With the weather around Australia having us all sweltering it seemed like no better time for us to share with you our latest brand obsession, Brooklyn Copper. This brand is the brainchild of Simon Cullum, a plumber whom we have worked with on numerous occasions throughout our many builds and renovations in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Simon’s bespoke copper showers creations are made with a desire to share the beauty of the colours, lines and bends of Copper, and to explore that place where art and function meet. We caught up with Simon to discuss the brand:
What inspired you to start Brooklyn Copper?
As a plumber, I have been working with copper in a purely functional way for almost thirty years now. It has always struck me how beautiful and sculptural copper can be, even when the aim is simply to “make something work”. I was inspired to create a product, combining art and function that realises the potential of copper.
In my experience, house design in Sydney is about maximising outdoor-living. Working out of the Eastern Suburbs, I have seen many attempts at creating outdoor showers using indoor fixtures. Unfortunately, they tend to deteriorate very quickly when exposed to the elements. Copper is a material that has been used since the ‘Bronze Era’ as a water conduit, and it just looks better and better, the older it gets.
I saw an opportunity to create unique showers and tap-ware designed specifically to weather the outdoors.
How did you develop the brand and products?
I followed the idea up with my old friend Stuart Cook who is an artist and sculptor. Over numerous coffees, we discussed design and form. Having both recently visited New York, we had been struck by the harsh beauty of Brooklyn’s industrial landscape, with its exposed pipes, brickwork and timber. That theme was still fresh in my mind when I started creating the showers.
The design process has been an organic collaboration with the metal, discovering what is possible.
With the help of some great tools and equipment to enable us to bend copper up to 42mm in diameter, we are able to create some truly beautiful and unique products.
How can the showers be used in the home?
The showers are almost a functional sculpture. They can be tucked away in a corner, or a side passage of the house, for a quick rinse off after a swim. Alternatively, they can be the centre piece of a little sanctuary to retire to and recharge with a steaming hot shower on a cold winters night. It is limited by the client’s imagination as to the concept of an outdoor shower.
I’ve had one client in Newport, Sydney who installed a water heater solely for her outdoor shower and created a beautiful alcove, which the whole family now fights over each morning at shower time. I’ve also done beautiful exposed copper installations in interior bathrooms. The site plumber simply leaves a hot and cold copper pipe sticking out of the wall and this allows us to collaborate with the client to create something unique, exactly to their taste. Clients are always welcome to come to the workshop and see in person what is possible working with copper.
What’s on the horizon?
Currently we’re looking at combining the look of copper with the many beautiful colours of Australian hardwoods, developing some slimline designs that can be mounted on hardwood posts. We also see possibilities in marrying these two materials to create some amazing furniture a little further down the track.
On a practical level, it lasts forever. Simple as that.
As a metal, copper won’t deteriorate or break down, even in the harshest natural environments. It is also important to me that copper is sustainable and does not harm the environment. Copper is extremely safe for humans, which is the main reason why it has been used to convey water for human consumption for hundreds of years. Copper will change colour almost immediately when exposed to different types of weather and I always try and help clients understand that whatever they buy will not stay shiny for very long. As copper changes colour, it is building up its own protective coating. This makes it perfect for outdoor installations and in my opinion, superior to stainless steel, which always eventually discolours and loses its clean look. From a design perspective, copper is a relatively soft and malleable metal, which makes it suitable for letting the imagination run wild.
With Brooklyn Copper now our go-to for outdoor showers, we cannot wait to use their products in our upcoming projects! Our latest development project AYANA House, which we are currently building with OTTONN Group and B2 Construction will be one of the first of many to have a Brooklyn Copper Shower, and we can hardly wait! To read further about Brooklyn Copper or get in touch to place an order, visit their website: www.brooklyncopper.com.au