By Hand, By Eye

After nearly 30 years of bespoke design for palatial private residences, Jay Gorsia’s eye for detail has amassed a global following.

With its high gloss finishes, bold colours and sumptuous fabrics, the Gorsia brand epitomises the luxe look favoured by his clientele, based mainly in Singapore, Malaysia, India and the US. 

Gorsia’s Melbourne presence marks the custom design house’s first-ever foray into retail, and an opportunity to introduce their work to a new audience. To this end, fabrics and finishes for their debut Australian collection were carefully selected to be harmonious with the contemporary Australian home, while retaining the brand’s characteristic style.

“We’re not reinventing ourselves, rather we’re sharpening our pencil so the offering is more targeted,” says Chris Orfanidis, creative director at Gorsia. 

Gorsia’s ability to adapt with confidence stems from their strong relationship with their manufacturing team. A visit to their facility in India reveals a trove of varied crafts, with 180 staff working on a range of projects at any one time. Under one roof, Chris recalls seeing gigantic wooden mirror frames painstakingly carved and applied with gold leaf, stools made out of fibreglass, ornate wall panels expertly crafted from veneers and moldings, and even architectural doors, hand painted with intricate designs.

“The diversity of what they’re doing blew me away!” says Chris. “I’ve seen a lot of furniture manufacturing in China and Italy, but never with such a hands-on approach. At Gorsia, everything is done with human hands and eyes.”

In an age where industrial machine processing has largely replaced age-old manufacturing practices, Gorsia’s team demonstrate rare skill in being able to cut, sand and hand-turn any variety of timber, and transform raw materials into finished pieces with practised precision. 

“Whether its a chair or a console, the sculptural forms that our team produces can only be done by hand. A machine will not give the same result,” says Chris. 

The new Gorsia showroom launched this weekend, to a neighborhood of designer boutiques in Armadale’s popular High Street precinct. Much like their stand at DENFAIR this year, the space is filled with an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic. Laid out in vignettes, each section features signature pieces alongside new collections by Spanish industrial designer Alex Caparros, illuminated by ethereal glasswork from Serip Organic Lighting. Beyond the show floor, having close contact with their makers also enables Gorsia to offer custom fabrication services to the design industry, where new furniture can be made to order. 

“We can work one on one with architects to make something absolutely unique, specific to a project,” says Chris. “And that’s down to the skill of our team – they’re all artisans. So we are delighted to bring their craftsmanship to Melbourne.”