like it, but how did you get into woodworking?
A: I always enjoyed woodwork at school. After I left school I attended the Melbourne School of Woodcraft and completed a two year course. I initially worked for a few furniture makers before setting up my own business.
Q: Who are your woodworking heroes/gods/gurus?
A: Don’t really have any, however I do admire Sam Maloof and the Art Deco work of Jacques Ruhlmann.
Q: What do you mainly make?
A: All sorts of things—furniture including cabinets, tables, entertainment units.
Q: Your thoughts on traditional vs ‘new’ and digital?
A: Traditional construction methods are good, however I like to use them in a new way to create contemporary works. Digital photography is great.
Q: What are your pet woodworking hates?
A: Iron on edging, chipboard, MDF, woodworkers who complain they can’t make money out of woodworking and woodworkers who should stick to making and not design.
Q: What is your desert island hand tool/ machine/ timber/ woodie book?
A: My 2” Japanese boxwood handle chisel. I could make anything with this!
Q: The best thing you’ve ever made?
A: I still have not made a really really good piece, however I do like a box I make some years back to hold a pair of chopsticks.
Q: Your best excuse for not getting something quite right?
A: I don’t have any excuses. If it is not right I fix it until it is.
Q: Your most often-made mistake?
A: Cutting one sequence matched veneered panel to the wrong size. This means start again!
Q: Your biggest woodworking disaster!!?
A: Various veneering disasters with expensive veneer.
Q: The thing I would most like to change about wood is…
A: The fact that it moves. The damn stuff never stops moving.
Q: The thing I would most like to change about woodworkers is…
A: The fact that they all complain so much about nothing.
Q: The thing I would most like to change about my own woodworking is…
A: To keep improving on my design skills
To contact Anton, visit his website: http://www.antongerner.com.au/