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

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

Jewelry maker associates beautiful objects with taboo subjects in an effort to get people talking about mental health

Begin Again Jewelry jewelry making bench and tools

(an interview with Colleen Terry, owner, Begin Again Jewelry)

How did your interest in creating jewelry begin?

I took my first jewelry class after receiving a medical treatment called electro-convulsive therapy to treat bipolar disorder. The treatment resulted in severe memory loss. I had previously been a pretty big geek, even earning an academic scholarship to Baldwin Wallace University. I prided myself on my nerdiness; however, without my memory, I went from having a 4.0 my first semester of college to getting Ds and Fs when I came back. My mom, an artist herself, recommended that I take an art class. So, I signed up for a jewelry-making class. I found comfort and renewed self-esteem in making things with my hands. I fell in love with the permanence of metal objects, and my passion grew from there.

Where did you receive your training?

After falling in love with jewelry making, I transferred from Baldwin Wallace to The Cleveland Institute of Art where I earned my BFA in jewelry and metals.

The “Our Mission” section of the website mentions a donation of 10 percent of each purchase to organizations near and dear to your personal story. What can you share about that story?

I started my business about a year ago. I was finding myself during a period of recovery. Three years ago I was smoking 2 and 1/2 packs of cigarettes, drinking 1/2 a liter of vodka and engaging in eating disorder behavior every day. In 2015, I found yoga. Within two months of beginning a regular practice, I was able to quit smoking, and one week later I quit drinking — both cold turkey and on my own. The eating disorder was the toughest to escape. Six month into yoga, I found the Emily Program Foundation, and, with their help, I became free of those behaviors for the first time in 20 years. As I began to find myself, I began to reexamine what I really wanted to be doing with my life, and I knew that part of that had to be making and another part had to be giving back and supporting others who had dealt with issues similar to mine and who were on the road to recovery. I also wanted to associate beautiful objects with taboo subjects in an effort to get people talking about mental health.

How did you create that business’ name?

Beginning again is what I am doing in my life and what I want to nurture and celebrate with my line and within the lives of the people I am able to touch with my jewelry, my cause and my philanthropy. It is also a yoga mantra that helped to change my life.

Where do you sell or market your products?

I am doing shows here and there and selling from my website primarily by word of mouth and social media.

How are the pieces made? Can you walk us through the process?

Typically, when it comes to designing my pieces I come to the bench with a general concept and then let my materials guide the rest of the process. I work primarily in 14k gold and sterling silver, and most of my work is hand fabricated. I do have a passion for CAD/CAM object-making and will likely be further incorporating this process within the line in the future.

What inspires your designs?

The symbolism and stones in my line all in some way represent hope, healing and rebirth in some facet. For example, some of the stones are known to facilitate calming and aid in meditation, and butterflies are a common symbol of rebirth.

What do you like to do when you are not designing and making jewelry?

I do a lot of yoga! I actually just earned my yoga teaching certificate and cannot wait to spread the love and healing with yoga and jewelry! I also treasure my time with family and friends.

Do you consider yourself a maker or a manufacturer and why?

I consider myself a maker because I am not mass producing and each piece is made with love, hope and gratitude.

What advice do you have for other makers?

Don’t be afraid to do what you love and share it with everyone!

Begin Again Jewelry butterfly pendantBegin Again Jewelry braceletBegin Again Jewelry necklacesBegin Again Jewelry butterfly chokerBegin Again Jewelry Colleen Terry