Laura McCusker made her first piece of furniture, a dining table, in 1996 and from this starting point has forged a career that has seen her work collected across Australia and now internationally. She has drawn media attention that has seen her designs lauded by none other than the great style luminary Tyler Brûlé. After growing up in Adelaide and Sydney, Laura is now based in Hobart and has been joined in her business by husband, Peter Howard.
Laura’s inspirations are drawn from the modernist movement of the last century but also by a piece of furniture that was made for her mother who grew up in Rio de Janeiro.
The piece, a young student’s desk and chair, were made by a local maker in Rio for her mum when she was a teenager and they served to reinforce in Laura that truly beautiful pieces such as this, when designed and made properly, can live comfortably in their surrounds for many generations. Now her daughter studies at the same desk that her grandmother did more than fifty years earlier on another continent.
Laura’s aim is that the pieces that she designs and makes with Peter at their workshop, a converted apple coolstore in Moonah, will have a similar life to her mother’s desk, that they will be cherished and become part of her clients’ everyday life as well as those of their subsequent generations.
She recognises that there is a desire in today’s market for work that has this potential and that her clients are looking for genuine authenticity of design and manufacture and that there is a need for differentiation when people are seeking something that they hope will be part of their lives for many years.
Le Corbusier said that “houses are machines for living” and Laura is firmly of the belief that the her pieces will be important components in these machines and for that reason every piece is given the thought and respect that it deserves in its creation. Materials and form must combine for the perfect functioning of the piece and it is for this reason that her work has become so sought after.
Laura McCusker Furniture Workshop is part of the COLLECT Art Purchase Scheme that offers Australian residents interest-free loans to purchase artworks by contemporary Tasmanian artists. Ask the gallery for details or visit www.collect-art.com.au for more information.