Matt Appino of MSA Prestige Woodcraft is passionate about the hands-on making and crafting of furniture, joinery and panelling from timber veneers. Also passionate about sharing his knowledge, he is often invited to the studios of architectural practices to impart learnings on veneers, matching and detailing.

Having honed his experience in the crafting of wood over two decades, Appino is a true master, but too humble to admit it; many designers will not have heard of him as his work is never tendered – it comes through word of mouth and, most often, repeat business. Designers and architects who work with him form long term relationships and value his craftsmanship and professionalism.

For instance, Appino worked with Felicity King of Studio Barbara on the Potts Point apartment project where Eveneer Fango, a veneer from Elton Group was hero-ed on almost every wall surface as well as in panelling and joinery. The veneer detailing is immaculate, with Appino resolving the continuous curves at the thresholds of spaces, superbly matching the timber grain on cabinetry, and mastering the subtle scallops of the bathroom joinery.

Sitting in his Western Sydney workshop, amidst sawdust and woodworking reference books, Appino discussed the significant changes in documentation and detailing.

Last century architects and designers pored over drawing boards, articulating every junction, detail and edge, and often using building models and prototypes to perfect the materiality. Now, in the days of tighter budgets, breakneck programs and 3D visualisation, a joiner or cabinet maker is more likely to receive a performance specification, or a brief set of design direction plans and elevations rather than a full set of drawings. It is then up to the craftsman to bring their experience and expertise into resolving, translating, and ultimately creating. The success of project outcomes is determined by the experience, passion and expertise of the joiner, as well as the working partnership.

Appino has been using Eveneer ‘for as long as I can remember’ and has seen many ‘trends, come and go in the meantime’. He knows which products are fit for use and designers come to MSA Prestige Woodcraft for his opinions and advice because ‘he knows his stuff’.

Credits: Interior Design - Studio Barbara | Photography - Clinton Weaver