With no formal education in art, this Objet Trouvé artist gives sculptural work a whole new perspective.
I’m a tinkerer by heart, as a kid I would spend hours disassembling my family’s devices and then adding those pieces to my toys. I had to stop with that practice the day I decided to gut my Mom’s Coo-Coo clock. After that, I was just allowed to tinker with things that weren’t usable anymore…
Even though I always enjoyed tinkering with things, I didn’t become an artist until two years ago when I couldn’t ignore that little voice inside my head anymore.
I stopped tinkering around in middle school. Other interests came in; drawing became my passion as a teenager. I would draw everywhere, but my art was always frowned upon.
My art has been called different names, some would consider it Steampunk, some call it Composition Art, and not so few would call it Junk Art. I think is hard to label my work, I’m always experimenting and incorporating new elements into it. Found Object Sculpture might describe it better.
My pieces are rarely planned; I find I work better by being intuitive. I like to use different mediums when possible, but metal might be my material of predilection.
The creative process is a very fun thing to do, unless there’s a deadline…Wait! There’s always a deadline.
I consider myself a borderline hoarder, I have plenty of materials to work with, but it seems that whenever I want to create a new piece, I feel the urge to go out there and do a scavenge hunt for more “treasures”. I do sketch, but only using components I know I have; I sketch the pieces together to “feel” the final piece, it might look good in my mind, but doing a sketch helps greatly.
I love working with worn out materials, objects that have a story to tell, it is great to work with a hundred year old piece of cast iron and think, where this piece has been before? What did it help to build in the past? Who enjoyed working with it? I think is important to give these objects a new life, it is sad to see how many relics end up in a pile of scrap just waiting to be melted.
I strongly believe that those materials add character to my creations, it is like those objects had absorbed the soul and vibrance of all their previous lives: and I free them every time I create a new piece.
This article was written by contributing sustainable artist Jay Lana, Sculptor and Founder of Retro Steam Works in Southwest Florida.