In a small corner of a sprawling property in the upper reaches of Peachland, Misty and Adam Schewe have built a bit of an empire.
Actually, they've built a Barnyard Empire, pulling inspiration from George Lucas's Star Wars. TIE-fighters, one R2D2 (so far) and some Darth Vaders have come to life in the Schewe workshop, made from bits and bobs of metal left over from Adam's other projects, along with old, decommissioned propane tanks. Then they are turned into coveted fire pits that are sold to a growing fanbase.
"I'm just having fun, I guess," Adam said. "I started building these three years ago, roughly, when I saw a Darth Vader (firepit) online."
That one, which was built out of England, sparked a curiosity and Adam wondered if he could do the same thing.
When he did, Misty posted a picture of it online and the post went viral.
"It went crazy. I had a call from New York and CBC came and an online television crew came here to interview us — all from one simple post," he said.
While the interest was significant enough that it seemed like they could do a solid side gig of firepit making, it's actually a relaxing pastime for Adam.
He and Misty are full-time paramedics and Adam being able to throw himself into projects of this kind is cathartic.
"It's a relaxation thing," he said, adding that he learned to do metalwork from his dad.
Together they built race cars and Adam still restores old vehicles. The fire pits offer an artistic aside to that greater and more time-consuming passion.
It only takes a couple days to complete one of the firepits — he also makes VW vans — and he comes up with the design on the fly, cutting paper patterns that he transfers back to metal.
While he makes it sound simple, it's clearly a complicated and potentially dangerous endeavour. Adam pointed out that cutting into a propane tank isn't the safest thing.
And, Misty pointed out, that Adam is exceptionally artistic. His artistic lineage goes all the way back all the way back to his granddad, Heinz Schewe, who came up with the monocled turtle on every Turtles chocolate box.
The project he's currently working on is an R2D2. That will be posted on their Facebook page when it's complete.
To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.
We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.