Homegrown Creatives: meet Neil from The Streets Furniture Company

I know I’m a day late with this post but thought you’d all forgive me for taking a day off yesterday, it being Good Friday and all ;)

I’d like to introduce local woodworking champ, Neil from The Streets Furniture Company. I first came across Neil’s work via The Ruby Orchard (where he has some items on show/for sale) and love his contemporary style…

cleverbirdbanter-weekly-feature-The-Streets

Who are you and what do you do / make / sell?

My name is Neil Du Plessis and I own ‘The Streets Furniture’, we do custom furniture and commissions, focusing particularly on using weathered/reclaimed timber and combining it with metal work to create an industrial modern look.

Did you always know that you were headed in this direction – how did you get where you are today?

I’ve always had a passion for creating, I studied and have been involved with music since my teens, so that’s where I started but my father is in the timber business so I’ve always had a knowledge of timber and some of the ins and outs of how the industry works. After studying, I was looking for a new creative outlet, people asked I said yes and I now I own a business.

What makes your work / products / services unique?

I guess it’s the fact that most woodworkers are looking for the perfect piece of timber to make the perfect piece of furniture out of. I on the other hand get most excited about the imperfections in wood, its the cracks, the knots, the checks and the spalting of weathered timber that makes me most excited. The combination of that aesthetic with the clean lines of steel are very complimentary.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Blogs, Facebook, coffee shops, my clients ideas.

Who are your creative idols?

Steve Jobs, George Nakashima, Thom Yorke

Where do you like to hang out – what are your favorite spots in your town/city/country?

I love the Natal Midlands but any good coffee shop or beautifully designed space will work.

Given the opportunity, where would you like to travel/explore?

Scandinavia with out a doubt.

How does a typical day for you play out?

I also teach music part time so if I’m not doing that, me and my colleague Sandile will be in the workshop creating, building, scheming and cleaning up sawdust.

With a day all to yourself (no meetings, distractions, to-do-lists) and an unlimited budget, what would you get up to?

It would start with a surf in perfect weather, follow by some fine dining and traveling around a beautiful European city ending off by watching a concert by my favorite bands.

If you could have any other profession, what would it be?

I have always wanted to do what I’m doing now :)

Where can we stalk you?

www.facebook.com/thestreetsfurniture or mail me theneildup@gmail.com

What does your workspace / studio look like?

My parents have a small holding in Ashburton, so I converted the garages into my workshop on their property – it’s a little cramped but will have to do for now.

What it the work/design/product/project you are most proud of to date?

I’d have to say my hairpin furniture, it’s clean and beautiful but extremely simple in design. I saw the idea on tumblr and thought it would definitely be something that people in South Africa would appreciate. Other that that, I just completed a 6,5 meter shelf installation made from pine tree slabs which still possessed the live edge of the trunk, I really enjoy that sort of work and would like to pursue more of it.

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{ all pics from The Street Facebook page / Instagram feed }

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