We come from a vision of business partners, Thomas and Laurent, who originally forged their friendship during their respective studies at prestigious French university of trades, Les Compagnons du Devoir, with finesse in both traditional and modern techniques. Their extensive training means they can construct extremely complex and beautifully handcrafted designs.
Reuniting near Byron Bay, Australia in 2016, along with new friend, Lisa, they all took the opportunity to acquire the former Mullumbimby Joinery following 20+ years of establishment with a solid reputation for quality craftsmanship in the heart of the Byron Shire. This means Laurent and Thomas have now followed their mutual dream of creating quality pieces of fine furniture and architectural fixtures in wood and metals which is unique to Australia.
About Les Compagnons du Devoir
Les Compagnons du Devoir is sacred and prestigious trade school for artisans that dates back to the Middle Ages in France – think of it as the prestige of attending Harvard University while living on campus with rigorous standards about community and the brotherhood.
Students are taught all traditional and modern technical aspects of their trades while undertaking a “Tour de France” along with other students and masters which enables to them to immerse in various regional French communities and cultures. In more recent years, tours extend overseas for up to two years.
Graduation rates are very limited due to the intense training schedules and the amount of consecutive years of study required.
Read more about Compagnons on their website which is available to read in English.
Laurent Le Pochat
Laurent graduated in Reims, France, 2011 as a Mastercraftsman in Cabinet Making (“Ébéniste” in French) following his nine years of study which focused on unique handcrafted skills.
Despite the fast evolution of woodworking technologies, Laurent believes that it is important to find a good balance between using new or traditional techniques and materials when working with such a pure and fine material such as timber.
Career History Highlights
Thomas De Toni
Thomas graduated in Reims, France, 2011 as a Mastercraftsman in Metal Fabrication and Blacksmithing (“Serrurier” in French) following his eight years of study which focussed on forging skills including locksmithing.
Thomas’ studies have taken him throughout the world and onward to Australia where he has since worked on film sets for Hollywood blockbusters and has now settled in Mullumbimby.
Thomas is particularly passionate about fabricating and engineering custom-designed staircases, steel doors and windows, furniture and decorative fittings. He also enjoys mentoring apprentices.
Career History Highlights
- Asgard Productions, Australia
- Forging Ahead Fabrication, New Zealand
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission, France
- Les Compagnons du Devoir, France
- Metal Forme Tradition, France
- Les Serruriers Champenois, France
- Metallerie Ferronnerie BABE, France
- SAS Ateliers Ejarque, France
- Ferronnerie d’Art Steichen Charles, Luxembourg
- Seigneurin Huet, France
Lisa heads up our Business Development and Marketing. She has over 15 years of experience in office and marketing work experience.
She is particularly passionate about sharing styling advice and product innovations with customers through our blog. Lisa is currently working on creative collaborations with Laurent and Thomas to add a new range of products to the business.