Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 14/6/2016 (1523 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
That couldn’t be more true for a Winnipeg couple, Mark and Ticia Lyng, the creative duo behind the company Lot Sixty-Five.
They salvage abandoned farm and factory equipment to create new pieces of furniture and décor. They get their material from old factories in the Exchange District, antique stores, flea markets and the odd farm.
"We take different things and possibly turn them into cellphone chargers or lights and different things that you might use every day," Mark said. "But the things could be from the late 1800s or the early 1900s."
Their home is their work space and their revitalized creations decorate nearly every room. Leaning towards materials such as iron and wood, their work includes stools made out of car jacks, an iron lamp with a base that was part of a cauterizer from the 1800s, and a coffee table made from a large pulley they found in an Exchange District factory.
Building a single piece from a variety of parts means no two pieces are identical, Mark said. "They can never be recreated because they’re all unique pieces that are put together," he said. "Everything truly is one of a kind."
What was originally their hobby transformed into a business last December. Mark sent photos of their work to Barn Hammer, a local brewery set to open this summer.
"When they came over and saw what we did, they (said), ‘This is exactly what we were looking for. We haven’t been able to find this in the city,’" he said.
Barn Hammer’s interest prompted them to officially register the company, named after their plot of retirement land in Prince Edward Island.
Ticia said they’re working on lighting and a few other projects for Barn Hammer, but they’re keeping mum on specifics until it opens.
"It feels good to be able to bring their vision to life; it’s going to be a good feeling when it opens," Mark said. Since then, Torque, another local brewery, has expressed interest in the couple’s work.
They said learning about an item’s history adds to the fun. "It’s nice when you find something and it comes with a story, so you can actually talk to the individual who owned it and it was his grandfather’s or something," Mark said.
If the history isn’t known, they scour the Internet to find out.
"I don’t want to lose the history, I don’t want to lose the past," Ticia said. "People should be aware of the past and hopefully, they might be interested in a piece and have the same curiosity we do."
The Lyngs said they have noticed similar-looking furniture and décor is gaining popularity, but were quick to add it can be inauthentic and only made to look old.
"They have old cameras from 1910 or the 1920s, but they’re plastic and they’re painted to look old," Mark said. "So you know the look’s popular, but we wanted to make stuff out of the actual historical artifacts as opposed to just plastic from China."
Mark said the creative process can change depending on the piece. "Sometimes you see it right away, and other times it takes awhile," he said, adding they don’t look for something specific. "It’s not a job, it’s fun. It’s fun for us. We can’t wait to come home and get dirty and tinker," Ticia said.
She said they’ll put the purchases from the day in a pile in their backyard, sit on their lawn chairs and piece it together, occasionally jumping out of their chairs when inspiration hits to rearrange some parts. "It’s like a puzzle," she said. "You’re just playing."
They said it’s getting tougher to find the material they need. "We’re not hoarding yet," Ticia said. "But when I see certain items that I know I could utilize… then we’ll get it."
She said selling what they find on sites such as eBay could make them more money.
"But that’s not what we’re buying it for," she said. "We’re buying it for re-purposing, for someone else to enjoy. Not for a collector to hide it."
The Lyngs plan on eventually retiring to their farm in P.E.I. and will continue to sell their work, something Ticia said she "can’t wait" for.
"We don’t have to worry about being busy in retirement, that’s for sure," Mark said.
To contact the Lyngs, go to their website at www.lotsixtyfive.ca
Updated on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 at 7:30 AM CDT: Adds photos
The Winnipeg Free Press invites you to share your opinion on this story in a letter to the editor. A selection of letters to the editor are published daily.
Letters must include the writer’s full name, address, and a daytime phone number. Letters are edited for length and clarity.