B&B Rodwell Wireworkers Inglewood
Published on 04 February 2020
Have you ever walked into the foyer of a big hotel or casino and admired a massive pendant light frame overhead? Chances are you are walking under the work of Mark Rodwell from B&B Rodwell Wireworkers. With shopping centres and hotels throughout Australia for clients, including Melbourne’s Crown Casino, Mark crafts custom light shades that are like stunning works of art. The biggest light shade he has created so far was about 30 metres long.
Working out of Inglewood, Mark creates beautiful and unique bespoke products for customers across the country and in Dubai. B&B Rodwell Wireworkers is the main supplier for the Australian metal-frame lampshade market and supplies thousands of custom shades every year, in both modern and traditional designs, for customers throughout the country.
Mark’s grandfather Percival Rodwell founded the company in 1949 and his son, Mark’s father Brian, started in the business in 1962. In 1981 Brian and his wife Barbara brought the business from Melbourne to Barbara’s home town of Inglewood; teaching the trade to Mark in the 1990s. Brian is still manufacturing lampshades at B&B Rodwell Wireworkers, Mark now handles the fabrication and production side of the business while his sister Susan manages the finances and administration.
Over 300,000 lampshades were manufactured every year before competition from Chinese imports impacted on the volume of lampshades produced. Now Mark has diversified to create an extensive range of custom steel products, limited only by the imaginations of his customers.
Some of his regular clients include conference and event companies in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. For that market he has produced custom made decorative houses, arches, flower arbours, ornamental photo-booth swings, flower carts, ice-cream bikes, gazebos and also life-sized, three-dimensional wire letters, numbers and characters. These unique pieces help make events such as weddings and parties special.
The fabrication of custom steel products extends to decorative gates, custom planter boxes, garden sculptures, handrails, park benches, tree guards, ute guards, decks and trailers. The business also provides welding repairs and modifications and is developing into aluminium welding.
The sheer variety and extent of the creations coming out of the workshop in Inglewood is amazing and another example of the ingenuity and creativity to be found in small towns in the Loddon Shire.