Photo by Adam Finkle

John Cottam fell in love with gadgets and gizmos in the process of working on a Model A Ford his brother brought home. He grew up outside Las Vegas, and his talent for tinkering led him first to learn to grind lenses, then work as a benchman and finally become a licensed optician. Cottam has also made eyewear and props for films, famously, Blade Runner, one of the definitive modern sci-fi movies. A collector of odd things, Cottam took a new look at his garage-full a few years ago and  began tinkering with them, putting them together in new ways. He’s made fantasy items like magic wands, swords and ray guns as well as practical items like tables, mirrors and frames—all one-of-a-kind. And he has made lots of unusual and unique lamps, made from car headlights, old string dispensers, blender bases, antique Christmas tree stands . . .

The results of his art are on display in Steampunk Spectacle, downstairs from his eyewear store. 

Open at the owner’s whim or call The Spectacle for an appointment. 456 Trolley Square, SLC, 801-359-2020

Back>>>Read other stories in our June 2014 issue.