These Cleveland-area industrial/contemporary furniture designers (Jason Radcliffe, 44 Steel; Larry Fielder, Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words; and Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors) visited HGR Industrial Surplus to find inspiration for a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture to be built live during Ingenuity Fest, Sept. 22-24, 2017.
The pieces are on display at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave., and will be auctioned by HGR with all proceeds going to aid an arts organization in the Houston area to rebuild and offer programming in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
A picture tells 1,000 words. Here are the “before” and “after” photos showing the items selected from HGR’s inventory and donated to the designers. The “after” pictures show the finished pieces on display in HGR’s office and how these designers took industrial surplus and repurposed it into a functional object for home or office use.
MEET THE DESIGNERS:
If you are interested in bidding on any of these pieces, from Oct. 4-13, 2017, you can click a button from our home page to see more information on each item and designer then place your bid. Winning bidders will be required to pick up the item from HGR or pay actual shipping cost.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)
HGR was a Showcase Sponsor for the 13th-annual IngenuityFest held during the weekend of Sept. 22-24. The event took place at the Hamilton Collaborative for the second year. This site, formerly known as the Osborn Industrial Complex, is in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood of Cleveland. IngenuityFest is a weekend-long celebration that aims to provide a forum for artists and entrepreneurs to share their creations and their innovations with members of the public all while fostering a strong sense of community.
The theme for this year’s IngenuityFest was “Metamorphosis.” There were visible representations of this in the form of giant butterflies constructed by artists out of various media, as well as actual butterflies brought in for the enjoyment of attendees by an organization called the Butterfly Dome Experience. But the idea of metamorphosis went beyond just the biological meaning of the word. The venue itself was a symbol of this transformation.
The Osborn Industrial Complex once housed the world’s largest manufacturer of industrial brushes, but the facility was closed in 2004 after the Osborn Manufacturing Co. was bought out. New businesses such as Soulcraft Woodshop, Inc., Skidmark Garage and 3 Barn Doors have recently moved in and transformed the site into a collaborative space where the new tenants can share resources and ideas.
Considering this, it is fitting for HGR to support IngenuityFest. The building that houses HGR had once been a manufacturing center, first for airplane parts during the Second World War, and later for the production of auto bodies for General Motors. In this case, HGR, one driver of metamorphosis, has helped to usher in another.
HGR’s commitment to revitalization and community extends even further afield. Earlier this month, HGR hosted the F*SHO, an annual event that gives local designers and furniture makers a chance to present their creations to the public. During the show, HGR invited the organizer of the event, Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel, as well as fellow craft houses 3 Barn Doors and Rust, Dust & Other 4 Letter Words to each pick out items from HGR’s inventory of industrial surplus. HGR then donated these items to the builders so they could each make a unique piece of furniture, which they did, live, at one of the displays open to the IngenuityFest attendees. These creations are being displayed in HGR’s sales office and will be auctioned off between Oct. 4 and 13, with the proceeds going to benefit an arts foundation in Houston that will help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Among the other attractions at IngenuityFest were five stages, each featuring various performers — from rock bands to bellydancers. One section of the outdoor part of the show featured the Firebirds, metallic beasts whose innards blazed as they stared down at onlookers while jugglers tossed flaming objects to each other beneath them (at a safe distance from the audience, of course). There were numerous vendors selling their handcrafted jewelry, and other artists displaying works in various media, from drawings to metal sculptures.
One of the most unique displays at IngenuityFest was the 1000 Faces Project created by Artist Nelson Morris. This work, which was two years in the making, featured 1,000 faces cast in concrete, each one modeled on the visage of an actual member of the Northeast Ohio community. People of different ages and backgrounds were represented to show both the value and depth of diversity within our region.
Please check out and bid on the handcrafted furniture through a link here at hgrinc.com.
My interest in art began the day I figured out that drawing was more fun than math. It was probably back in grade school. I was pretty good at it, so you follow the praise.
Where have you worked, and what have you done in prior career roles?
