Cleveland Institute of Art graduate and HGR customer works as industrial designer

Greg Martin recording paper cyanotype

 

(Q&A with Greg Martin, director of design, Kichler Lighting)

Why did you decide to go to school at Cleveland Institute of Art?

I went to a college-prep Catholic high school with not even a generic art class. In spite of this, all I knew is I wanted to go to art school. Despite the best efforts of my teachers, my parents, and the school counselor (whose career testing indicated I was best suited to be a farmer), I convinced my parents enough that they agreed to let me apply at CIA. CIA was the only choice as I knew it was a great school, and it was close to home (meaning I could save money and live at home). I started at CIA intent on going into illustration, but changed course last minute to industrial design.

 What is your best memory of CIA or what did you learn that got you to where you are today?

Best memory of CIA is being able to explore and delve into many different mediums, despite being an industrial design major — glass, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramics. All were amazing experiences. Back then the five-year program allowed for much “play” outside of your major, which had a great impact on me. I learned how to think and to ask “what if.” I also learned that the more you worked the more you got out of it. Richard Fiorelli, who I had the pleasure of having for sophomore design, was the most influential professor by far in my five years at CIA. I didn’t realize it until much later in my career. I just wish I had the foresight to have known it when I was back in school as I would have spent more time with him.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a maker?

Artist

 What do you create and with what types of materials?

Sculpture, furniture, decorative objects (functional and non-functional), ceramics, photographic images

 How long have you been an HGR customer?

Fellow CIA Student Matt Beckwith introduced me to HGR in 2005 or 2006.

 What have found at HGR that you incorporated into your work?

This list could go on for pages, literally. Everything from things I incorporated into sculptures (firehoses, chains, conveyor belts, tooling, robotic parts, electronics), to items used in the creation of art and furniture, but not incorporated into the final piece (cameras, microscopes, misc. lenses, clamps, etc.), to items that help me in preparing to create (mixing bottles, rinse trays, etc.) I also have used HGR for materials in creating for my work (old tools and hardware for creating NERF gun prototypes), as well as for inspiration for my design work in the toy and the lighting fields.

Would you recommend HGR to other artists and makers?

Not only would I recommend it, I would say it’s a must for all creative artists/makers.

What do you do when you are not creating art? Career? Hobbies?

I am an industrial designer/product designer; so, “creating” makes up the bulk of what I do. I have taken field trips with our design team at work to get inspiration from walking the aisles of HGR. I also play guitar and banjo when time allows.

What inspires you?

Just about anything/everything. I try to keep my eyes and mind open to seeing as much as I can and asking “what if.” Creative people and creative solutions inspire me.

Where can we find your work?

My website (in progress) is gmartinstudio.com.

Greg Martin share chair/bench Greg Martin brush coffee table

Euclid Chamber of Commerce Lunch by the Lake

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

 

Kick off the summer with lunch on June 21 from 12-1 p.m. on the terrace at Henn Mansion, 23131 Lakeshore Blvd., overlooking the lake. Bring your business cards for a chance to win a door prize (and, of course, to share with others).  Updated information on chamber member benefits and discount programs will be available. Please click here to register. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.

High school senior takes senior photos at HGR Industrial Surplus

John Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial Surplus

(Q&A with John Willett, Strongsville High School and Polaris Career Center graduating senior)

Where did you go to high school?

Strongsville High School and Polaris Career Center for precision CNC machining

Where are you future career plans?

I do not have college plans at this point.  I worked full time as a temp at Efficient Machine Products during summer 2017, returned through Polaris’ early placement program and am now working there full time.

What is your intended career path?

I want to become a CNC machinist.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not in school?

Tinkering and learning engineering, metal and woodworking through videos, especially about military application and armor. I don’t read much because it’s time consuming. I prefer to listen and watch videos. Currently, I watch a lot of gun and history-related content. I find the inner workings of guns to be fascinating.

How did you hear about HGR Industrial Surplus?

Through my step-dad who is an engineer for Ramco.

Why are you a customer?

I like the wide selection and varying things offered.  Great prices

What types of things have you bought at HGR and how have you used them?

