Hugh McCarthy

Furniture

This afternoon we meet Brunswick-based furniture designer .

The resourceful and refreshingly real craftsman shares new seating designs from his H.R.McCarthy brand.

4th May, 2017

Furniture designer in his Brunswick studio. Photo – for Btslive.

The Barton Chair No.1 in one of Hugh’s favourite materials: dark stained U.S. Oak. ‘It has interesting grain and it holds stains and colours in a nice way,’ tells the furniture maker, who’s a fan of rummaging the timber yard in search of the perfect combinations. Photo – for Btslive.

Pieces by Hugh, including Smith Bar Stools in U.S. Oak and Walnut (left), Barton Chair No.2 in natural U.S. Oak (Middle), Barton Chair No.1 in stained U.S. Oak (Right). Photo – for Btslive.

‘Furniture making and joinery takes hours of practice and requires you to manufacture without second guessing yourself, and the only way to become efficient with tools and machinery is to keep having a go at it,’ he explains. Photo –  for Btslive.

‘A chair should be comfortable and sturdy especially when you’re feeling a little fragile!’ says Hugh. His Millane Reading Chair in U.S. Oak and also featuring wool blend fabric (right). Photo – for Btslive.

The Piper Side Table in U.S. Oak. Photo – for Btslive.

Hugh at work in his Brunswick studio. Photo – for Btslive.

I didn’t study furniture making and design specifically, nor did it occur to me to make a career out of it until I was in the thick of it!’ recalls Hugh McCarthy. The young Melbournian graduated with a Bachelor of Design: Landscape Architecture and worked with several local firms, before joining an Italian-run furniture company in Prahran as a casual labourer in-between jobs.

He walked in thinking he would be standing around and sweeping, but his employers had other ideas. ‘My bosses Orio and Ottavio Randi put me to use right away – making sure the tools were sharp, the finish was top-notch, and that I was accurately cutting the timber… not my hands!’ he tells. ‘If you mastered these fundamental skills, you were going places!’

Evidently Hugh did, launching his brand, in 2013. His most-recent range has been inspired by simple necessity – specifically, pieces he needed in his own home! These fine designs sport soft curves and gradual tapers. ‘I’m trying to make useful furniture that hopefully adds to the well-being of its user in some way,’ he explains.

According to Hugh, furniture design isn’t one of those industries you can Youtube your way into. ‘I’m very fortunate to have had insanely meticulous teachers and bosses before starting my own business,’ he tells, praising Lee Gratton, Peter Kruithof, Tomoyasu Kondoh – a dedicated Japanese cabinet maker that makes him want to lift his game! – as well as workshop buddies Scott McCormack and Ky Starcevich who he trusts for a second opinion. ‘Basically, I have always had a huge respect for anyone who makes things from scratch for a living, whether they be chefs, artists, carpenters…’ says Hugh. ‘I suppose after all this time, I’ve just wanted to be that kind of person!’

Hugh McCarthy has his sights set on opening a bricks-and-mortar store one day, but will continue crafting custom made products for clients until then. Find more on his website, .

Similar Stories

Creative People

Keeping It Auld School

Jack Auld of Auld Design takes us through his custom furniture business in Moolap, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

Creative People

The Rise Of Tide Design

The Melbourne-based furniture makers expand their handcrafted range.

Studio Visit

A New Rattan Furniture Collection From Melbourne Design Duo, Heimur

A new made-in-Mebourne furniture range that references the 1970's.

This Week

TDF Design Awards

The Brightest Lights In Australian Design

A look at the lighting designs shortlisted in the inaugural TDF Design Awards!

News

Australia’s Biggest Indigenous Arts Event Is Back!

Meet the artists and purchase works directly from 70 Aboriginal-owned Art Centres at the Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair!
Sally Tabart

News

Moments Of Nature Captured In Exquisite Detail

Following a devastating diagnosis two years ago, graphic designer Shelley Heaney embarked upon a new project encouraging us to connect to th...
Sally Tabart
  22 hours ago

Architecture

An Experiment In ‘Unfinishing’ A Home

An always evolving family home in Bondi Junction, by Alexander & Co.

Architecture

Who Took Out The 2019 NSW Architecture Awards?

After months of jury deliberation, New South Wales' most impressive architecture projects were celebrated last week. Take a look at the winn...

Architecture

A Stacked Home In St Kilda For Every Family Member

Matt Gibson Architecture and Design team up with clients DDB Design on a long-term living solution for multiple generations!

Creative People

Keeping It Auld School

Jack Auld of Auld Design takes us through his custom furniture business in Moolap, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

Shopping

The Gold Coast's Cutest Design Store

Kind Curations in the Gold Coast grows to scale, with the help of Chloe Naughton and Daniel Wilson.
Miriam McGarry

News

A One-Day Intensive Flower Workshop With Katie Marx

Create some epic arrangements with the legendary florist later this month (and go home with a whole swag of goodies)!
Sally Tabart

Homes

A Home With A Warm Hart

The eclectic and soothing home of doula Sunni Hart and family.
Lucy Feagins
  8 hours ago

Creative People

When Art Meets Music - 14 Stand-Out Album Covers Featuring Australian Art

From Ken Done to Brett Whiteley, Stephen Baker to Luke Sciberras... the Australian artists behind iconic album art!
Elle Murrell
  24 hours ago

Creative People

A New Not-For-Profit Fashion Collection From The Top End

NORTH unveils its Tiwi Strong Women range of garments, accessories and soft furnishings, featuring original prints from Tiwi Islands artists...
Elle Murrell

TDF Design Awards

Presenting The TDF Design Awards Interior Design Shortlist!

From 81 entries down to a shortlist of 13 - here is the TDF Design Awards Interior Design shortlist!

News

Mud Australia’s Pop-Up Seconds Sale In Melbourne

Clear your schedules – the Australian-made and owned brand is having its epic annual seconds sale this weekend! 
Sally Tabart

Architecture

A Home With Italian WOW Factor, In Carlton North

The Il Duomo house by Wowowa brings a slice of Italy to Carlton North.
Miriam McGarry

Similar Stories

Creative People

Keeping It Auld School

Jack Auld of Auld Design takes us through his custom furniture business in Moolap, Victoria.
Miriam McGarry

Creative People

The Rise Of Tide Design

The Melbourne-based furniture makers expand their handcrafted range.

Studio Visit

A New Rattan Furniture Collection From Melbourne Design Duo, Heimur

A new made-in-Mebourne furniture range that references the 1970's.
http://profvest.com

www.progressive.ua

https://www.profvest.com