Martin Prantl: Creating fine furniture is my calling

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Maker of the Year, presented by Carbatec is open to entrants all over the world. Entries are published on the Wood Review website as soon as they are received, and up until the September 4 closing date we'll also get to know a little more about some of our entrants. Martin Prantl lives in Tyrol, Austia and started out as a carpenter but shifted his focus to becoming a self-employed furniture maker. He tells us found the necessary capital to start from scratch.

At age 36, Martin Prantl has learnt enough about woodworking to know what does and doesn’t enjoy. A ‘classic’ three year apprenticeship in carpentry was enough to also send him in search of finer woodworking skills and opportunities to design and make the furniture he now offers from his workshop in Sölden in the Ötztal, an apline valley in picturesque Tyrol, Austria.’


In 2020 he completed his master craftsman training during which he started designing Ready2go, shown above and now entered in Maker of the Year, presented by Carbatec. Countless hours of planning went into the combination of materials used and the pull-out functionality it offers.


At that stage Martin was working out of his uncle’s garage but wanted a workshop of his own. In 2022 he gave up a secure job, sold his car and everything else he could to get enough money together to set up a workshop. ‘My parents weren’t pleased but they had to go through that, and luckily things have changed and they are now fully behind me.’


To do his best work he needed ‘space, light and peace’ and be able to work in such a way that it was economically viable. With no clue as to likely demand and sales he started small in terms of a workshop investment. With the necessary permits in place, he had a container made in Germany and shipped to his alpine home.


Martin’s workshop is 8 metres long x 3 metres wide and 2.8 metres high. He has 9 square metres of window area. ‘Everything I need is there. Heating is done with infrared. Ecological sound absorbers are mounted on the ceiling. The entire wall can be raised on the short side in summer, or when long parts need to be worked on.’

‘I have a storage space for 6 cubic metres of wood nearby and also a covered area where rough preparatory work on the boards and planks takes place. Even if larger furniture needs to be made (so far the largest was a bed measuring 2.2 x 1.8 metres), I can put that together there.

‘Everything has its place, and that has many advantages. The workshop always has to be clean and you don’t have to waste time wondering if another machine or tool would be beneficial because there is simply no space for it!


Another piece by Martin Prantl with combined function – a cradle with built-in seat.

‘I love keeping the workshop in order but when it comes to my work, it’s the other way around. I love being able to draw on the sheer infinity of possibilities when it comes to the combination of design, type of wood and style.’

Martin Prantl now sees himself more as an artist than a carpenter: ‘My calling is creating fine pieces of furniture.’

Learn more about Martin Prantl

See Martin’s entry for 2024 here

Enter Maker of the Year, presented by Carbatec





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