Various.  My step-dad’s company buys and sells to HGR. I recently bought a blower fan and plan on making plate armor out of it.

What inspires you?

Creativity.  I have a lot of ideas that I like to explore in discussion and action. I pull most of my inspiration from video games, movies and YouTube.

What made you decide to do your senior pictures at HGR?

My mom asked me, and it was the first place I thought of. I also think it’s a neat place and would be something special for my photos.

John Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial SurplusJohn Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial SurplusJohn Willett senior picture at HGR Industrial Surplus

3D designer also creates sculptures with objects found at HGR

Matthew Beckwith, partner at Photonic Studio, and HGR Industrial Surplus customer

Why did you decide to go to school at Cleveland Institute of Art?

I originally wanted to be a car designer. CIA was a better fit for me than other schools focused on automotive design that were located in Detroit and San Francisco. After trying cars for a year, I decided product design was a better fit for me.

What is your best memory of CIA?

Some of my best memories from CIA came from classes taught by Richard Fiorelli. His classes had a hands-on approach to working with materials that delivered results I would otherwise not think to sketch out. This hands-on concept of “play” to iterate concepts is something that has stuck with me throughout my career.

Do you consider yourself an artist or a maker?

I guess I would say “designer.” For my day job (creative director /partner at Photonic Studio), I make things for other people to communicate and visualize their ideas. I suppose that I am a “maker” as a hobby because I love to tinker and experiment.

[editor’s note: Photonic creates 3D architectural renderings, product renderings 3D illustration, animation and interactive environments. These photos showcase some of their work.]

What do you make and with what types of materials?

With materials from HGR I have made some various sculptures. I have worked with everything from charts and thermocromatic graph papers, to conveyor belts and giant rubber bands. Often the bulk nature of materials at HGR lends itself to play and experimentation. I, generally, like to look for unique things that are on their way to scrap and can be purchased for as little as possible. I like the idea that we can upcycle things that were on their way to the landfill or scrapyard.

How long have you been an HGR customer?

My first trip to HGR was in 2005ish.

What have found at HGR that you incorporated into your work?

Unique chart and graph papers, thermocromatic papers, robot parts, conveyor chains, giant drill bits, refractory bricks. Too much to list, honestly.

Would you recommend HGR to other artists and makers?

Always. Aside from being super interesting to look around, it offers all sorts of things you just wouldn’t find at Home Depot or an arts store.

What do you do when you are not doing your personal work?

I am a designer at Photonic Studio. We are a creative and visualization agency that focuses on 3D modeling for animation and interactive. Lately, this means we are working on lots of exciting projects in augmented and virtual reality. Traditionally, we have worked with clients in design fields, as well as marketing and communications teams at all sorts of companies.

What inspires you?

I love being optimistic about the future. The ability to work with new technologies and create interactive experiences that could not happen in the physical world is exciting. I also have a love for manufacturing and find the process and tools of production to be beautiful. Often the limitations of a process or technology give me something to reach for as I develop concepts. Also science. I love NASA, SpaceX, JPL, LHC, NIF, and all sorts of amazing machines built for science.

Where can we find your work?

My day-to-day work can be seen at www.photonicstudio.com.

Ford truck rendering by Photonic Studio 3D illustration by Photonic Studio 3D illustration by Photonic Studio 3D architectural rendering by Photonic Studio 3D architectural rendering by Photonic Studio motion graphic by Photonic Studio

Rules for the revolution

clock with change

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Alex Pendleton, Big Ideas for Small Companies powered by the MPI Group)

Alec Pendleton

In my last blog in March — “Time For A Revolution” — I described experiences I’ve had with organizations in need of major change. Now I’d like to look at principles I’ve found helpful in starting down the turbulent path ahead. Revolution is possible without them, but it runs a lot more smoothly when they are followed. I’ll focus on manufacturing, because that’s where I’ve had most of my experience, but the principles apply in any situation.

