A time­less work of art

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By TASHA BLACK

Sci­ence fic­tion fans around the world are yearn­ing for a bed in a Rau­mati South house.

It’s not just any bed, but a Tardis time trav­el­ling ma­chine bed, built by Rosetta Rd man Ja­son Beca, and in­spired by sci­ence fic­tion tele­vi­sion show Dr Who.

The time trav­el­ling ma­chine, which took Mr Beca 200 hours to build, folds down into a sin­gle bed, and was mod­elled on the Dr Who episode set in Christ­mas Eve 1869 with Charles Dick­ens.

Mr Beca built it for his eightyear-old son Nic, but de­cided to sell it and build his son a Star Wars Death Star bed in­stead.

The Tardis has a talk­ing phone, made from a gar­den hose, a po­lice light and a chain of LED lights on the roof with six dif­fer­ent pulse set­tings.

It had re­ceived more than 70,000 hits and reached $7200 on Trade Me be­fore Mr Beca with­drew the item, hav­ing struck a deal with Woman’s Day. The mag­a­zine will use it for a Christ­mas give-away pro­mo­tion.

Mr Beca’s crafts­man­ship knows no bound­aries. He can make and re­store any­thing from old train sets to rocket-pow­ered skate­boards to a lamp made out of a Bar­bie doll with wings he at­tached from a dead hawk he found on the road.

He pulled the bird apart, which was ‘‘ a bit grue­some’’, at­tached the wings to the doll and re­placed the doll’s legs with the bird’s claws.

Now she sits in a bird cage and can be lit up.

Cre­ativ­ity runs in Mr Beca’s blood. His fa­ther re­stored art and his grand­fa­ther de­signed and built the Auck­land Har­bour Bridge.

But Mr Beca, who left school at 13 and ‘‘ bummed’’ around, is en­tirely self-taught. He does not know how to ex­plain his crafts­man­ship, only to say ‘‘it’s just a gift ba­si­cally’’.

His tal­ent emerged af­ter a rocky patch in his life.

Eleven years ago he suf­fered a bad head in­jury and as a small child his son suf­fered se­ri­ous epilep­tic fits, of­ten end­ing up in hos­pi­tal.

Mr Beca says he ‘‘couldn’t think, couldn’t sleep’’ and would come home and cre­ate stuff as a way of mak­ing sense of the world.

‘‘The only time I could con­cen­trate was when I was do­ing this,’’ he says, ges­tur­ing around his work­shop to var­i­ous cre­ations, in­clud­ing a half-fin­ished Sir Howard Mor­ri­son minia­ture and a tiny car with bugs in it.

A stroke three years ago came as an­other set­back.

Mr Beca says his brain some­times just stops work­ing, he loses fo­cus, for­gets where he is go­ing, and loses his bal­ance.

He reads, but for­gets what he has read and does not wear a watch be­cause he promptly for­gets the time af­ter check­ing it.

He at­tributes friend Sir Richard Tay­lor, from Weta, for help­ing him through his ‘‘dark­est days’’.

He was like a ‘‘ sponge soak­ing up wa­ter’’ when Sir Richard showed him around the Weta work­shops, and now has two mod­els on dis­play in the Weta foyer. Sir Richard has per­son­ally en­dorsed his work.

Mr Beca’s son was also a ‘‘push to get mov­ing’’.

‘‘ He just comes up with the cra­zi­est things and he wants me to build them.’’

Nic won’t set­tle for a typ­i­cal round train set, he wants an elab­o­rate train set made in a week, laughs Mr Beca, who has re­stored bikes, trains and toys for peo­ple all around the world, in­clud­ing celebri­ties.

‘‘My cell­phone looks like some sort of Amer­i­can chat show, it’s freaky,’’ he says of his con­tacts list.

He does not have a web­site, and the Tardis is the only piece he has auc­tioned.

Mr Beca is also a cham­pion of good causes. He ral­lied the com­mu­nity to­gether to get Otaki spina bi­fida suf­ferer Michael Con­way a new light­weight wheel­chair, has helped ren­o­vate a fam­ily home and or­gan­ised a school raf­fle for Rau­mati Beach School.

Next on his to-do list is a jet en­gine mo­tor­bike and a rocket-fu­elled car.

‘‘As soon as I’m well I’ll go full steam ahead.’’

Time trav­el­ling bed: Ja­son Beca with his Tardis Dr Who cre­ation which folds out into a sin­gle bed.

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