A new business in Fernie is re-defining interior design. Fernie Copperworks Inc. was created by the mind of Tim Popowich, a man with a taste for steampunk designs.
The new business owner vowed to only stay in Fernie for one season. This was over 30 years ago. Popowich is excited to bring his designs to the marketplace, and into peoples homes.
In the past, Popowich was trained in metal fabrication. He did this for 25+ years. After a while it became mindless work. Due to health issues he had to leave the industry in 2014. This served as an opportunity for him to travel, see all the bands he wanted to see, and live a little. But after coming home and taking a look at his life, Popowich realized that he longed to get back to work and create again. A few months ago, he bought his bosses old metal shop and got to work.
“I can build virtually anything people can think of,” he said.
Any excuse Popowich has to be creative and make something new, he takes. He started this company because he saw a need in the design industry, and sought to fill it. Popowich designs and installs everything himself. He does not believe in subcontracting other companies to do the work. Once he consults his customers, he sees it through to the end.
“When you get a project from me, we consult for free, we design, fabricate and install all in-house,” said Popowich.
Fernie Copperworks Inc. prides itself in using recycled material, which Popowich says yields all sorts of benefits, including its naturally antibacterial attribute.
Copper, he believes, is a unique material. With the right treatment beforehand, copper can be manipulated to accent almost any color. From greens, to blues, reds and yellows, the preparation of the material is almost as important as the design of the project itself. To make it darker, acetic acid is applied. This creates a finish similar to wood. To bring out the greens, the copper is left to weather outside for up to two months, with regular treatments of salt. Also, compared to other interior design materials, copper is cheap. Popowich says that his materials cost roughly the same amount as middle-of-the-road granite.
Popowich combines this freedom with his knowledge of the steampunk culture. Old-school, with a fresh twist. He recently designed a walk-in shower unit which featured copper from floor to ceiling, and exposed copper piping. Asked to describe steampunk, Popowich would say industrial, and rough.
“Anything people can think up or dream of, we can turn into a reality,” said Popowich.
For info and to contact Popowich, visit Ferniecopperworks.ca