George Stankus


Used trumpet, mounted on recycled granite base, using copper pipe to hold instrument and light. Piece is calling “Louis”

George Stankus (1950- ), aka “The Lamp Guy”, was always tinkering and making things to play with as a curious kid growing up in Miami, FL. With the help of his Pop, he learned basic wiring and circuit design using Lafayette Electronics science kits, building a shortwave radio and a basic binary computer. Long before “upcycling,” George was always thinking of what he could do with things he found. During a woodworking workshop in the summer of 1962, George had his first experience repurposing, using a discarded bowling pin. After turning it on a lather, he then took a metal coat hanger, burning designs into the wood. WIth a simple turned maple base, the pin was then mounted, wired and became what would be the first work by “The Lamp Guy.” In the early 1970’s, George landed a contract with the Smithsonian Institute to recreate items that were displayed in the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 for the 1976 Bicentennial Exhibition. With the help of Bob Johnson at Whistle in Woods in Chickamauga, Ga , they recreated Otis’ first elevator, Mast and Foos Windmill and 8 other projects using steam-driven period tools. Fast forward a few decades, past boring corporate jobs and countless creative projects in the kitchen and the yard with his daughters, to find George, retired and looking for a hobby. In his new home of Columbia, SC, George found inspiration in an unlikely place; the inspiration came on Tuesday nights in his neighborhood, when recycling tubs were put at the curb, George would sift through these blue plastic treasure chests, finding disparate items and envisioning them as whimsical sculptures.

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