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.

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

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.’’

Photo: SUP­PLIED

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.

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