Bundy Kegs Phone: (07) 4151 8233

COOPERING AT A GLANCE

JOB ROLES
Coopering is a traditional and ancient craft based on the production of wooden barrels, vats and casks for use in wine making.  Coopers make, assemble and repair wooden casks, barrels, vats, buckets and tubs for holding wet or dry goods. 

Coopers may perform the following tasks: 
• work out the job requirements from specifications 
• select wood and cut, shape, smooth and taper boards to form staves (the wooden boards of the barrels), or use prepared wooden parts 
• assemble staves into rough shapes inside temporary hoops, using hammers and hoop drivers 
• apply hot water or steam to staves to make them pliable 
• cut, bend and rivet metal strips or wooden pieces to form hoops and fit them in position around barrels or casks, drawing staves tightly together 
• draw ends of staves together using trussing machines, cut grooves inside rims of staves, make up heads and fit into grooves 
• smooth surfaces 
• repair damaged staves by removing and replacing them 
• check for leaks and insert sealants. 


EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS

Coopers work in cooperages and wineries. Coopers are also often self-employed. It is a small occupation. However, with the wine industry exhibiting substantial growth, employment prospects for coopers are expected to be good.

The Australian Coopering sub-sector comprises very small businesses, primarily operating in South Australia.  There are approximately 20 enterprises nationally employing about 60 people. Manufacture of new barrels used principally in the wine industry is the largest employer of tradesmen.  Work involves manufacturing three standard size barrels (225, 300 and 500 litre capacity) using modern machinery and equipment.  These coopers may also make larger barrels (up to 4,500 litre capacity) and also straight sided tanks and vats.  Repair, service and reconditioning of barrels is a highly specialised activity, with just ten people nationally doing this type of work.  A handful of coopers also make small decorative kegs, usually sold to private individuals one or two at a time.
Most employment opportunities are in the wine growing regions of SA, WA, NSW and Victoria.

Art Glass

ART GLASS AUSTRALIA - WOLFGANG ENGEL

With the deft touch of a magician, Wolfgang Engel, Bundaberg's leading glass artist, breathes life into an amazing array of exquisitely coloured objects. From tiny penguins and mystical freeform leafy sea dragon shapes encapsulated in translucent art contemporary display, his enchanting art beguiles all ages.

Having studied civil engineering at university in Germany, Wolfgang began his career. Meeting the artist Rose-Marie changed his life. Artist friends influenced the future of  the young engineer. He would begin to embrace the world of colour and light.

Wolfgang Engel's expertise was gained at the famous glass blowing village of Lauscha in Germany, where he was apprenticed, before being drawn to the idyllic artist's colony Ahrenshoop on the Baltic coast.  He ran a successful art glass business for many years before the trip to Australia in 1991 changed his life once more.

The seemingly effortless transformation from clever idea to finished product has to be seen to be believed. The fascinating glass blowing process on the at Wolfgang's unique gallery space in Schmeider's Cooperage Complex, Bundaberg, called 'art glass' uses specially imported hand made glass tubes of many stunning colours. This is combined with the skill of a master craftsman/artist./engineer to blend century old traditions of glass blowing with an appreciation and love of the shape and colour of Australian flora and fauna. Undaunted by being in the publics gaze, Wolfgang delights in sharing his art with others.

The glass combines raw material such as soda, lime and metal oxides, such as cobalt or copper to give vibrant colours, and is heated to 900 degrees to render it soft enough to shape. Combining colours under the flame of a touch while constantly manipulating the softened glass demands great manual dexterity. Incorporating one coloured creature inside another is definitely magic.

Wolfgang is known for his beautifully crafted glass pens, an ancient tradition from Venice, Italy. Attention to detail in the nib combined with a typically Venetian form of decoration in the handle, reflect a craftsman with an engineering background. Having exhibited world wide, Wolfgang's art can now be seen in many Australian galleries, as well as locally.  

Natural

Natural Stain

Rosewood

Rosewood Stain

Jarrah

Jarrah Stain

Walnut

Walnut Stain

Teak

Teak Stain