FOR more than 20 years, Kustom Kegs owner and manager Steve Bain has been transforming old wine barrels into unique pieces of art.
Mr Bain’s natural creative streak sees him create items such as tables, cupboards and water features.
The Mt Gambier resident said he got inspiration to start creating wine barrel furniture due to a love of woodworking.
“I’m self-taught and I just enjoy it,” he said.
“I design all the stuff myself, I don’t copy anything. I was originally doing it part time, but now I do it full time. So it’s the fact that I don’t have to do it, I want to do it.”
He said he sourced the wine barrels from wherever he could.
“Some wineries are not using barrels anymore, and then other times you’re lucky that they’ve got some and you’re there at the right time,” he said.
“I have some wineries that supply a regular amount.
“Years ago they would deliver barrels and they were costing hardly anything, but now they are much more expensive.”
He said the best barrels to use were French barrels.
“A new French barrel has eight hoops, while an American one has six hoops,” he said.
“The French ones are also taller, fatter and made with thicker timber. They can cost around $1800 new and they are used for about five years if they don’t have a leak.”
Mr Bain said he travelled around the state to show off his wares.
“I try not to go the same place too often, but I have been coming to the Mallee Machinery Field Days for a while,” he said.
“This is a very country event. You’ve got people coming through here who will just stop and have a chat.
“I’ve been blessed selling stuff on the day, but when I first started it was mainly referrals.
“It’s just a matter of fact that this stuff is heavy and big and people don’t have the capability to buy it on the day to take home. But these kind of events are still definitely worth coming to.”