I know how much you all love a good upcycler, and today we are sharing One Man’s Trash, who create handmade Industrial style lighting, furniture, and homewares from recycled materials. Based in Newcastle, Lloyd Kellet, gyprocker and bricklayer by trade, is the man behind the trash. He has worked mostly in the building industry and is currently working as a sign installer as the “day job”. In his “spare” time he dabbles in billy carting, plays bass in a band, and tinkers in the shed making sculptural lighting, industrial style furniture, homewares and wall art, from recycled materials for One Man’s Trash.
We had a chat about how it all started and the passion we share for upcycling.
How did you start creating things from trash?
It all started because we needed a desk for an odd spot in the home. I built that with stuff I already had laying around the shed/backyard and really enjoyed it. I made the desk that started the business in late 2012. I haven’t had any formal training for the welding and furniture making – I just kept going and people seemed to like what I was doing. It’s really grown from that first project to finding other bits and seeing potential to be something more – a light, a side table etc in a very organic way.
Why are you passionate about upcycling?
I’m very passionate about reducing pollution and sustainable design. We are quite the throwaway society – quick to throw out something rather than fix it or find another use for it. It bothers me to see so much end up in landfill. I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder-as in reluctant to throw anything away- because I just know I can either fix it or make it into something else.
What inspires you?
Rusty, beaten up old materials with plenty of life left in them. Seeing others thinking outside of the box creatively. The tip shop.
How do you start a piece, do you have an idea and look for materials or the other way round, or both?
It really depends on whether it is a piece for ‘fun’ (really it’s all fun haha) or a commissioned work with a brief. Generally it’s usually myself digging through the shed and finding a random piece of metal that looks like it could be something. I don’t draw any designs or plan much – hard to explain but I just see it in my head and how the pieces will fit and then it takes on a life of it’s own.
Do you have a shop front or go to markets regularly so people can see you work?
We do have a storefront on the corner of Hunter and Perkins street in Newcastle NSW. We are open Thursday-Saturday from 10-4. We are also on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/onemanstrashaustralia and Instagram http://instagram.com/onemanstrashaustralia
It’s a mix of modern and industrial with quite a few vintage pieces we have rescued and reconditioned. Both myself and my partner are collectors so those collections feature heavily. Her antique camera collection, and my vintage hulk figurines make for an eclectic mix, but we like to think it works. I know she would love more pieces of my work to feature but I’m a busy man haha!
I was always a busy kid, very hands on, and outdoorsy. I was always creative with my play for example I remember vividly taking the round lid off mums old school washing machine and painting it to look like captain america’s shield. Forever building cubby houses and bike jumps. Never very interested in “art” in the traditional sense of the word, but obviously I was all about the upcycling and recycling without actually knowing that was what it was.
Visit One Man’s Trash on Facebook.
I love this work! Do you have an idea for turning trash into treasure?