Touchwood: Hands That Touch the Timber

Uncover timber’s journey: “The Hands That Touch the Timber” an exhibition showcasing the beauty, potential and sustainability of timber during Melbourne Design Week is presented by Elton Group and Tongue & Groove, in collaboration with Green Magazine. 

 Melbourne Design Week is set to host a captivating and immersive exhibition titled “Touchwood: The Hands That Touch the Timber”, inviting attendees to experience its evolution from raw material to crafted form. Hosted at the Tongue & Groove Richmond showroom on The Wurundjeri Land of the Kulin nation throughout Melbourne Design Week (Thursday 23rd May – Saturday 1st June). This exhibition promises to highlight the inherent beauty, tactility, and sustainability of one of the world’s most unique and renewable resources: timber.

 “Touchwood” offers a unique opportunity for visitors to engage with the captivating journey of timber, through immersive exhibits and thought-provoking works describing the memories embedded in timber and its intersection with beauty, tactility, and sustainability interpreted by creatives spanning design, photography, journalism, and art “Touchwood” unveils the personal relationships and experiences individuals have with this natural resource. Attendees will discover whose hands have touched the timber, exploring the unique craftsmanship behind each piece on display.

I love storytelling through design, and how true conversation takes you on a journey. For this exhibition I’ve created a piece called ‘A Conversation in Still-life’- using furniture as personified characters, capturing a moment over coffee. Each piece in the scene made in timber including chairs, table, floor rug, coffee cups, saucers, spoons, milk froth, place mats, sugar cubes, coffee beans and napkins.” – Ross Didier

“My pieces for Touchwood are intricate forms that display the viability of hand-planed timber shavings – a byproduct of woodworking.” – Bolaji Teniola.

“I have been working with Elton timbers for a decade in my lighting designs and sculptures, illuminating timber, highlighting the grain, the flexibility of veneer to contorting into a variety of shapes, it’s been a journey, a wonderful collaboration which is culminating in this new lighting piece. We have been prototyping and developing the application of this new material for years. They are the material experts, I bring the light. Very excited to launch this collaboration. With this latest material we can finally illuminate the grain of timbers, show the organic unpredictability and unplanned beauty.” – Ed Linacre

 Two ‘Meet the Makers’ sessions will be held on Saturday, May 23rd and June 1st June from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Makers and artisans involved in the creation of the exhibited pieces will share their insights into the evolution of timber as a resource and discuss the unique craftsmanship behind each piece. 

Saturday 25 May Book here
Saturday 01 June Book here

In conjunction with the exhibition,  a panel discussion will focus on the sustainable qualities of timber and its profound connection to the natural world. Join an esteemed panel of speakers, moderated by Tom Bodycomb, Publisher; Founder of Green Magazine. Together, we will celebrate the widespread use of timber while demystifying common misconceptions surrounding this invaluable resource.

Event details
Date: Wednesday, 29th May 2024
Location: Tongue & Groove Showroom – 306 Swan Street, Richmond
Time: 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Book here

 “We are thrilled to present ‘Touchwood: The Hands That Touch the Timber’ as part of Melbourne Design Week,” said representatives from Elton Group and Tongue & Groove, in collaboration with Green Magazine. “This exhibition celebrates the beauty and sustainability of timber while highlighting the craftsmanship and personal stories behind each piece. We invite attendees to join us in exploring the fascinating journey of timber and growing their appreciation for this remarkable natural resource.”

