Industrial Strength

Utilitarian pieces are raw, uncontrived and highly collectable. By

Janet de Silva


From old workhorses to sought-after stylish statements, industrial pieces - some of them having endured years of wear and tear on the factory floor - are increasingly taking pride of place in some of Melbourne's most fashionable homes, apartments and warehouse conversions.

Gallery owners, art directors and fashion designers are among the clientele of the handful of Melbourne dealers who specialise in unique, utilitarian pieces that once had a working life.

Rustic work benches from former Victorian Railway workshops, steel medical cabinets from state government hospitals, bookshelves and counters made surplus from the recent restoration of the Melbourne State Library dome - apart from the raw stylistic appeal of these pieces of furniture, there is also great interest in their origins.

"People are fascinated by the stories behind these pieces. They are an important part of our heritage," says Kosta Kostoski, of Prahran's Victorian Railway Antiques.

An antique dealer for 20 years, Kostoski's enthusiasm for industrial pieces was sparked in the late 1980s after he and his wife Sylvia won the much-prized contract to appraise and dispose of the assets of Victorian Railways.

"I was like a kid in a lolly shop," Kostoski recalls of the day he first entered one of the old workshops at Newport.

"(Victorian Railways) produced a massive amount of infrastructure on the back of the gold rush. They had deep pockets - even through the Depression period - and they bought the most beautiful timber from all over Australia and the world."

The timber - some of it dating back to 1860 - produced workbenches, lockers, lunch-room tables - all manner of utilitarian furniture and "other bits and bobs" that Kostoski has spent the past 13 years restoring and modifying for modern domestic use.

While the end products are usually a far cry from their salvaged state, Kostoski is mindful to retain the original character of each piece. "We try to present each piece as close as possible to the way it was originally made," he says. "Part of the appeal is the aged patination of the timber that shows what has happened to these pieces over time."

A similar approach is taken by Jodie Turnbull and Charlie Scott, of the Richmond-based industrial antique store Blueprint, where the emphasis is on producing furniture to suit all types of housing, not just cavernous warehouse conversions.

Among the store's best sellers are restored timber workbenches that make attractive, but also, highly-functional, kitchen island benches. Consoles made from recycled timber and restored timber pigeon holes are also popular.

"We cut some things down to size or use them as raw materials but we certainly don't over style the pieces. We tend to let the wood speak for itself," says Turnbull, who is currently tackling the massive task of removing nails and "loads of bubble gum" from more than 100 kilometres of timber seating from the Waverley Park Stadium.

The seating will be recycled at Blueprint's own recycling plant and then sold to builders and architects as timber flooring.

Meanwhile, 20th-century design specialist Geoffrey Hatty, of his eponymous "Applied Arts" store in Prahran, has been busy restoring a container load of battered and bruised medical dispensary cabinets that he stumbled across during a visit to Latvia last year.

These sleek glass and steel cabinets - many already snapped up by Hatty's mostly Toorak and South Yarra clientele - were made in abundance by the Russians during their nationalisation of Latvia's industries after World War II.

Hatty says industrial furniture of this kind is highly collectable in Europe, particularly in Paris, where it is often combined to great effect with other furniture styles. Many of the highly sought-after steel cabinets, he says, relate back to a period in the West when "governments were very much involved with community welfare and health and today would cost an absolute fortune to make".

The widespread closure of Victorian hospitals and schools during the Kennett years seems to have boosted the supply of medical and industrial furniture around Melbourne.

"We got a heap of stuff when Kennett was in full flight," recalls Quentin Buckley, a former art teacher, whose Gertrude Street store, Industria, brings new meaning to the word "quirky".

66,0,66For the past eight years, Buckley and his wife, Sue, have travelled interstate to keep their store well-stocked with an eclectic array of industrial, commercial and medical objects.

Among some of the store's more unusual offerings is laboratory glassware, medical tools and unbreakable ceramic plates from the now-defunct Larundel psychiatric hospital.

"You'd be amazed at the number of stockbrokers who eat off these plates without knowing where they have come from," quips Buckley, for whom the appeal of industrial objects lies in their unpretentious design.