In high school and college I worked in retail — stockrooms, loading docks. After Columbus College of Art & Design, I got a job at a dealership in an auto body shop. That’s where I stayed 15 years sneaking to do artwork under the quarter panels of cars I was repairing. I’d do paintings in the evenings in the basement next to the laundry when I got home from work. Vickie, my wife, networked with galleries and art collectors after her day job as an occupational therapist. She encouraged me to pursue my art career full time. The sudden death of a friend of mine made me realize life is short, and I quit the auto body shop to pursue my muse. We rented a studio in an old casket building, and I painted away.
Tell us about the comic strip that you do and how it came about.
My comic strip is about a long-footed little girl name Agnes. She started showing up in the margins of my sketchbooks as I pursued my painting. I never planned to make my living as a syndicated cartoonist. It found me. Agnes is being raised in a small house trailer by her Grandma. Her best friend is Trout. She is published in newspapers in the USA, worldwide, and all over the Web. Search “Agnes comic strip.” You won’t be disappointed!
Tell us about the guitars that you make and why you became interested in making guitars.
The guitars came from a style I was trying out on a motorcycle, but I wanted to explore it further and motorcycles take up too much room. My brother brought me a spare electric guitar he had up in Buffalo, and I ran with it. Electric-guitar styles have a heavy hot-rod ethic to them.
My guitars have been called steampunk, but that’s not quite right. I like them to look old. I like them to confound. I like to add stories about them and help them along in their historical journey. They have unusual finishes — odd gizmos — and are completely functional guitars, as they should be! Functional art. I won’t modify a classic guitar. There are too few of them, and they should be preserved for future generations to enjoy in a pristine state.
When and why did you start the guitar business?
We started the guitar business to supplement my lovely wife Vickie’s loss of income due to an unforeseen battle with breast cancer. Selling guitars, creating and running the website, working social media, and doing all the marvelous photography of these is something she did beautifully, and with grace and huge success, all the time recovering her health with mastectomies and chemo. I just create and build the things.
Where do you get your reclaimed materials and wood for your guitars?
I find my mechanical palette everywhere. Garage sales, rummage sales, attics, basements. I have been known to send Vickie out of the car at stoplights to fetch odd bits of metal out of the gutter. I cut stuff up, rearrange it, beat it with hammers, weld it, melt it, rust it with acid. Materials need to be scaled to fit the guitars. People find me things, send me items. I am a receptacle for the weird. Feel free to throw something in!
Who buys your guitars?
I am privileged to have fans and buyers of diverse talents and visual desires. They love guitars, they love art, and want to own something a little outside of the box. I have an international market of art collectors, musicians, music producers, pop stars, you name them. What fun! Our customers are a wide cross section of guitar and art collectors. Guitar people seduced by the seductive imagery, lovers of the quirky, appreciators of the arts. I remember bragging to my brother when Rick Springfield bought three and uses them on tour on four of his CD covers. My brother said, “Well, he’s not really a guitar player.” Brothers! Sheesh.
What else have you made?
I’m working on another Harley right now. I converted it to a trike and am making it look like I found it abandoned in the desert, a 60s custom vibe abandoned to time and the elements.
What do you do when you aren’t drawing the strip or making guitars?
Other than all the activities of daily living like house maintenance, laundry, lawn mowing, oil changes, cooking, visiting people, reading, and fixing everything around here that breaks? Nothing much. Vickie and I have been together since we were 16 years old and high school sweethearts, and we continue to spend all the time we can together.
What is your personal philosophy?
My personal philosophy is to get everything finished. If you die, well, you’re finished.
What advice do you have for other artists/makers?
Have fun, but you can do better than the last things you did.
Anything I missed that you wanted to mention?
I’ve started complimenting all new builds with an art display assemblage that the guitar is shown on. There are three art elements: the art display assemblage that stands alone as art on the wall and has the guitar mount incorporated in it, the guitar itself, and the combination of the two. I’m saving them for a single show and have only let people see “The Baby Head” whose photo is below. It was sold immediately to a major guitar and art collector who saw the preview. They will knock your eyeballs clear out! I’d love to show them in Cleveland. Upscale gallery? Cool tavern? Rock Hall? Take a look at my work at www.TonyCochranGuitars.com and contact me at tony@TonyCochranGuitars.com . Ready for a show?
