Okmulgee, Oklahoma, 1981, the birthplace of a future giant in the world of leatherwork and steampunk. John LeVan is the sole proprietor and founder of Deadlance Steamworks, and a world class artist and designer. Though having no formal training, John spent many of his years drawing, painting, and as a professional photographer before haphazardly falling into the world of leatherwork. John has taught himself 100% of what he knows about leather and metal work.
What started out to be nothing more than simply helping a friend with a Halloween costume has turned into a huge passion and artistic giant. The first project created was a steampunk fairy, complete with a handmade corset and clockwork wings. John spent a week with a cheap sewing machine – with no sewing experience whatsoever – and created a unique, handmade under bust corset without a pattern. Weeks later, huge clockwork wings were crafted and a costume was born.
Drawing much of his inspiration from the worlds of fantasy, science fiction, and steampunk, John seeks to create highly imaginative, hand crafted pieces of wearable artwork, designed to tease and seduce both the mind and body. John’s primary mediums include leather and metal, hand formed, and sculpted together to form a science fiction take on the medieval and post apocalyptic future. Each of the works made by John are created with a specific individual in mind and is based off of that person’s thoughts, desires, ideas, and needs. Quality, durability, authenticity, and uniqueness are very important and sought after features of each of the pieces crafted by John.
John spent nearly 13 years as a professional photographer preceded by a lifetime of artistic passion, from drawing and painting, to sculpture and design. John currently lives and works in Del City, Oklahoma and is constantly seeking collaboration and supports his fellow artists.