"These are things that were beautifully made but without any conscious design intent.

"They were made to do a job well for dozens of years and now hopefully they can have another life and do it just as well."

The thrill of giving new life to old working objects also appeals to Lyn Gardener, owner of the iconic Empire 111 in Albert Park.

Empire's focus is more "vintage glamour" than rustic industrial, but the interior of Gardener's home in Fitzroy - a converted leather factory - is almost a shrine to early Australian "industria", with a fully-functional commercial double Kooka stove and a massive timber workbench dominating the kitchen.

"These are stand-alone pieces that your eye gravitates towards," Gardener says. "People walk in here and the first thing they look at are the old pieces that you won't find everywhere."

Indeed you won't, with most established Melbourne dealers having already stockpiled most of the good stuff - salvaged over the past two decades - for future restoration.

And while prices have risen in the past few years - expect to pay several thousand dollars for a restored timber bench - Australian stock is considered cheap by European standards.

So cheap, that Melbourne dealers sell a surprising amount of heavy furniture to visiting or expatriate Americans and Europeans - some of whom are then up for hefty shipping costs.

Dealers Adrian Masterman-Smith and Lowen Clark, of Depot on Chapel - best known for its dining tables - say Australian industrial furniture is also highly valued for its "un-contrived" qualities. "It's the stylistic component that everyone likes. That raw, gutsy look to the furniture that makes it so easy to live with."

