Frying pans turned upside down – George gets creative

George Gardiner – re-imagining frying pans to create a colourful world.


CHUCKING things out when they are perfectly serviceable is one of George-the-carpenter’s bugbears.

Repurposing, repairing, restoring, and what George advocates, re-imagining, common household items, are ways of making a less-littered, better world for us all.

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George, well known in Coffs where he’s lived since 1969, is currently attracting inquisitive attention and customers for his re-imagined frying pans.

Turning them on their heads, the frying pans become a mushroom top to which George attaches a wooden stalk to create a fun garden accessory.

You may have seen the old-fashioned metal wheelbarrow ornament on the side of the road on Shepherd’s Lane in Coffs.

Well, that’s George’s abode, behind which is his workshop where he does his re-imagining and a lot more creative stuff.

“I started making the frying pan mushrooms five years ago and they took off,” George told News Of The Area.

“The idea developed with the frying pans lending themselves to the shape required; I now use old dog bowls, salad bowls, old dinner plates…upside-down they all look like a toadstool, which I then paint and decorate…sometimes I add a fairy on top.

“A local restaurant called me the other day to say he had two frying pans for me.

“When I went to collect them, he surprised me with two big woks…I’ve painted one red and the other one is white.

“The sizes and colours lend a bit of variety.”

George says his main purpose is to recycle stuff for people’s pleasure, especially children.

“We had great fun photographing a local family’s baby Hugo amongst my display of mushrooms at home, and so did he.”

At 81-years-old, George remembers a time when kids played outside and used their imaginations to create their own magical world.

He hopes to light-up young imaginations with his home-made mushrooms planted in children’s gardens…and then there’s the billy carts he’s made…and sold.

“I’ve made fourteen old-fashioned children’s billycarts and sold all of them, for presents leading up to Christmas.”

George Gardiner is a carpenter by trade, having completed his apprenticeship aged 14.

Slapping his hand down on a well-used woodworking machine, George said, “That is what I did my apprenticeship on.”

That machine is now 83-years-old, two years older than George.

Re-imagining our children’s future one metal mushroom at a time, now there’s a thought for New Year’s resolutions 2022.




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