We’re back and ready to jump into 2021 with a whole new list of exciting projects here at Bowerbird, including WORKSHOPS and a brand new GALLERY SPACE! That’s right, the girls at Bowerbird have manifested the perfect space for their creative expansion and we are ready to bring it to you just in time for 2021! We have so much exciting news to share with you we don’t even know where to begin, so let’s just dive right in.

Why Workshops?

Here at Bowerbird, our creative practices are constantly expanding and changing. We love discovering new skills, experimenting with interesting ideas, and pushing the boundaries of our faithful toolkits. As our loyal readers will already know, we are passionate about creativity and sustainability, and marrying these two passions to create something beautiful that is made to last. Not quite sure what we’re talking about? Check out our blog post dedicated to introducing our practice here at Bowerbird Collections.

Some of our wonderful collaborations with local makers.

Not only are we passionate about creativity and sustainability, but we are also dedicated to the idea of a community that shares its knowledge. We surround ourselves with other like-minded local makers. We collaborate on products with makers such as Blue & Grae, Oxlade & Heart, and Alexandra Matthews. It is so important to us to be involved in a community that is driven by the same goals and inspiration. Naturally, with two creative minds ready to share their knowledge all we needed was a space…

One of my favourite pieces from the Bowerbird Collections range, hand painted by Peta.

The Space

2020 was full of ups and downs for everyone, including us here at Bowerbird. After many different and at times, challenging, paths our intuition and good fortune led us straight into the hands of our brand new gallery space! Where exactly is it? That information will all be coming soon! For now, all we are telling you is that it has a wonderful, breezy location in the heart of Brisbane city. And in typical Bowerbird style, we weren’t just leaving this as any old plain white gallery space. First thing on the menu, a brand new mural painted by Peta and Ellie!

You can see the full video on our instagram here, the process is just as cute as the result!

The Teachers

So for all those familiar faces around Bowerbird, the content of the workshops might be obvious… But for our lovely new readers, we better introduce the teachers! Bowerbird Collections is run by Peta and Ellie Sweatman, the mother-daughter duo bursting with creativity!

Smiling Peta at our Bowerbird Collections fashion launch!

Peta is our ceramicist and interior design guru. The founder of Bowerbird Collections, Peta has been glazing and crazing and experimenting for over 20 years. In fact, all of our wonderful Bowerbird glazes are from her own unique recipes. Peta is driven by dreams and intuition and approaches everything with confidence and enthusiasm. We think she is the perfect teacher to guide you in your upcoming ceramic workshop!

Sunlit Ellie happy in her studio space.

Ellie is our in-house textile designer, responsible for most of our wonderful in-house fabric range. She is also an incredibly talented painter. Her signature sweeping brushstrokes and bold impressionistic work are lining the walls of our Paddington store. She also completes commissions on request, when she isn’t working on something new for our range of course! You can read all about Ellie in our “Local Makers” interview here.

The Workshops

So now you know the teachers, let’s give you a little bit of information about what the workshops are going to be like! Peta will be leading ceramic workshops and Ellie will be hosting weekly oil painting classes in four week blocks, as well as half day weekend workshops. Both will also be available for group bookings of between 5 and 8 people.

One of our gorgeous hand-painted tissue boxes, carefully decorated by Peta.

In the ceramic workshops, you will prepare, decorate and glaze your own ceramic piece that you can take home and treasure. There will be a selection of pieces available for you to choose from – like our gorgeous tissue box! 

One of Peta’s gorgeous tissue boxes in a block colour glaze, with our signature crazing look.


Ellie excels at capturing the subject with free-flowing brushstrokes and her oil painting classes will cater to a range of experience levels. If your art journey is just beginning or you’re experienced and would like to ‘loosen up’  or try another style, there will be something of value for everyone wanting to learn. This means that whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced, searching for still life, portrait studies, or landscape workshops, Ellie can do just that!

Ellie has such a powerful knack for capturing the energy of her subjects.

Share the Creativity

We are so excited that we can share this project with you, and see all of your happy faces in our workshops. This has been a dream of ours for a while, making it even sweeter as it comes to life! If you are interested in joining our workshops, specifically Ellie’s painting classes, let us know! We even have an online survey where you can let us know what would best suit you! Just follow this link here to check it out!

A wonderful Rose still life by Ellie, available to purchase in store!

Before We Forget….

As we mentioned in the beginning, this isn’t all just about our workshops. Our brand new space isn’t just designed for that, it is also a wonderful, new GALLERY SPACE! We are so looking forward to our upcoming exhibitions, and we have a few ideas in the works for which local artists we will be featuring first…

If you are an up and coming or well established artist, we would love to hear your proposal! Send us an email or drop in-store to chat about what you make and create! We are ready for anything that might be suitable for our brand new gallery space.

Stay along for this ride, we have a feeling 2021 is going to be a good year!

Until next time xx