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1. What are some careers in visual arts?Visual Arts Career Guide 3-D Renderer - Designer Advertising Account Executive Advertising Careers Animator Apparel Design Major Architects Art Art and Design Workers Art Career Paths Art Careers Art Careers Art Directors Art Historians Art History Art History Art History Careers Art Librarian Arts Managers Art Teachers Art Teachers Art Therapist Art Therapist Artisans and Craftspeople Artist Career Profile Artist-Scientest Portrait Artists and Related Workers Arts Administrator Arts and Communications Careers Arts and Humanities Careers Arts Career Cluster Arts and Entertainment Careers Arts, Design and Crafts Broadcast Media Careers Cake Decorators Careers in Arts for People with Disabilities Careers in the Arts Cartoonist Cartoonist Comic Book Artist Commercial and Industrial Designers Commercial Artists Commercial Artist Computer and ICT Careers Costume Designer Costume Designer Craft Artist Craft Artist Craftpersons Creative Designer Arts Design Careers Graphic Designers Drafters Drafting Technicians Entrepreneur - Start Your Own Business Exhibit Designers Exhibition Designer Fashion and Textile Design Fashion Designer Fashion Merchandising Fine Artist Fine Artists Floral Designer Footwear Designer Furniture Designer Glass Blowers Graphic Design Careers Graphic Designers and Illustrators Illustrator Illustrator's Career Guidance Industrial Design Careers Industrial Designers Industrial Designers Industrial Designer Interactive Media Careers Interior Design Career Interior Designer Jeweler Jewelry Crafter Landscaping Careers Makeup Artist Medical Illustrators Medical Illustrator My Heroes - Artists Multimedia Artists Museum Curator Museum Officer Museum Technicians Ornamental Blacksmith Painters and Illustrators Painter and Sculptor Painters and Illustrators Painting Related Careers Patternmakers Performing Arts Careers Photographic Retouchers Photography and Film Careers Picture Framer Potter Potter Ceramist Print Finishing Artist Printing Careers Public Relations Specialist Screen Printer Sculptors Set and Exhibit Designers Set Designers Signmaker Sketch Artist Stone Cutters and Carvers Storyboard Artist Studio Art Studio Art Careers Tattoo Designer Theater Exhibit Designers Toy Designer Visual Artists Web Designers and New Media------2. what is art nuvo?Art Nouveau, 1890-1914, explores a new style in the visual arts and architecture that developed in Europe and North America at the end of the nineteenth century. The exhibition is divided into three sections: the first focuses on the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, where Art Nouveau was established as the first new decorative style of the twentieth century; the second examines the sources that influenced the style; and the third looks at its development and fruition in major cities in Europe and North America. At its height exactly one hundred years ago, Art Nouveau was a concerted attempt to create an international style based on decoration. It was developed by a brilliant and energetic generation of artists and designers, who sought to fashion an art form appropriate to the modern age. During this extraordinary time, urban life as we now understand it was established. Old customs, habits, and artistic styles sat alongside new, combining a wide range of contradictory images and ideas. Many artists, designers, and architects were excited by new technologies and lifestyles, while others retreated into the past, embracing the spirit world, fantasy, and myth. Art Nouveau was in many ways a response to the Industrial Revolution. Some artists welcomed technological progress and embraced the aesthetic possibilities of new materials such as cast iron. Others deplored the shoddiness of mass-produced machine-made goods and aimed to elevate the decorative arts to the level of fine art by applying the highest standards of craftsmanship and design to everyday objects. Art Nouveau designers also believed that all the arts should work in harmony to create a "total work of art," or Gesamtkunstwerk: buildings, furniture, textiles, clothes, and jewelry all conformed to the principles of Art Nouveau------3. what is the role of technology?The word technology is defined as the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science. Technology is a major cultural determinant, no less important in shaping human lives than philosophy, religion, social organization, or political systems. In the broadest sense, these forces are also aspects of technology. The French sociologist Jacques Ellul has defined la technique as the totality of all rational methods in every field of human activity, so that, for example, education, law, sports, propaganda, and the social sciences are all technologies in that sense. At the other end of the scale, common parlance limits the terms meaning to specific industrial arts. The terms science and technology are often confounded. The confusion arises because so much of contemporary technology is based on the natural sciences such disciplines as physics, chemistry, biology, and other branches of knowledge that deal with the study, measurement, and understanding of natural phenomena. The achievements of the electronics, pharmaceutical, and plastics industries are based on a huge body of scientific investigation. In simplest terms, the concern of science is why, and of technology, how. The relationship between the two is actually much more complex, however, and varies from industry to industry: some technologies are science intensive, whereas the manufacture of such items as cigarettes or furniture depends much less on science. In fact, much of modern technology developed without any scientific input whatever, and there are many examples of entire sciences arising from earlier technologies or developing in an effort to explain findings made by scientifically nave artisans. For example, gunnery