They say one man’s trash is another’s treasure and this is certainly the case for John Dehey — the end result is enough to make you say, “bugger me!”.
The White Patch based, master craftsman has been a builder for 30 years, but only turned his hand to metalwork eight years ago.
It all started with a metal bird and since then he and wife Robyn have been regulars at swap meets in search of steel objects that can be given new life.
These include car parts, bits of fans, farming implements, hand tools, scooter wheels, garden rakes, blacksmith tools, mower blades, rabbit traps and so much more.
Robyn came up with the name of their business, BuggerMe Designs, and says it aptly reflects the reaction they get from people who see John’s work.
“It’s not meant to be rude,” she laughs.
John says he is only limited by his imagination, and he too is often left scratching his head when he sees the result in his workshop.
“People think I’m crazy if they walk past the shed, they see me laughing my head off sometimes,” he says.
“You surprise yourself that you can think of stuff like that. It just happens.”
John and Robyn spend days each year at swap meets, searching for odds and ends that will make ideal dog tails, camel legs or frog feet. They load up their car and bring it all home to the shed.
It’s a treasure trove and John has a vision for each and every item which could be vital to the next minion letterbox or camel statue.
“We look at things and think that could be the head of something or the ears,” John says. “You need imagination. I weld some things on and take them off because it looks no good.”
He prefers to sell items he has already made rather than making things to order because his vision might be different to the customer’s.
“If I can’t see it, I won’t make it,” he says.
The couple’s front yard in White Patch is their gallery and most of the items on display have a price — but not all. There are some pieces John just won’t part with.
“I get attached to a lot of them. I don’t know...why do you love your kids? There’s a lot of yourself that goes into them.”
Take a look for yourself. Visit 158 White Patch Esplanade, White Patch, phone
0428 533 439 or search BuggerMe Designs on Facebook.