A NIGHT class in upholstery kickstarted Bryan Dibb’s 45-year career in artisan furniture making.
During that time he’s opened two shops, made furniture for interior designers, businesses and libraries, and designed items for several of WA’s fine furniture makers including Catt Design and Monro Interiors.
“Which is quite a show for a one-man show,” Mr Dibb says.
The South Fremantle local started in the furniture industry in the ‘70s as a “general dog’s body” with then-premier furniture business Baron’s Interiors.
“Where only the highest quality original furniture pieces were stocked.”
Responsible for checking items before they left the shop, Mr Dibb was quick to turn his hand to minor repairs, then repairing, and eventually building sofas from scratch.
He fell in love with the classical, streamlined Danish furniture at the shop.
“We had a classic ‘60s divan…made in the Danish style. I always liked those things…they are so well engineered.”
The Danish-made frames look delicate, but they are robust and will last for decades, Mr Dibb says.
“Though I sometimes spend a bit long on production, I know my pieces will be around for 50 years.”
After Baron’s he opened his own shop Modern Classics, designing sleek Scandinavian-style chairs, tables, footstools and sofas.
“The tables were made with ply, aluminium tread plate and steel legs. They were quite unique for the time, maybe a modern classic?”
The global financial crash and a flood of cheap Chinese imports saw Mr Dibb close his shop for a second time, but he continues to work from his home studio, making and repairing luxury furniture for customers and boutique shops like Hunters and Collectors in Mosman Park.
By JENNY D’ANGER
Wood Street, Fremantle
0415 237 350