led to ballistics; the steam engine, to thermodynamics; powered flight, to aerodynamics; primitive metalworking, to metallurgy; and communications, to radio astronomy. - Charles Susskind------4. how can deforestation cause flooding and climate change?Deforestation can cause flooding (or be an attributable factor) as trees intercept rainfall and absorb infiltrated water (lower groundwater tables). Therefore trees can reduce runoff and groundwater flows. If the land that is deforested is developed with impervious surfaces (such as roads) then the land's runoff and rate of runoff can greatly be increased too. Thus water that naturally would have infiltrated into the land instead now is directed to a central water source in minutes (when naturally may have taken hours, days or weeks). Water sensitive urban designs are being implemented now to avoid (or minimise) the risk of this within new developments. Flooding can be caused by the saturation of the soil (that is the groundwater table rises to the surface and then flooding starts to occur as the land can no longer infiltrate water). Trees are deep rooted and can assist in lowering water tables (e.g. in Western Australia forests were thinned to increase the runoff and groundwater flows into water reservoirs). Flooding can also be caused by increased runoff to waterways, and again deforestation may increase the volume and rate of water entering these waterways. In regards to global warming (climate change) trees (especially large forests) are natural carbon sinks (i.e. absorb carbon emissions). The loss of forests reduces the area of the carbon sinks, therefore with less absorption of carbon emissions more are within the atmosphere, thus exacerbating global warming. Also because trees store carbon in their woody tissue when deforestation occurs this carbon is typically released (unless the timber is turned into long-term products such as furniture, construction beams etc.). When deforestation occurs typically a burn is undertaken too (this releases further carbon). Lasted the land is typically turned into a carbon source (ag land, residential, industrial etc) so this leads to the land having a complete reverse from being a sink to be a source.------5. What are the main economic factors affecting Industry in the Czech republic for the last four years?Czech Republic has one of the largest industrial park in Europe and one the largest share of the industry toward entire GDP. This was already the case in the 19th century and survived the upheavals of the 20th century. During the past 20 years, industry went through deep structural changes, which decimated traditional textile, shoe, pulp, and furniture industry as the competition from China and East Asia increased. Secondary environment was always an issue, which was reason why heavy industry went to significant restructuring, especially chemical, iron, and energy production. Traditional machinery, car, electronic, polymer, plastic, glass industry modernized and expanded. Czech Republic together with Slovakia became primarily oriented on car production and car components. It produces about 20% of all European car parts, from engines to cables, components, and car electronics. This heavy dependency on the car industry is blessing and curse. Car industry generates the largest share of the economy and is a main export and employer. The main export markets are in Europe, both in Eurozone, and Eastern Europe. However, as the financial and economic crisis hit Europe, so the slowdown from the Western Europe affected Czech Republic and its export industry. Since 2012, the country is in recession, where domestic demand is weak, export stagnates, and capital investment disappeared. Banking and financial sector is relatively healthy in Czech Republic, but country suffers with low productivity and chronic budget deficits. Since last year, economic crisis from southern Europe is affecting more countries, and Czech Republic feels the effect. Traditional markets like Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, and Romania are in deep recession, which is decimating export. Secondary, the capital outflow from the region since 2008 affects the investment, which further causes the lagging of the productivity behind the wealthiest countries in the world------6. how did people oppose/react to the invention of spinning jenny and watt steam engine?Most people saw the introduction of the spinning jenny with great awe as it created much more yarn than that produced by hand. However, James Hargreaves made an 8 spindle jenny , which could replace up to 8 people. When Hargreavesbuilt spinning jennys for Robert Peel, grand father of the Prime Minister, workers attacked Hargreaves home in 1768 and destroyed not only the machines but also furniture and windows. this forced Hargreaves to move away too Nottingham to continue to build new jennys. To make matters worse for Hargreaves, when he applied for a patent, other people were claiming it as theirs and Hargreaves had difficulties collecting royalties. By 1785, a new era of weaving began and the Industrial Revolution was underway, with industries moving from the home to large manufactories. The advent of the steam engine was not from Watts, but he certainly improved upon the Newcomen engine he had been working on. Watt had been developing his engines but it was not until 1775 that his first engine worked to his satisfaction. Watt however restricted further development of his engines and it was not until the expiration of his patents in 1802 that Trevithicks engine was developed and it was capable of being developed for transport use. Watt had developed his steam engine for industrial use in factories and mines, but Richard Trevithicks steam engine was small and powerful enough to be used for steam powered transport. This led to the development of the iron horse, the train, but led to reductions in use of real horses and their associated industries. Industries such as strappers, leather merchants, farriers and groomers etc. People liked the idea of the speed of rail transport and it led to an increase in heavy industry like steelworks to build railways, locomotives and lumberjacks for the sleepers required.