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Dale Kiefer, freelance journalist)
HGR hosted the ninth-annual F*SHO on Friday, Sept. 15. This free, community-oriented event gives local builders, designers, and artists a chance to show members of the public the products of their furniture-making skills. And maybe sell a few items and inspire some future craftspeople along the way.
More than 2,000 people attended this time around where, in addition to rubbing shoulders with these talented artists, they also got a chance to check out HGR’s inventory. The evening was a celebration fueled not just by the furniture, but also by the free beer from Noble Beast Brewing Co., the free food from SoHo Chicken + Whiskey, and a live DJ.
The organizers, Jason and Amanda Radcliffe of 44 Steel, brought the 2017 F*SHO to HGR, keeping alive their tradition of finding a new location for each show. “It started out as just a couple people showing furniture back in 2009,” Jason says, “and now, look around!” It was difficult to tell what excited Jason the most. He marveled at the age of the still-sturdy wooden beams that held HGR’s roof up just as much as he did the sight of so many people walking through HGR’s industrial setting.
The F*SHO has undergone a sizable expansion, growing from five designers in the first year to thirty-three this year. Jason said that he never thought it should be too formal. He didn’t want it to be your standard booth setup. Instead, it should be something organic that grows naturally from the creative people who make it happen. HGR, with its rugged backdrop featuring its industrial surplus, made for the perfect venue.
“HGR is doing a great job with this space. They brought this building back—revitalized it. This is great for the city,” Jonathan Holody, the director of the Department of Planning and Development for the City of Euclid, says. He was there to mingle with attendees and share Euclid’s storied history. “A lot of the manufacturers in the area rely on HGR. It’s great to see this event attract people from all around the area to Euclid.”
This year’s F*SHO also represented a celebrity reunion of sorts, comprised of those who have earned fame in the world of furniture design. In 2015, Jason competed on the Spike TV show, Framework, which was hosted by hip-hop superstar Common. This reality TV outing pitted 13 designers against each other in a Project Runway-style face-off. Notably, two of the top three finishers in that competition call Northeast Ohio home. Jason finished third, while Akron-based Freddy Hill of Freddy Hill Design took second. There were no hard feelings though, as the first place finisher, Jory Brigham of Jory Brigham Design, traveled all the way from his home in San Luis Obispo, Calif., for the F*SHO. They also were joined by fellow competitors Craig Bayens of C. Bayens Furniture + Functional Design Co. from Louisville, Kentucky, and Toledo-based Lacey Campbell of Lacey Campbell Designs.
This gathering of friends and colleagues made HGR and Euclid the center of the cutting-edge furniture design world for the night of the F*SHO. And the large public turnout helped to ensure that there was plenty of inspiration shared with the next generation of designers who will call this area home.
On Oct. 5, 2017, Alliance for Working Together (AWT) is partnering with Lake County Chambers of Commerce to host their annual Think Manufacturing Career Expo. The goal of the expo is to serve manufacturers and middle- and high-school students by creating an interest in various high-tech careers that manufacturing offers. Approximately 30 manufacturers will have booths at the expo, including Dyson Corporation, Lubrizol, STERIS Corporation, Swagelok and others. HGR Industrial Surplus plans to be there, as well, to share our career opportunities. Booth setup begins at 8 a.m. with a breakfast meeting at 9 a.m. and students arriving 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Last year, MAGNET: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network hosted The State of Manufacturing 2016 at Jergens. Click here for a recap of that event so that you can get an idea of what to expect. This year, HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Avenue, Euclid, Ohio, is hosting from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Nov. 10, 2017. Tickets are required and can be purchased here for $10. You also can view the full agenda on that page.
Join us for a morning devoted to economic and environmental trends affecting Northeast Ohio manufacturers led by Dr. Ned Hill, professor of public administration and city and regional planning at The Ohio State University’s John Glenn College of Public Affairs and member of the College of Engineering’s Ohio Manufacturing Institute.
