The Bower Consignment Section
The Bower is built on a tradition of reuse and repair. Our member base, like our staff, are a lateral thinking bunch who get a kick out of repairing, restoring and resurrecting goods.
Some of our members leave the box completely behind and appropriate items for completely new purposes – at The Bower an aquarium becomes a puppet theatre, old skis become an entertainment unit, street banners upholster retro furniture, and industrial artefacts become wall art.
The Bower’s in-store consignment section showcases the work of these members, giving the opportunity to display, promote and sell wares, educating the community on the value of repair and the potential of old goods.
Below are the profiles of some of our consignors.
Steve Swan: Furniture restoration, found industria and replica signage
“I’ve never actually had a woodwork lesson in my life, or for that matter worked in any sort of job that involved wood-working. My love of making things began, as it did for many blokes of the baby boomer generation, building Airfix construction kits of model aeroplanes, then it was a natural progression up to dioramas and model rail layouts. My next brush with creativity came when I was at Uni. To relax I started to build a whole wild west town on a 6 x 4 board complete with saloon, bank, livery stables, sheriffs office and jail all scratch built out of bits and pieces….The Bower seed was planted……
When it was finished and I was finished studying, I looked at it and wondered what on earth you do with a scale model of a wild west town, especially when your wife poses the question “what are you going to do with that”? As I thought about it, it occurred to me that if I was to up the scale to full size…..I could actually make furniture in the same way as I was able to make scale models…..Thus it began.
That was nearly 20 years ago……firstly I filled our house… then our relatives benefited, then our friends, neighbours and work colleagues….I was on fire! …but there is only so much you can fit into one house……..Then my salvation came at the turn of the Millennium – The Bower and I discovered one another! I love the Bower! I’ve done all sorts of pieces over the years, I really like industrial art creations best of all, making coffee tables from odd bits of industry that sort of thing, old furniture brought back to life, things from the back of sheds and garages salvaged from the brink of landfill, the bigger the challenge the greater the thrill.”
Greg Nabke: Work benches and machinery restoration
Greg fixes up and tinkers with all sorts of forgotten tools, machinery and bits of furniture, he has been a key person in The Bowers history and has always had an emphasis on the workshop, this in turn spills over to his restored industrial consignment items. If you have ever purchased a bench or machine from us then it’s a fair bet Greg has repaired it in some way.
Christine Smith: Upcycled retro and restored furniture
“I spent most of my working life in the Zoo Industry as a Safety and Environment Manager. My passion for environmental sustainability moved to a community based need. This entailed an upcycled, recycled, reuse approach that the general community could relate to. My expertise encompasses Retro and Industrial rediscovery. Reconstituting old furniture not only diverts waste from landfill, but also educates future generations about artistic ways to enjoy past treasures.”
Luke Mitchell: Constructed furniture from reclaimed materials
With Luke’s background in landscape design and construction, his interests are around creating high quality, imaginative and practical items solely from locally sourced reclaimed materials. Luke is driven by a desire to minimise his own carbon footprint and that of others.
Shane Wiechnik: Adapted and upcycled furniture
“I’ve been working off and on for a few years restoring, repairing, conserving and adapting furniture with the intention of keeping the materials we’ve already processed in circulation and allowing people of every income bracket access to the things they need to live their lives. I work with furniture of all makes and ages, learning as much as I can from the mistakes and successes of the past, and when I design my own pieces I bring all of this knowledge together in the hope of making something aesthetically engaging and informing, but also easy to maintain, repair, and even replicate. I strive to work solely with recycled and reused materials, from the timber to the hardware and finishes, and even in many cases the tools I use. For me it is important in the efforts of waste reduction and sustainability not simply to quickly re-purpose the old, but to build something that will last, and learn the skills to maintain what we have.”
Brian Boyle: Fun functional furniture and fixtures
“I enjoy a creative challenge and love repurposing unwanted items otherwise destined for landfill. My aim is to create functional and fun pieces that people will keep for ever. I do it for fun, it keeps me happy and hopefully helps the planet too.”
Annette Mayne: Recreation with textiles
“I’m obsessed with textiles and fabrics. The idea that you can take a flat piece of fabric and shape it to create something useable is a thrill. I like finding vintage fabrics and using them for upholstery or quilts. I once made ottoman covers completely using discarded business ties. Just because a blanket has a hole doesn’t mean it’s completely useless….I hope to create pieces that are usable, colourful and enjoyable.”