Nick Coyle

Nick is committed and passionate about creating high quality solid timber furniture in a contemporary, refined, and minimalist style that will last many lifetimes. His inspiration is derived from the spacial nature of the furniture object, timber as a raw material, and the notion of true craft.

A combined carpentry joinery apprenticeship, followed by travel through Europe in his early 20’s, led Nick to working with master stair builders in Germany. Through building staircases Nick learnt many essential skills for furniture making. Nick has incredible problem solving skills when it comes to timber, furniture design and its creation. It is this ethos that he wishes to pass on to his students.

Nick is able to guide his students right through their projects from concept design to manufacture allowing them to develop and refine their joinery skills.

Nick has been a part of the timber furniture industry in Melbourne for 25 years. He continues to run a successful bespoke furniture business from his workshop with his partner. Together they design and construct pieces ranging in scale from jewellery boxes to whole houses.

See Nick’s work at

Isabel Avendano Hazbun

Isabel is a designer maker producing works in timber and fibre. In her own practice, driven by experimentation, she is interested in intersecting these two mediums in new and stimulating ways resulting in 3D objects that may or may not have a practical function.

At the School of Woodcraft, Isabel not only wants to help her students to design and make a piece of furniture from start to finish but also to grasp the idiosyncrasies of working with timber. And through this process and experience of making, instil the value and worth of the hand-made object.

Tutor Image - Randall Kohn

Randall Kohn

I have been working with fine timber joinery professionally for over 15 years, but have a vocational history that has crossed many industry sectors, with a common thread involving design and fabrication of materials, mechanisms, and visually creative expressions.  My passion lies not only with timber itself, but with the expression of ideas and concepts through materials, whether it is fine art or a functional object, one of a kind or a prototype intended for production.

My focus at the VWA School of Wood Design, is to aid people express themselves through woodcraft. You will learn how to make beautiful wooden objects you can be proud of using different techniques to accomplish your goals along with safe use of machinery for expeditious production. We will explore design, timber selection, outline how it will be constructed and work through the sequence of processes. This includes the use of CAD in the design and manufacture process should you wish to utilise those tools, but you will need to be sufficiently proficient in your chosen program.

Importantly you will take with you more than your finished work. The ‘plan and construct discipline’ is a way of thinking, acquired in this case through woodcraft. It involves creativity, analysis, planning and invention. This skill is applicable beyond woodworking across many practical situations.

Randall's work can be seen at:

Alex Lesniowski

Alex’s journey in the furniture trade began over three decades ago, from industry through to design and branching out into teaching. The first step of his journey was a five-year apprenticeship as a wood machinist and then cabinetmaker before setting off as a journeyman for five years and obtaining the title of master craftsman.

The next stage was a four-year degree where he obtained a BA Hon in Furniture Design and Manufacture at Leicester Polytechnic, UK. After many years of designing furniture and interiors for corporate clients, he moved into teaching, and is currently teaching at RMIT school of Design (Furniture) and the Victorian Woodworkers Association School of Woodcraft.

Throughout this journey, his learning curve has not diminished, with the ever-expanding possibilities of new technologies and materials. Students of today tread the line between their unbound enthusiasm and the carbon footprints they leave behind. With Alex’s guidance, many of his students have gone on to win awards and start their own journeys, with light footsteps.