On Oct. 3, the Euclid Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its next “Coffee Connections” at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio, from 8:30-9:30 a.m. Chamber members and members of the community are welcomed to attend for complimentary coffee, pastry and a tour of HGR’s 500,000-square-foot showroom and newly renovated sales and administrative offices that are furnished with one-of-a-kind furniture, fixtures and accessories made by HGR customers Jason Wein of Cleveland Art, Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors, Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust & Other 4-Letter Words and Industrial Design Student Brenna Truax.
Registration is encouraged but not required on euclidchamber.com/events.
This is a great opportunity to network with other local business leaders and learn about a Euclid business and what it does. HGR’s showroom always is open to the public during HGR’s business hours and includes new and used manufacturing equipment, industrial surplus, tools, machinery, construction supplies, and office equipment and supplies. HGR buys and sells, literally, anything and serves as a conduit between customers looking for affordable, used machinery, equipment and supplies and manufacturers hoping to recoup some portion of their initial capital investments.
From Sept. 22-24, some folks from HGR Industrial Surplus and Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel, Aaron Cunningham of Three Barn Doors and Larry Fielder of Rust, Dust and Other 4-Letter Words will be onsite on the second floor of Ingenuity Fest, Cleveland, finishing the live build of three pieces of contemporary, industrial-designed furniture that were started after the F*SHO, a contemporary furniture show, which was held on Sept. 15 in HGR’s 500,000-square-feet showroom.
The designers selected industrial-surplus equipment from HGR’s showroom to use in the build of the furniture. We’ll all be there Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoon. Then, the finished furniture will be displayed the week of Sept. 25 in HGR’s lobby. We will host an auction, and the highest bidders will be proud new owners of one-of-a-kind pieces. All proceeds will be donated to hurricane relief in the Houston area.
Stop by our area on the second floor at Ingenuity to learn more about HGR, if you’ve never strolled through our showroom of anything and everything that you could imagine, and watch Jason, Aaron and Larry in action. They’ll be happy to share tips and tricks with aspiring makers and designers.
We can’t wait to see the finished products!! Make sure to check HGR’s Facebook, Twitter or website, or grab a card at Ingenuity to learn how you can bid on these one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture.
HGR’s Sales Department is dedicated to providing outstanding customer service with every interaction. We work to build relationships with our customers, in some cases, for the past 19 years. We want HGR to be the first stop each customer makes to fulfil his or her industrial surplus needs.
How many people work in your department, and what are their roles?
Our Sales Department consists of nine sales representatives, two sales assistants, a sales expediter, sales manager and, frankly, the entire HGR staff. All of our actions help sell our products and services that we offer.
What qualifications do you need to be successful in your department?
A positive attitude, a desire to help our customers, and the willingness to be flexible.
What do you like most about your department?
We have a great team here and enjoy helping to fulfill our commitments to our customers, each other, and our community. We enjoy what we do and try to have fun in the process.
What challenges has your department faced and how have you overcome them?
We are problem solvers and have countless challenges daily that we work to overcome in order to help satisfy our customers’ needs. These can be as simple as locating an item in our 12-acre showroom, finding specifications on a product, or even overcoming shipping obstacles.
What changes in the way your department does business have occurred in the past few years?
While much of the sales role hasn’t changed, we are constantly striving to improve and be more efficient at servicing our customers.
What continuous improvement processes do you hope to implement in the future?
HGR is always improving its staff. Something as small as an internal procedural changes or on-the-job product training happen routinely. We also do offsite training and offer continuous education courses at Kent State University.
What is HGR’s overall environment like?
The overall environment at HGR is often described as a handyman’s toy store. We are within a building originally built in 1943 to produce aircraft parts during World War II, then housed GM’s Fisher Auto Body Plant. The building itself is amazing. The wooden beams, brick, and numbered aisleways create a unique backdrop that is perfect for 12 acres filled with industrial surplus. See this story for more on the history of our site.
What is your perspective on manufacturing, surplus, investment recovery/product life cycle/equipment recycling?
