Today on Handmade Men we’re chatting with artisan John Garloff from Ohm Home Lighting. John creates some of the most amazing pieces of functional art we’ve seen, and he’s found creative ways to combine light, color, and the elements to create one-of-a-kind works of art that are loved in man caves, family rooms, bedrooms, and nooks all alike. The Ohm Home Lighting shop is filled with a selection of handmade lamps and night lights, as well as jewelry pieces and sculpture.
Welcome John! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your shop…
I was born and raised in the fruit orchards of Cucamonga, California. I have spent a great deal of my youth traveling back and forth to Italy to see grandparents and family. I now reside in Ashland, Oregon.
My shop is in the back of my home. I enjoy being able to come in and be with family while taking breaks or thinking over ideas. I feel excitement while looking around at my miscellaneous bits and pieces of metal contemplating my next endeavor. My shop is comforting to me because it is my private domain. I process internally while creating and it gives me the quiet needed to reach inside for exploration and discovery about what really makes me tick! My shop set up works for me although there are some things I may want to change down the line. Right now I use a railroad track for an anvil. A nice anvil is on my wish list. There is challenge and innovation involved in creating various tools to help me through design ideas. When I get a new idea, it often entails crafting a new tool to achieve and execute the new art form.
My inspiration vividly holds a vision for finding and recreating myself as an artist. Art has been an instrumental stepping stone toward my internal journey and to me, represents endless possibilities. It is the level of accomplishment and comfort in knowing, trusting, and developing my true self. Art liberates the bondage of depression and awakens discovery of transformation from old to new. It is a vessel in attaining a sense of purpose and freedom. It is truly a catalyst of great things to come.
As much as we support the handmade arts for men, we equally like to support men actually getting out there and creating in any way they feel drawn. Your story is really inspiring!
What got you started in working with the materials and techniques you use to create your pieces?
I was in a state of limbo after shutting down a business of 15 years. My body was failing due to the abuse of physical labor. I wound up taking a self inventory. Fabricating and repairing my equipment was my favorite part of operating my business. I realized then that I really enjoyed working with metal.
Lighting is a truly powerful medium. Why did you choose it, and how does your creativity fuse with the light pieces you make?
I have always been fascinated with mechanical and practical objects especially lighting and timepieces. Lighting is an essential part of every environment. I wanted to work in an art form that would be elegant and practical. It was my attraction to lighting rather than a marketing analysis.
Light fills a space with pleasing ambiance and essential practicality. My intention is to combine these elements with elegance.
Merging my craft in making jewelry allows me to feel less confined and gives me the opportunity to manipulate metal in a variable and unique way. It expands my creativity for my lighting pieces and I believe they complement each other nicely.
We love your work, and can see all of the intention and dedication you put into it.
Share two of your favorite pieces with us, and tell us a little bit about each one…
This is the dream piece. My very first vision that became a reality. It has opened many doors for me and has given me determination and confidence to move forward as a progressive artist.
The Pillars of Rome
This compelling creation carries an aristocratic feel that has become a favorite addition to the Ohm Home Lighting collection. This classic piece states a bold intention that presents enticement and provokes a sense of scholarship, intelligence, and mastery.
In your opinion as an artist and as a supporter of the handmade movement, what do you think the future looks like for handmade, artisan, small business, and art-based product?
The future looks good if we are all willing to stop supporting big corporations. It will also help the economy to shop handmade and to take a stand against mass production and outsourced jobs. That is why vintage is along these lines as well, better to support handmade or “new to you” as recycled unique items for the guys in your life.
Our world needs all of our help. Supporting ‘mom and pop’ stores and artists with skilled craftsmanship that lasts for generations(non throw away quality) is going back to basics with benefits for all.
John, thank you so much for taking the time to share your work and your inspiration with us!
Use the links below to find Ohm Home Lighting online and see the full selection of pieces available right now…