First, you’ve got to have a vision — and in the more detail, the better. Every factory runs on a variety of systems: to initiate orders, to schedule workstations, to store inventory, to measure efficiency, to assure quality, and many more. Some of these are clean applications of specific theories (Just-in-Time, Theory of Constraints, etc.), while others may have started clean, but have degenerated over time. Others were simply made up as the company went along. Typically, whatever symptom has triggered your need for revolution – bad delivery, quality problems, inventory issues – is the result of a breakdown of one or more of these systems.

It’s always tempting at this point to look for a silver bullet. You read an article (or a blog!), or go to a seminar, and you have an “Aha!” moment. “That’s it! Lean manufacturing [or whatever has caught your fancy] is the answer! All we have to do is install that, and our problems will vanish!” But “all we have to do …” is a dangerous statement.  If you leap into major change without fully understanding the implications —and potential unintended consequences — you’re likely to trade the old problem for a new one.

So: Think it through! Envision every step of the way, and how each step will affect everything around it. Imagine what might go wrong, and have a plan to fix everything. Obviously, you can’t do this to perfection, but the more thinking and planning you do before you go live, the better chance you’ll have of a smooth launch.

Next, clear the decks! STOP doing things that aren’t working. Early in my career, I struggled with a small company with three unrelated divisions. The largest was a perpetual headache, consuming most of management’s attention in exchange for occasional small profits. A second division was tiny, and an also-ran in its market, overshadowed by larger and more professional competitors. The third was starved for resources, but had potential — and was central to my vision of what the company could become. But before I could work on that vision, I had to get rid of the other two divisions. I sold the larger one, to a yet-larger and more professional competitor, and I closed the tiny one. Rid of those distractions, I was then able to concentrate on my vision. Sales quadrupled in seven years, and we turned a chronic loss into a perpetual profit.

Similarly, in another plant later in my career, there was a peripheral product line that we struggled to produce. Quality and efficiency were inadequate, and we invested enormous effort into trying to fix it. Our sales team felt that the product was important to our overall offering, so I arranged to simply buy the stuff, marked with our label, from a competitor. Profitability improved, but even more important, we removed a distraction — allowing us to focus on our primary business.

Before you start your revolution, ask yourself two questions:

  1. Do you have a detailed vision?
  2. Even more important, can you rid yourself of distractions so that you can focus on the vision?

I’ll have more rules for revolution in my next blog!

Bitesize Business Workshop: Exploring different learning styles

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Moore Counseling & Mediation Services, 22639 Euclid Ave., Euclid, Ohio on June 14 from 8:30-10 a.m. for an educational discussion. The workshop will be presented by Matthew Selker and Dr. Dale Hartz.

There is no cost to attend.  Membership is not required.

Please RSVP to Jasmine Poston at 216-404-1900 or jposton@moorecounseling.com.

Bitesize Business Workshop: Financial Workshop for Small Businesses I

Euclid Chamber of Commerce logo

Join the Euclid Chamber of Commerce at Euclid Public Library, 631 E. 222nd St., Euclid, Ohio, on June 12 from 8:30-10 a.m. for an educational discussion. Are you thinking of starting a business? Or have you been in business for several years? If so, this workshop was designed for you. It will cover:

  • Finances 101
  • Startup expenses
  • Cash vs. accrual accounting
  • Separating personal and business expenses
  • Budgets and financial planning
  • Q&A session

There is no cost to attend.  Membership is not required.

Please register here.

Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition opening reception June 1

Waterloo Arts juried exhibition Damp by Katy Richards
“Damp” by Katy Richards

The annual Waterloo Arts Juried Exhibition is presented in partnership with Praxis Fiber Workshop and Brick Ceramic + Studio Design with artwork selected by 2018 Guest Juror Ray Juaire, senior exhibitions manager at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland. The work of 87 artists from the U.S. and Canada will be on display at Waterloo Arts, Praxis Fiber Workshop and Brick Ceramic + Design Studio. Awards are sponsored by Brick Ceramic + Design Studio, CAN Journal, Praxis Fiber Workshop, The Sculpture Garden, Waterloo Arts, and Zygote Press, Inc. Meet the 2018 juror and participating artists on June 1 from 6-9 p.m. during the districtwide opening reception at 15605 Waterloo Rd., Cleveland, featuring live music and light refreshments.

The show will run from June 1 to July 21, 2018.