Vince Conboy, Preston VIC
Words by Emma Do
Images by Bobby Clark
Vince Conboy is a furniture maker who spends his days shaping timber into elegant and modern designs for his furniture brand, Cenzo. For the most part, Vince’s home is a study in minimalism – more space, less objects. Provided his three children haven’t thrown it into anarchy, it’s also a tranquil escape. Here he talks about home life and getting to do what he loves every day.
For the most part, Vince’s home is a study in minimalism – more space, less objects.
You used to work in hospitality and opened up your own café, Martha Ray’s – what prompted your transition cabinetmaking?
I owned my own cafe for a couple years and worked in hospitality for a good decade but the most enjoyable part was designing the space and doing the fit-out of my own space. It really prompted me [to go] back into furniture design. I feel pretty lucky to be able to do this job.
My pop studied furniture design so I have been very hands-on my whole life, tinkering away on a building or doing some sort of fit out. I didn’t realise it was something I wanted to do as a career until later in life.
What do you love about working with timber?
It’s so rewarding working with clients that trust in you as a designer and maker. That they allow you to go out there and select the timber that you love working with and put that design you’ve created into form and function. The whole process of making something from a rough, sawn piece of timber is pretty bloody enjoyable.
Home is a constant change. Sometimes there are seven kids running around screaming or sometimes you’ve got it all to yourself and it’s very tranquil. My approach is minimal. I like to have a lot of space and no clutter. Let the space speak for itself and have a few nice items like this beautiful bedding which makes the room pop. Give me my favourite chair, record player and a comfy bed and I’m set. I do a lot of designing when the girls are asleep. I’ll sit in bed listening to music working on designs.
Where do you go and what do you do to unwind?
I feel a million bucks after a surf or trip out of town. It really does reset and ground me. My most recent trip was to Saint Andrews, near King Lake. It’s the perfect combo of hippy/biker community. There’s a really beautiful pub down there and next door is a pizza joint called “A Boy Named Sue”. You sit outside under the gumtrees on tables with red and white tablecloths. The pizzas are bloody amazing.
My most recent trip was to Saint Andrews, near King Lake. It’s the perfect combo of hippy/biker community. There’s a really beautiful pub down there and next door is a pizza joint called “A Boy Named Sue”. You sit outside under the gumtrees on tables with red and white tablecloths. The pizzas are bloody amazing.
What motivates you to get up and work every morning?
Daily motivation for work is pretty easy because I love what I do. Three beautiful girls is also good motivation. My eldest Frankie really enjoys hanging out at the shop, sanding timber, making little trinkets. She is very hands-on too.
What inspires your furniture work?
I get a lot of inspiration from the quality of joinery coming out of Japan and also from friends that are surrounding me here in Melbourne and abroad. There’s such a good hub in Melbourne. If you want to do something then you can just do it. The support you get from friends or complete strangers trusting in what you do is truly amazing.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Sly Johnson, Leon Bridges, Can, Lennon. I’m always listening to music while working.
What are your goals for the coming year?
To constantly better myself personally and in my work. To research new techniques and try to perfect old ones.
See more from Vince here.