In December 2015, we decided to move into a bigger space on our own. It was not an easy time but we knew from the start that this move was somehow inevitable if we were on the right path. After locating a space and with the paperwork completed, we jumped right into DIY overhaul to keep renovation costs down. Apart from professional electrical works, we painted the entire space (with the help of JK) and laid new flooring for the studio area, all on our own!
Work in progress!
Then, it was shopping for lighting and the basic wood working machineries that Till requires to get going. A jointer by German training, he needed three basic machines to get us started. A circular saw for cutting raw timber, a jointer-thicknesser for planing wood (this evens out sawn timber and prepares the wood for further crafting) and a spindle moulder for making myriads of profiles. To cap costs, we scoured the internet market for second-hand pieces that are still in good condition.
Through a local contact, we found the SCM SI 400 Nova BR Circular Saw that was on rushed sale, so we got that rather quickly. The ideal jointer-thicknesser, a SCM FS410 nova was sourced from Perth, Australia. It belonged to an Aussie carpenter who was replacing his existing one for another, so he was able to ship his old machine to us in a jiffy. The final machinery was the Felder 700 tilting spindle moulder. We found out from the grapevine that a German carpenter was liquidating his company and selling off his assets. This final piece took us months to find and was an even bigger deal to have it shipped over. All in, it took us 3 months of non-stop dialogues with umpteen shipping companies before we managed to get it shipped over (EU shipping laws can be tricky sometimes).
It was a challenging time for us but somehow, things just felt right despite having to take on this “gamble”. Striking out on our own was more of a passionate drive than an economically driven decision. However, I’ve learnt many times over in life that when one does things from the heart and leave the dollars and cents in second place, things will somehow fall into place rather miraculously. We have faith in our dream and we totally trust our instincts.
After months of preparation and non-stop work, we were ready to have our first Open House in March 2016. It was a delightful time to have friends, clients and suppliers come together to join in with our celebration. From sending us flowers, bringing in the booze to gift of a hand-made plaque, we felt their genuine support and love. This will certainly cheer us on our journey!
We have loads of people to thank from the start to where we are right now. XPC Home Fix was an incubator for us, supporting us and helping us in all manner imaginable for a single craftsman’s start-up. Perhaps, the hardest thing to let go of is the awesome community we had found ourselves in. From exciting project feeds, woodworking workshops to getting Till localized in Singapore, we have connected with diverse talents and collaborated with dedicated makers, each having their unique vision. We are very much inspired by every one of them.
JK, a serial maker became a buddy to us. We have grown very fond of his British humor, wonderful writing skills and most intrigued by his brilliance. Together, JK and Till would embark on installations, Taobao shopping sprees and mull over technical challenges, seeking solutions as a team.
Our journey has to continue. We have to maximize this new and larger place for bigger and more challenging projects, while making the studio area a platform for creative minds to meet and showcase our furniture “art” pieces.
To our readers, come check out our space!