Sled developer’s junk art attracts buyers
Ex-cop and Snolo developer Sean Boyd has a passion for junk and a passionate advocate for the values of creativity. Grant Bryant reports.
Clyde man Sean Boyd is putting the small Central Otago town on the map with a two-pronged creative and commercial venture that’s gained interest – and buyers – all over the world. Fresh off the back of Mirror coverage, Mr Boyd’s SnoLo sled company found an investor to help the fledgling company create a global market for hi-tech, sleek and uber-fast snow sleds. With the SnoLo Sleds website launch, sleds have been shipped as far afield as China and the new deal will help launch other SnoLo products. However, Mr Boyd is not just a creator of innovative products. His rummaging, recycling and construction talents – coupled with highly creative tendencies – are paying international dividends too. Mr Boyd explained his ‘‘Junk Artist’’ venture: ‘‘I’ve always been a bit of a hoarder, but I use bits and pieces to fix just about anything, my washing machine or toaster or whatever. ‘‘One day I was feeling creative, went into my man cave and ended up with a ray gun. The feedback was fantastic from almost everyone who saw it, so I put it on Trade Me. ‘‘It had over 10,000 views and sold for $300. I’ve kept going and the popularity has skyrocketed. I ended up making a jet pack with flashing lights and a ray gun with working laser for World Of Wearable Art (WOW). ‘‘Those pieces were seen by Sir Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop and he contacted me. I have had a stall at the Queenstown market since Christmas selling science fiction-style lamps, fans and general curiosities. That has given me exposure to an international audience and I now sell some of my pieces for thousands of dollars, regularly shipping items to the UK, Europe, USA and Australia. ‘‘I also create commissioned pieces for collectors and businesses, such as ROGER (Recycled Object Gathering Electronic Robot) – a 1.5m-tall robot for a new science discovery centre opening in Auckland later this year.’’ The creative drive and spirit he has harnessed could also be used as a force of good for many criminals – as an ex-cop and probation officer, Mr Boyd speaks with years of experience. ‘‘In my previous roles I met so many artistically gifted individuals who weren’t aware of their talents or of the opportunities that are open to them. Creating gives a sense of achievement and self worth. If someone has been in and out of prison, on drugs and violent most of their life, it is because they are unhappy . . . Expose them to their natural talents, encourage them to create and the change that occurs when they get feedback from others is overwhelming,’’ he said. ‘‘When an ex gang member walks down the street his facial tattoos and general appearance make people uneasy, but when he holds up a canvas of a painting he created, all of a sudden the public see his facial tattoos as creative and they want to talk to him.’’
Creations catch on: Clyde’s Sean Boyd with a recycled raygun sculpture, a classic example of his creations which are getting shipped around the world, with his SnoLo sled.