Hidden within Totem is Stuart Faulkner’s mantra: ‘together we move forward’ a statement that reflects his passion for life-long learning and knowledge-sharing.

The origin of Totem was the first Covid lockdown. He says of its creation:

‘I used the course table as the starting point to explore incremental changes in the design, along with ebonising as the foundation finish to communicate my feelings of frustration and isolation at the time. During the process, and with gratitude that I could still attend the workshop, my ideas changed. Like hope, the grain remained just below the surface, a constant no matter the finish applied. The Totem table therefore became the representation of a number of ideas. A symbol of knowledge held and shared by likeminded craftspeople and the lineage of makers I belong to, a vehicle to teach others, a metaphor for the uncertainty of lockdown. The art of making I learnt can be many things beyond our hands, oftentimes it can be pleasingly unexpected, it just takes heart.’

Stuart Faulkner is the owner of Sydney based furniture making school Heartwood Creative Woodworking. In 1997 he graduated from the Sturt School for Wood, leaving a successful design partnership to change careers and pursue his long-held interest in designing and making furniture. In the early stages of his career commissions and works for exhibition were his focus, but later were replaced by fulltime teaching as Faulkner became Head of Design at Lidcombe TAFE (Furniture and Product Design) and following that, Director of the Sturt School for Wood.

Stuart is a passionate advocate for life-long learning, skill and knowledge sharing. At the start of 2021 he established the Heartwood Creative Makers Pod. A separate workshop that operates in tandem with the school, offering mentoring and employment opportunities for emerging makers, and supporting their desire to build sustainable practices.

Totem, 2021
Walnut, white oak, ebonised blackwood, blue oil, white grain filler, natural oil, mineral paint
450 x 420mm diameter
$786 each

Image top: Stuart Faulkner, Totem, detail, 2021 Photo: John Rintoul Photography