Man makes furniture from used car parts

January 18, 2018
Norman Grindley/Chief Photo Editor Interior decorator Leon Johnson shows off one of his more elaborate pieces, a wine and glass holder made from a car's disc rotor and rock end, and parts of a guitar. This piece goes for $70,000.
Norman Grindley/Chief Photo Editor Have a seat on this 'wheel-based' chair.
Norman Grindley/Chief Photo Editor Johnson shows off one of the wine bottle stands he's created from used car parts.
Norman Grindley/Chief Photo Editor Another of Johnson's creations.

Leon Johnson, 50, believes that God has given him a gift to make furniture and other useful items from car parts.

From a cross member which he used to build a table, to a jack which he used to build a wine holder, Johnson said that there is no part on a car from which he cannot create something.

"Anything mi get, mi can mek something outta it. Mi can tell yuh wah mi a go mek outta it before mi even touch it," he told THE STAR.

For almost 30 years he has been creating unique pieces of usable art at his home in East Prospect, St Thomas.

"This come een like life to mi. If mi nuh mek supm fi a month, it come like mi nuh good," he said.

Sometimes, he has to apologise to his neighbours because he believes that he may be disturbing them.

"If me wake inna di night like 2 or 3 o'clock and supm come to me, mi guh right out deh guh do it right away," Johnson explained.

Although he wants to sell his inventions, he admits that he is finding it difficult to get customers who are willing to pay di prices he asks for.

"I am not selling anything at present ... I just accumulate as much as I can accumulate, but a lot of persons come in and look at them," he said. "One of the things is that art is not cheap and some of the persons would want them for nothing."

However, he says if persons purchase an item, they would be the sole owner of that product.

"I don't replicate them, so if you buy a piece, you would be the only one with that," he said.

And he said he would love to teach someone how to make the products, but, so far, he has not found anyone willing to learn the art.

"I am not a selfish person and I am willing to pass it on, but mi nuh see nobody fi tek it on like that. Mi and di youth dem nuh spend no time fi do dis," he told THE STAR.

Johnson, who is a certified interior decorator, said in his own house, he has creations like a face basin made from a brake drum and chairs built from a rack and pinion.

He said he buys the used car parts or persons who know him will give him remnants of old vehicles.

"Dem nuh waan mi lean pon dem car cause dem fraid mi tek off supm guh weh wid," he joked.

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