Read more about MDW here: 

Creatives contributing to the exhibition include:

 Ross Didier: The Didier Design Studio stands out as one of Australia’s most dynamic and diverse design studios, boasting a 30-year legacy of work that consistently blurs the boundaries between sculptural aesthetics and functional design. Ross Didier, the creative force behind the studio, articulates the nuanced relationship between art and design, likening design to Shaolin kung fu, with its structured disciplines, and contrasting it with the liberated expression of art. He emphasises the importance of acknowledging and embracing the distinct purposes and constraints of both disciplines, noting that while good art communicates ideas freely, good design serves function, resulting in an inspiring narrative. @rossdidier


Edward Linacre: Edward Linacre, an Industrial Designer, Artist, and Maker, is renowned for his ethereal, radiant creations and pioneering work with sustainable materials. His portfolio explores human experiences through light, form, and material manipulation. From immersive installations to outdoor festivals and public spaces, his Naarm/Melbourne studio crafts award-winning lighting, furniture, and bespoke artworks, catering to diverse industries worldwide. @edwardlinacre 


Drew Abrahamson: Adelaide-born Drew Abrahamson resides in his Melbourne studio, drawing inspiration from Earth’s wonders and urban hedonism. As a self-taught designer, he embraces asymmetrical chaos, blending nature’s elements with modern civilisation. With a diverse background in illustration, sculpture, landscaping, and carpentry, Drew’s practice defies categorisation, welcoming exploration across various mediums without restraint. @drew__a


Shannon McGrath: Shannon McGrath, a seasoned architectural and interior design photographer with two decades of experience, is sought after by leading architects and designers across Australia. Known for capturing the essence and formal design intent of projects, she delves deep into each assignment. In addition to her commercial work, Shannon holds a Master’s in Fine Arts from RMIT, enriching her practice. Her personal artistic endeavours, exploring constructed spaces, are increasingly showcased in Melbourne galleries, reflecting her ongoing fascination with the interior/exterior dynamics of everyday life. @shannonmcgrath7 


Bolaji Teniola: Bolaji Teniola, an emerging interdisciplinary designer, merges furniture and industrial design expertise to create pieces that push boundaries. Embracing a process-driven approach, he seeks pragmatic solutions while exploring new genres. With a keen curiosity for materials and manufacturing, Teniola’s practice spans diverse mediums. Armed with degrees from RMIT University and industry experience, his works have been featured in group exhibitions and earned multiple awards. @bolajiteniola

Rochelle Morris: Rochelle Morris, an emerging artist from Dharawal land (Figtree, NSW), recently graduated from fine art at the Victorian College of the Arts. Her practice explores interconnectivity and ecological assemblages through a rhizomatic, decolonial, eco-feminist lens. Blurring boundaries between painting, sculpture, drawing, and installation, Morris employs materials like plant matter, earth pigments, and found building materials. With various methods of layering and entangling materials, Morris collapses hierarchies and anthropocentrism to demonstrate the intra-connections in our causal environment. @rosh.hell


Hayley Curnow: Hayley Curnow, a Melbourne-based writer and designer, brings a curious and empathetic approach to her practice. With a diverse background spanning interior design, academia, public art, and exhibition design, she explores the connections between written and visual communication, design thinking, and various modes of expression.




Elton Group:

Elton Group are suppliers of innovative, sustainable and authentic timber veneer and timber-based panels designed for interior surfaces and joinery. Their Eveneer range showcases meticulously crafted natural and re-cut timber veneers, including the Alpi Designer Collection — featuring vibrant colours and patterns created in collaboration with iconic international designers. Elton Group thrives on collaborative relationships with designers, clients, and trusted trade partners. Dedicated to values of design, creativity, attention to detail, and craftsmanship, Elton Group leads the industry in bringing natural surfaces to the built environment. Renowned for their curated approach and commitment to environmentally sustainable practices, they emphasise the responsible use and protection of wood as a renewable resource for future generations.


Tongue & Groove:

Tongue & Groove is Australia’s leading producer of solid-engineered oak flooring, with an innovative three-layered construction that offers unmatched strength and stability. We use natural European oak carefully sourced from responsible plantations across Europe and a unique, sustainable production process that makes our boards suitable for use not only on floors, but also stairs, walls, joinery, and ceilings. With a curated collection of 16 colours and finishes, and sizes that range up to 400mm in width and 5m in length, our boards empower you to use the beauty of natural oak to transform and enliven interior spaces. 


Follow the exhibition coming to life on Instagram: @eltongroup @tonguengrooveau 



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