Michael Yeltsin is a homeless man from Bloemfontein, living in Cape Town. He salvages wood from the streets and uses it to make objects that he sells by the side of the road. This piece is intended as a ‘bin’ – the head is attached to a lid that lifts off the body. I asked him to tell me more about why he made it, below – Ralph Borland, 2014
It’s because I want money – I’m looking for money. I made it like this because I think someone will love it, the shape – this corner, corner, corner like this. Maybe somebody will understand it. The shape is like a man. [The holes] are like a joke – just a joke.
Michael Yeltsin’s tricycle toy, made from salvaged wood and champagne corks.
Christian Nerf’s broom/coat-hook at Atlantic House
Grabouw protesters’ shields
The image above is cropped from a photo by Courtney Africa published in the Cape Times on Wednesday 17 September 2014, p.4, showing young protestors in Grabouw during service delivery protests which saw 5 schools closed. They hold improvised shields. At left is the gun of a policeman – police fired rubber bullets, and protestors threw stones. Courtney supplied the archive with some more photographs, below, and this comment:
In the picture above the guys were shielding stone throwers. Others would roll stones/rocks to them from further behind as the materials for making ‘shields’ seemed scarce.
Street cleaning scoop
Photographer and major contributor to the DIY project, Nic Grobler, captured this example in Cape Town of the ubiquitous dustpan made from a cut-down plastic jerry can or other vessel. Workers like municipal road sweepers in South Africa often seem to prefer to make their own dustpans like this instead of using mass-produced ones. The sweeper who made this one, Khulile Mfuno, said:
This is the second one I made. It is perfect, especially for picking up dirty stuff. It is just a piece of wood and and half a bucket tied up with a wire. I’d like to make more things, but most of the time I don’t have time you see.
– Khulile Mfuno, 2014
Car seat counter chair
Nic Grobler captured this counter chair made from a car seat at auto spares shop Korean Boyz, on Voortrekker Road in Cape Town. Auto mechanic Hennie Swart who made it, along with other projects from salvaged materials, had this to say about it:
They look very beautiful with nice mags. I haven’t painted it yet – it is an expensive project. The whole thing as it stands there is R1,500. If we add it up, including the seat (which we can sell for R500) it becomes a lot. I also have a top loader washing machine [drum] that I turned into a braai – it is the best braai you can get. Especially with all the little holes in the side it is great for wind.
– Hennie Swart, Korean Boyz, 2014
Cable-tie modification to a pocket knife, to create an Emerson-style quick opener.
– Barend de Wet, 2014