Floridian Artist Jay Lana is the creator behind Retro Steam Works; a Studio Specialized in the Making of Up-cycled Lighting Décor Using Reclaimed Materials.
He lives in sunny Southwest Florida with his kids, multiple reptiles, a tarantula, a rescued cat and two rescued dogs.
Retro Steam Works is a one man operation: He is the designer, maker, mover and shaker.
He obtains his materials from various sources, such as estate sales, flea markets and recycle centers.
His company, Retro Steam Works started as a desire to rescue unwanted objects and giving them a new use, he has always been a fan of vintage things, and discarded artifacts.
- I thought what if I tinker with them to see what turns out of it and voila, here I am, creating things and enjoying while doing it.
- I like to use worn out materials as much as possible. I love the idea of creating something out of a piece that has history; vintage and rusty stuff really catches my eye”
- The process I use to create my pieces may sound simple, but for me, a person with a mild case of ADD and OCD is sometimes difficult.
- The creative process usually starts with some sketches, but what really ignites the process is when I lay out some of my materials and do a hand-on-material sketch. When I am happy with the result, I make a list of what I might need to complete the assembly and start to work.
Sometimes when I sketch on paper, the result might be frustrating, because some of the materials may not be readily available, thus I end up walking up and down my shop looking for available materials I can use. Once the materials are gathered, they are cleaned thoroughly without altering the patina so hard earned. Then he looks for the right design which must be durable and useful. When he is satisfied with the design, he proceeds to assemble, then the wiring and testing.
- Craftsmanship is of utmost importance to me, thus I like to double check everything. I know that every item that leaves my studio represents the company, so the details really matter. Since the customer satisfaction is entirely in my hands, I strive for a high level of integrity in my work.