Creative Corners; Lloyd Kellet

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For those who don’t know, who are you and what do you do?
My name’s Lloyd Kellet. I make custom furniture, custom lighting and sculptural items from mostly discarded items that would end up in landfill.

Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into all of this?
My background is mainly in the building industry. I’ve been a gyprocker, brick layer, concreter, I’ve done tiling, fencing, pretty much everything, all of which I hated, but which I think got me to where I am now in away; being handy with tools. I started this purely by accident. I needed a desk at home while I was on holidays so I just went out to the shed, built a desk, had some timber left over, built a bench seat, and then all through the holidays just keep building stuff. I then thought “I’ve got all this stuff, what am I going to do with it?” So a couple of months later I put some stuff in a shop in Islington, which was by accident again. Then I heard about Renew Newcastle and that they had some spots opening in The Emporium, so I thought “I’ll put in an application, what are the chances?” I got accepted, and so within six months of starting, I had a showroom and it pretty much all happened over night purely by accident. So I’d like to say thanks to Renew Newcastle. Without them I don’t think I’d still be doing this. They do amazing work for artists, creators and people all across the board.

Tell us about your design style.
I do a lot of custom pieces for custom orders, and pretty much 99% of my stuff is made up as I go along. I can’t draw so I can’t draw plans; I can see things in my head how I want to do them, but they always change along the way, and that’s hard because I can’t tell the client, “it’s going to look like this” or “this is what you’ll get”, so it’s pretty much they trust me and no one’s been disappointed yet (laughs).

Where do you usually source your materials from?
Usually just junkyards, scrap yards,  the side of the road, recycle centers, places like that. People tend to give me stuff as well. I’ve got a mate who is always bringing me motor parts and whatever he can find.

What attracts you to this industrial-esque style?
I’m not sure really. Probably how solid and sturdy it is. It’s just the style I like to build. I don’t even know if it’s industrial, I don’t know what it is.

Tell us about your new workspace?
At the moment I’m a part of the Creator Incubator in Hamilton. They’ve just opened up a new shed, which is filling up fast. Hopefully I’ll be here for a while, but I really don’t know what’s going to happen with me. This thing happened overnight so I could wake up tomorrow and say “yeah, I don’t want to do that anymore”, but hopefully I’ll be here for a while.

How would you define creativity?
That’s a tough question. For me creativity is having your own idea and acting upon it and building that idea rather than looking on the Internet or in books and copying something, because I don’t think there’s much skill involved in that. Anyone can get a picture of something and copy it, and there are a lot of people who do that and claim it’s unique. I pretty much just think, I want to build that and I build it; I don’t look for ideas.

Would you say creativity is something we’re born with or something we can learn?
Maybe a bit of both. I guess you can be taught how to weld, you can be taught how to use tools, but I don’t think you can be taught perspective and having an eye, I think you need to be born with some of that. I couldn’t teach people to build some of my things because I don’t even know what I’m doing, if you know what I mean. I can’t say go find that piece, that piece, that piece and put them together because I don’t know which pieces go together. You have to find those pieces and just know that’s the right piece and know when you look at it; I just know when I think something looks right, but I can’t explain how. Particularly with the sculptural stuff, I started doing that by accident by just wondering if I could do sculpture. So maybe it’s a bit of both.

Is there anything in this space or externally that inspires you when you’re working?
Mr T (laughs). No not really. Sometimes I might see a piece of machinery and think I could make a lamp out of that or that would make a good something for a piece of furniture. But usually my brain is just going at a hundred miles an hour anyway and I’ve always got lists and lists of things I need to make and want to make; there’s always something to do.

What’s an opposition you’ve faced, how did you overcome it and what did that teach you?
The only problem I’ve really had is time, because I’ve got a day job as well. So that means I’ve got to work at night, weekends and I just overcome that by figuring out that sleep is overrated. I just push, push, push until the point that it’s dangerous because I’m so tired, and that’s when I finish.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far, or the thing you’re most proud of?
Biggest accomplishment would have to be figuring out that I think this is what I’m meant to be doing and loving doing it.

What's your opinion?

  1. I love this interview post so much! Using recycled materials and repurposing items to create art is the way to go I think! What a great dude Lloyd Kellet is.

  2. Loved reading this!! Lloyd looks like such a cool dude! I love that he is recycling products into furniture!

    Laura || xx

  3. Wow this is so cool! He seems like such an awesome bloke and what he does is awesome xx

    Ebony-Rose ||


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