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How bits of broken fence and candle holders are helping David Todd from Norwich fight back from football injury

PUBLISHED: 17:00 25 June 2017

Designer David Todd and shop owner Julia Headland at The Post Room, Norwich. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Designer David Todd and shop owner Julia Headland at The Post Room, Norwich. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

Archant

Old camera lenses, candle holders, even pieces of broken fence. These aren’t exactly materials you would associate with a beautiful, handmade object for your home.

Lenny No 1, the futuristic lamp Mr Todd has created from old camera lenses. Photo: David ToddLenny No 1, the futuristic lamp Mr Todd has created from old camera lenses. Photo: David Todd

But at The Post Room, Norwich, these abandoned items are given whole new lease of life.

After a back injury sustained playing football in 2011, David Todd, a former interior designer for IKEA, turned to craft to alleviate his feelings of frustration.

But his career change was not only a “therapeutic” solution to the problems posed by his injury, but the start of a whole new chapter of his life.

Mr Todd, 37, now runs a thriving business creating one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and homeware. And every piece he lovingly creates is made from reused – or ‘upcycled’ – materials.

The lamp is made from upcycled materials and resembles a spacecraft. Photo: David ToddThe lamp is made from upcycled materials and resembles a spacecraft. Photo: David Todd

Sold at the artists collective on Upper St Giles Street, Mr Todd’s creations are housed alongside traditionally woven Afghanistani rugs, antique items, and fragrant soaps and candles.

He said he focuses on “different ways to use” the resources he finds, and added: “everything has a potential to be something else”.

His ethos is to “intercept things that are being discarded”.

Mr Todd’s designs include raw wood lampshades created from the slats of old fences, and lights made from coiled strings of fairy lights, candle holders, and camera lenses. But his most unusual piece must be the creation he has named Lenny No 1, an ‘upcycled’ lamp that resembles a space craft.

The Tree Branch lamp, another of Mr Todd's designs, features remote controlled copper wire LED lights. Photo: David ToddThe Tree Branch lamp, another of Mr Todd's designs, features remote controlled copper wire LED lights. Photo: David Todd

It is made of 100% reclaimed objects, and from its interior flashes an otherworldly blue glow, magnified and distorted by the camera lenses through which the light shines.

Julia Headland is one of The Post Room’s four owners. The 48 year old artist said there has been “a resurgence of interest in craft”, with people wanting authenticity, from the products they buy.

The shop stocks the work of local artists and craftspeople on a low commission basis, and the focus is on fair trade amd a spirit of community.

The Post Room has been open since February 2017, and Mr Todd has been selling his designs with the shop since March.

The inside of the lights - which can be used as bookends - are illuminated by strings of copper-coloured fairy lights. Photo: Jessica Frank-KeyesThe inside of the lights - which can be used as bookends - are illuminated by strings of copper-coloured fairy lights. Photo: Jessica Frank-Keyes

“If you support local industry, that money goes back into the community and the revenue is there for everyone,” he said.

He added: “It’s a great way to generate interest in a special one-off item.”

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