● By Enjoy Magazine
Getting to know Mark Vorous, concept designer and steampunk engineer.
Why did you decide to start making your lamps?
"It gives me the artistic outlet I find very fulfilling. When I first saw this genre of art, and all of its different takes on it, I was most drawn to the repurposing of vintage items mixed with a bit of the 'mad scientist' influence."
How long does it take you to make your lamps?
"Some are crazy simple and some are quite complex, so it varies quite a bit. What interests me the most is of course, doing something I haven’t done before. In those instances, I have to learn the process and it takes more time. My goal however is two a week. I don’t submit to any time pressures or 'stress' to produce, which keeps it fresh and fun."
What all do you make?
"As I mentioned, the most appealing is the 'bumbling mad scientist' influence, so really anything that includes a bit of the vintage/retro (circa 1930-60’s) items I obtain mixed with some old school technology. It doesn’t really have to be a lamp, but the draw to make it somewhat functional, with a little 'What the hell is that!' opens up my mind to all sorts of things. I honestly have more ideas than I have time to create. I love embedding tech, like bluetooth functionality as well as Nixie tubes."
How do you make your lamps?
"My first goal was to learn how to do what I do safely. That meant honing my electronic skills. The rest is just obtaining interesting objects that include, old world oddities, cast iron, hard woods, leather, Edison style light bulbs, LED’s, old switches, etc. Then, I sit back and visualize what might be cool to make, something I would like to have on my desk. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made something only to be torn with the feeling of, 'Oh, I’m keeping this one.'"
What’s been your favorite part about making your lamps?
"That’s easy, it’s the comments from others and the conversations that come up regarding the whole genre of this art."
Where do you sell your products?
"At first, and occasionally now, I give as gifts. I don’t make enough items to need to market them on the internet, but I’ll admit that was my first natural instinct. I sell the few that I make at the Enjoy Store in Redding. Its as if I was guided to this venue and have enjoyed my interactions with the employees there. It was so nice to be asked to sell items at the store in Red Bluff as well but, to date, I just don’t produce enough to make that possible. I don’t wish to be on any time table for production and that keeps it in the hobby/just for fun area that I love."
Do you have a website/Are you on social media?
"No. I would like to get that going, if only to show off the few items I’ve come up with. I cherish the feedback, that not only inspires me but has given my so many ideas to broaden what I make."