Home ContentMake. Share. Love. - Libby Collett talks with Fremantle craftsman, Justin Elvin

Make. Share. Love. - Libby Collett talks with Fremantle craftsman, Justin Elvin

Published : May 27, 2019

Local craftsman Justin Elvin is carving out a stylish niche from his North Fremantle studio, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that chart the arc from hand and heart to home.

Words: Libby Collett

Born in Cardiff in Wales, Justin and his wife Rose emigrated 20 years ago, and in that time he has found his well-honed groove and has built hundreds of beautiful pieces, along with an esteemed reputation as an artisan whose love and skill bring out the best in local, natural timbers.

It is a passion he shares with his three sons, who along with Rose are the other true loves of his life, and who can often be found in his workshop, tinkering away with their Dad, enjoying the creative process and as Justin says, “I do it all for them”.

His works can be seen throughout Perth, from custom cabinetry in stylish homes in Nedlands and Cottesloe, to sleek and stylish fit outs in cafes from Fremantle to Floreat and beyond, including for local icons Little Creatures and Fiori Coffee.

I sat down with Justin and found out what drives his creativity and what inspired his love of the wood that grows quite literally on the other side of the world from where he grew up.

Q: What is the inspiration behind the name of your company, Palletico?

A: Palletico came about as a play on words really. About 15 years ago I was making furniture out of pallets before it became popular. A few bars such as Little Creatures and Mechanics Institute were buying them. Palletico is a nod to that time.

Q: What words would you choose to describe your style?

A: Modern, warm and functional. I always try to showcase locally and economically sourced timbers.

Q: Do you think the interest in bespoke carpentry is a reaction against the mass-produced furniture that is ubiquitous in interiors now?

A: I would say there has always been an interest in bespoke carpentry. People have not always found it affordable, but now, more than in a long time people want something different, that's going to last and not date.  Something that is one of a kind, that reflects their own style and that they won’t see anywhere else.

Q: Where do you source your timbers from? Do you use local/recycled timbers?

A: All timbers I source locally from the South West of WA and from America.  I will always try to use recycled timber where I can.

Q: Which tree species are in the most demand?

A: I would say. Marri, Blackbutt and American Oak.  Jarrah still has a place in people's hearts and it's fairly high demand overseas.

Q: What are the kinds of projects you get most excited about?

A: I enjoy the process of how jobs come to me, often by chance. I want to make pieces that mean something to the client – like the opportunity to build a dinner table for someone's home. The dinner table is the heart of the house. It's where we come together.  Eat, talk, cry and laugh.

Q: Do you only do commercial work, or are you available to do projects for individuals and homes?

A: My work has been a fair divide between both – industrial projects are exciting in terms of scale, but ideally I prefer to work for individual homes.

Q: What is the most satisfying part about the work that you do?

A: Coming together with a client. Getting their ideas down on paper and making it slowly become a reality. Seeing their faces when they see the work is always special.


Justin’s work is in high demand, but he is always available to sit down with a brew and talk about your special project and how he can work with you to bring it to life.

To see a short video that explains his passion, his philosophy and to see him at work, click here: https://www.facebook.com/Palletico/videos/965604006904433/

To make an appointment to discuss your special project, call 0450 451 353 or send an email to palletico1972@gmail.com


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