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A few years ago, wanting to give his father a Christmas gift reminiscent of his life on the family farm, Shawn Carling found some old tractor parts, and built a unique lamp. His father was thrilled with the gift, as were others who saw it. That one labor of love changed Carling’s life forever. He left his 25-year corporate management career and devoted his time to creating one-of-a-kind, steampunk lamps, created from original gauges, gears and industrial artifacts. His work is displayed in homes, restaurants, bars and corporations from Las Vegas to Hong Kong to Tasmania.
Have you always worked with your hands?
I grew up on a small farm in rural North Dakota and loved to work with my hands. There was always something to fix, create or repurpose. I then spent 25 yrs. miscast in corporate America, probably the only corporate manager picking gunk out from under their fingernails in a Monday morning status meeting!
What drew you to your chosen craft?
Nostalgia!!! I love early American industrial antiques! In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s companies proudly put their name on everything they made, giving these items unique features and characteristics that you don’t see on products in today’s modern age. Those old industrial artifacts are crazy cool!
What do you enjoy most about your craft?
I love to see the reaction on customer’s faces when they connect a memory with one of my lamps. I built a lamp for one customer using an old steam gauge that was from the basement of her grandparent’s home. She was absolutely thrilled to have something that reminded her of days playing and enjoying time at her grandparents’ home.
Visit Shawn’s Website