The Station a Stylish Hub of Condos and TownhousesSign Up / Sign InSign in to Your AccountSign in to
Model of The Station development at the Sales centre, May 21st, on Port Moody's St. Johns street.Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGThe Station will be next to a West Coast Express station, to eventually be shared with SkyTrain.Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGDesigner Maria Zoubos used various tones of browns in the kitchens to create a soft, moody ambience.Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGPORT MOODY, B.C. : MAY 21, 2013 — Living area — B4 849 square foot Floor Plan at The Station development, May 21st, on Port Moody's St. Johns street. (Ward Perrin/PNG) (For story by HOMES/Vancouver Sun HOMES/The Province) 00021151A [PNG Merlin Archive]Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGPORT MOODY, B.C. : MAY 21, 2013 — Bathroom — A2 Floor Plan at The Station development, May 21st, on Port Moody's St. Johns street. (Ward Perrin/PNG) (For story by HOMES/Vancouver Sun HOMES/The Province) 00021151A [PNG Merlin Archive]Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGPORT MOODY, B.C. : MAY 21, 2013 — Kitchen — A2 Floor Plan at The Station development, May 21st, on Port Moody's St. Johns street. (Ward Perrin/PNG) (For story by HOMES/Vancouver Sun HOMES/The Province) 00021151A [PNG Merlin Archive]Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGPORT MOODY, B.C. : MAY 21, 2013 — Living area with built-in media storage — A2 Floor Plan at The Station development, May 21st, on Port Moody's St. Johns street. (Ward Perrin/PNG) (For story by HOMES/Vancouver Sun HOMES/The Province) 00021151A [PNG Merlin Archive]Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGA model of The Station development on Port Moody's St. Johns Street. The project will include 106 condominium and town houses, ranging from 588 to 1,248 square feet. Photos: Ward Perrin/PNGWard Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGLarge windows in the suites demonstrate the view possibilities that await occupants.Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGPORT MOODY, B.C. : MAY 21, 2013 — Workstation — B4 849 square foot Floor Plan at The Station development, May 21st, on Port Moody's St. Johns street. (Ward Perrin/PNG) (For story by HOMES/Vancouver Sun HOMES/The Province) 00021151A [PNG Merlin Archive]Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGPORT MOODY, B.C. : MAY 21, 2013 — Living and dining area with exposed cement- C 1107 square foot Floor Plan at The Station development, May 21st, on Port Moody's St. Johns street. (Ward Perrin/PNG) (For story by HOMES/Vancouver Sun HOMES/The Province) 00021151A [PNG Merlin Archive]Ward Perrin Ward Perrin/ PNGThe very well-organized know-how to conquer huge tasks: break them down into easily digestible and managed parts, and deal with them one by one.It certainly worked for Maria Zoubos when she approached the design of five show suites for The Station, an Aragon Properties' project that will stand beside a West Coast Express station to be shared by SkyTrain, once the Evergreen line extends to Port Moody in 2016.Zoubos tackled the design of a one-bedroom suite, two two-bedroom show homes and a couple of two-level stacked town houses.Big task, simple approach: she considered each show suite individually, giving each home a separate personality, definition and purpose."My approach with every project is to first assess who will be living in the particular suite," says Zoubos, Aragon Properties' in-house designer."I determine age group and family status, then work from there in determining the style of what I think will fit the area and project. I came up with a style to suit each family situation."In the one-bedroom show suite, greys blend with blues in a retro-inspired space, with square-formed chairs and clean lines. If it reads young and stylish to visitors, it's to Zoubos' great credit: she imagined a young couple in their first home, surrounding themselves with the hip, modern furnishings they love."Since the unit was a smaller one-bedroom, I decided to design this towards a young couple living here. Vintage inspired and industrial furniture is very popular right now and looks great when mixed with clean modern lines as seen in the millwork and kitchen."I just thought this turned into a very young and hip space that I would love to live in."Likewise, she injects an old-world charm in a suite pegged for downsizers. Its formal living room feels like a sitting room with traditional chairs and a series of clocks (reminders of an old-time train station, and very appropriate for this locale) on the wall.This is a larger suite, perfect for downsizers who need to imagine their furnishings in a new context.Though every suite takes on a different tone and mood, Zoubos kept some spaces uniform throughout.In the kitchen, for instance, wood plays off varied tones of brown, creating a soft, moody ambience. The timelessness of these shades was an inspiration, she says."I always lean towards designing monochromatic kitchens. I think they work well in an open concept space as the kitchen looks more custom."My starting point was the warm wood stain on the oak door, then I chose complementing tile and stone. I don't think that these brown tones will ever be out of style."Project: The StationWhat: 106 condominiums and townhousesWhere: 95 Moody St., Port MoodyResidence sizes and prices: 1-bedroom, 2-bedrooms, 3-bedrooms, 3-bedrooms den; 588 – 1,248 sq. ft, from $250,900Builder and developer: Aragon PropertiesSales centre: 2708 St. John's Street, Port MoodyHours: Noon — 5 p.m., Saturday to ThursdayCommentsShare your thoughts