HGR is the heart of the “rust belt” and is a major player in the re-use of used industrial equipment. We help continue the life of machines that otherwise could be scrapped and lost. It isn’t uncommon for us to see items we’ve bought and resold a couple times. As companies needs change, we are always here to purchase machinery so it can be reused by someone else.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Amy Callahan, executive director, Waterloo Arts)
Perhaps you have lately noticed a fresh spot of color acting like a beacon to Waterloo Road. The new mural, designed by French-born and British-educated designer and artist Camille Walala was commissioned by Jack Mueller, a real estate investor who owns the former bank building on Waterloo Road. The building, upon completion of its interior, will be home to Poplife, a pop-up gallery, health food space, and donation-only yoga studio.
Walala’s work is inspired by the Italian-led Memphis Movement from the 1980s but is updated with influences from the Ndebele tribe and optical art. She has large-scale works in some of the most important cities in the world: New York, Paris, London, Sydney, and now Cleveland. Mueller says he stumbled across Walala’s work online and was excited about its Memphis influences. From there, the artist and the investor developed a friendship through Instagram, both sharing a love of graphic shapes and bold colors. When Mueller saw an opportunity to commission a mural from his favorite artist, he reached out to bring Camille and her partner, Julie Jomaa, across the Atlantic for the project.
Mueller says it is important to him that the building’s exterior reflect its interior by revealing his business’ dedication to the sublimity of bold shapes and bright colors. He puts it simply, “I want to make the world a more colorful place.” Walala’s aesthetic, bursting with sunny colors, such as cherry red, millennial pink, canary yellow, and nifty turquoise, adds a splash of color, hopefully a smile, and a little bit of wonderment to the days of many Clevelanders.
Waterloo is lucky to have an investor like Jack, who believes in public art and in making art as accessible as possible. Public art is important because if you live in a neighborhood where there’s poverty, that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be able to see art on their walls just for art’s sake. Every neighborhood deserves something beautiful, something that provides a unique point of pride and helps carve an identity out for residents. In particular, street art is like having a conversation outside, and murals act as canvases that humanize our urban landscape. Walala’s piece starts a conversation about the creativity and energy of humanity and about the egalitarianism of street art to passersby.
Head to our Facebook page to guess what piece of equipment or machinery is pictured. To participate you MUST meet the following three criteria: like our Facebook page, share the post, and add your guess in the comments section. Those who guess correctly and meet these criteria will be entered into a random drawing to receive a free HGR T-shirt or other cool items.
Click here to enter your guess on our Facebook page by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. A winner will be drawn and announced the following week.
This is a reminder to stop by on Friday, Sept. 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the back entrance of HGR’s building to check out 30 contemporary furniture designers’ work, have a beer and eat some grub provided by Noble Beast Brewing Company and SoHo Chicken + Whiskey restaurant. Everything but the furniture is free! The ninth-annual show is presented by Jason and Amanda Radcliffe of 44 Steel.
But, this year, there’s a twist: Jason Radcliffe of 44 Steel, Aaron Cunningham of 3 Barn Doors and, possibly, one other surprise designer will be picking out industrial items from HGR’s showroom the night of the show to work all week after and all weekend (Sept. 22-24) at Cleveland’s Ingenuity Festival to build their pieces of furniture. They will be delivered the week of Sept. 25 to HGR’s lobby for display. Then, that same week, we will post them on our eBay auction site that you can get to via a link on our home page at hgrinc.com. The donated furniture will be auctioned to the highest bidder, and proceeds will be donated to an arts organization in Houston to help with Hurricane Harvey relief.
The F*SHO is a win for everyone and a mighty good time! We hope to see you there.
(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Paula Maggio, PR specialist, HGR Industrial Surplus)
Students are back in the classroom. And that means students in the metals classes at Cuyahoga Falls High School are back at their work benches, safety goggles in place and welders in hand.
The school offers two one-semester courses in metals within its Industrial Technology and Manufacturing Program. In them, students develop foundational skills in metal fabrication and metal joining processes. They learn introductory industrial mathematics, design, basic metallurgy and metal forming. In addition, they learn theory and applications of a variety of welding and fusing processes including soldering, oxy-acetylene cutting, welding and brazing.
Students design and build projects and make repairs using the techniques they learn. We stumbled upon the students — and some of their creations they have dubbed “Hot Work” — at the Cuyahoga Falls All-City Art Walk last April.
Walk along with us as we show you some of their creations.