Saturday, October 22, 2011

Finders Keepers, winners grinners

This week we found out our application to Uber-cool design/hand made market Finders Keepers has been accepted. These guys have a great reputation, a great crowd of followers and a great set up.

Carriageworks at Everleigh is a dream space for furniture display, being urban industrial and hugely spacious. We're ecstatic just thinking about the hustle & bustle.

Fiona, Claire and I have been busy working on promotional posters and a brochure about the benefits of Reuse & Repair to spread the word before and during the event.

All of this has the crew thinking hard about the future - we all want to keep going, but as what? A course? A business? A social Enterprise or a People's Shed? And more importantly, what shall they call themselves?

Devastated to find "Bowerhaus" is already taken...

- Maaike

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Business Time!

Last week we stood back and took a furniture count - We've started no less than TWENTY FIVE pieces in 9 weeks. Now we're at the business end of the semester, we've split into smaller working parties, working in twos and threes to determine the final look of each chair.

Miki finished her pair danes with a bedspread akin to woven sunshine from Pollyanna's own collection. I like to think of these as a pair of kitsch-en chairs. They remind me of kitten heels and martinis and Summer - all good things!*

*Good things outside of a workshop environment. Inside, we like steel caps and fruit cup cordial with our Summer.

Mark has been working patiently on his own black velvet glamour piece. We're waiting for diamante studs to arrive from China to finish off his elegant concept - fingers crossed they come for next week!

Min and Leslie found themselves responsible for a plantation chair that has done the rounds, so to speak. The girls began the piece late last Semester, then Fiona and Anthony have pitched, Stuart and Mick helped spring it, Claire and Glen padded it, and someone else again did the linseed oil!

Min took some time to sew up a lovely neutral patchwork for the final upholstery during the week.

Peter put a few coats on his ply stool and sanded down the chrome legs - You'd never know it used to be a timber laminate chair!

Cathy was hard at work helping all of us redowel, drill, clamp and sand as necessary, and even took the time to show us a little bit of home maintenance - the art of masonry drilling and plugging is a very useful one to know!

All of us are super excited as we were accepted in to The Finders Keepers Market.
Not only is it one of the most selective markets in Sydney, it draws a HUGE crowd, allowing us to promote our Reuse & Repair ethos to plenty of customers, just in time to inform their christmas shopping.

More info on that coming soon!

- Maaike

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A little bit fancy

Yesterday we took some fancy photos of the group's work so far as part of the Redfern TAFE/Bower Project

The work so far has been so great we wanted to get something nice for the group, so we went to visit our friends at Bev's Remnant House who gave us great prices on some beautiful remnants we can piece together - fitting in nicely with our belief in lifecycle extension wherever possible! You can see some of those pieces below. Will they end up on the plantation chair? We'll have to wait and see what each working group decides!

We're gearing up towards a final exhibition/end of year extravaganza in late November/early December - Stay tuned!

More time for more fun

Friday, October 7, 2011

sanding 101

TAFE Week 7 : A lot of woodwork!

This week was Phil's last time with us, so we decided to learn as much as we could from him before his leaving.

We got done to the job of salvaging a set of six chairs whose upholstery had been done last term. Some of them were broken: would we buy new parts to fix the ones being unusable, or would we take the good parts from other chairs and mix them up to have a smaller set? After a lot of talks, we decided that we preferred to stick to the “reuse and repair” ethos and to have 4 or 5 beautiful chairs, rather than buying new parts to have a correct set of 6.

Once this important decision was made, it was time to set to work! We dismantled the chairs, took the good parts from the bad ones to replace the bad parts of the good ones. It happened to be tricky for some bits as they were glued together, so Phil showed us how to do so with pieces of wood and a mallet.

And then you have... A lot of wood parts!

After that, now that we had the parts we wanted to use, we had to sand all the chairs/parts of chairs... which wasn't to everyone's liking: look at Miki's horrified face!

We formed pairs and triplets to quickly sand the set, and we happily realised that sanding those chairs was far easier than sanding the other ones we had done some weeks ago. 

Thanks a lot for all you taught us, Phil! Everything we learnt from you was very interesting and instructive!

- Fiona & Claire

Monday, October 3, 2011

October e-news

Those of you who watch our blog regularly score lots more info and photos of weekly life at The Bower, but sometimes things sneak into the e-news sheet that haven't made it to the blog yet - like this year's AGM!
The date has been set, and active members should keep an eye out in their inboxes and post boxes for their invitation and full details.

Not an active member? Get in before the 15th of this month if you want to join us for a night of nibbles, drinks and discussion.