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Bryan Cush has a language that connects his work; the language of joinery and angles.
The former architect has been running Sawdust Bureau for the past six years, with the aim to build a rejection of the fast-paced, disposable world by building furniture that will last for generations.
“It’s the kind of pieces that you want to hand down to your kids,” Cush tells Business Insider.
Taking a look at the pieces, you can see why. Some ranges, like the Østbert Bench, only have 10 reproductions with the builders refusing to make any more. It’s a brand deeply entrenched in quality and longevity.
Trust is important to Cush. He goes along the entire journey with his clients, spending time consulting with them about how the piece will work within their space. He sources the timber, builds the piece (alongside his team) and delivers it to the client. He knows that it is an important step for people to believe in his brand and believe in him.
When it comes his tools, Cush employs the same philosophy that runs throughout his business. He doesn’t buy anything disposable and he expects it to last.
From drill bits to high-end machinery, Sawdust Bureau is always willing to pay for quality.
One of his lesser-known tools of the trade is his HP Office Jet Pro printer. HP has long been a go-to choice for anyone who believes in quality and longevity.
The HP pigment ink is known for never fading or smudging. Reliability and durability are important to Cush — the designs he creates and prints for his furniture can last, just like his unique pieces.
Cush’s HP also has the benefit of using half the energy of a standard laser printer, and all the cartridges able to be recycled by Planet Ark.
The secret language of art
Brass was introduced to his designs after working with Melbourne chef Shane Delia of Maha Restaurant. The restauranteur was doing a re-fit of the Maha interiors and Delia wanted to use the excess timber from the old interiors for a bespoke table in his family home. It was a 40mm thick piece of Australian ironbark, formerly a bar.
Cush used a brass inlay with a Morse code message integrated into the tabletop.
He keeps the message a closely guarded secret; not even Delia knew what it said when Cush delivered the table.
“Try not to be too serious with my work,” said Cush, leaving me to wonder about the mysterious message.
He’s inlaid a number of other designs into his work, including maps of the night sky.
“It’s the night sky anywhere in the world, from any point in time. It’s very subtle, but when the light hits [the table], it just explodes,” he said.
You can almost picture it exactly, the fiery burst as the light spills out across the tabletop, catching the brass that’s mapping the universe.
Cush has also collaborated with Gurindji artists, Sarrita & Tarisse King, to take the star mapping concept and bring it to life through indigenous artwork.
The work that comes out of Sawdust Bureau is greater than the sum of its parts and the collaborations that Cush has been doing is bring an amazing energy to his work.
Creating good flow
Working in a studio, Cush needs to rely on the smooth operations between him, his team and all the tools they use. A natural flow needs to develop to keep the creativity going.
When Cush first was approached by HP Australia, he needed something that would fit into his workflow. Having left his desk job behind for a dynamic studio, one of the first questions he asked of HP was: “How can a printer be flexible?”
HP showed Cush the wireless printing capabilities, the functionality that lets him print directly from Dropbox or the HP Smart app allowing full mobility while he’s working in the studio.
“You sacrifice a lot to leave the desk job,” said Cush.
But in his spacious converted warehouse, the Melbourne-based business owner has found the perfect location to let his creativity soar.
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