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

HGR opens its doors for this year’s F*SHO

F SHO Googie Style at HGR Industrial SurplusF SHO 2017 at HGR Industrial Surplus

(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.

some furniture from F*SHO 2017 at HGR Industrial Surplus

HGR Industrial Surplus to host F*SHO, contemporary furniture show, Sept. 15

F*SHO contemporary credenza

Come join in the fun on Sept. 15, 2017, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at HGR Industrial Surplus, 20001 Euclid Ave, Euclid, Ohio!

We are pleased to announce that HGR is partnering with Jason and Amanda Radcliffe of 44 Steel to host this year’s F*SHO, Cleveland’s premier contemporary furniture show that features work from local designers and makers.

Free parking, free admission, free food and beer! A DJ will be spinning some tunes. And, Dan Morgan of Straight Shooter will be photographing the evening.

Food will be provided by SOHO Chicken + Whiskey. Beer will be provided courtesy of 44 Steel.

Jason and Amanda Radcliffe 44 Steel

Industrial craftsman creates “things of beauty”

Kevin Morin Eldred Passage boating

(Courtesy of Guest Blogger Kevin Morin)

What do you do for a living?

I’m mostly retired. After my divorce, I left the business that I built in the ex-wife’s hands but I’m still a co-owner. Age-wise (later 60s), I have some health-related limitations due to welding work for many years in the oil field. I do CAD work, wood and metal sculpture and some welded aluminum boat work but not 9-5 five days per week.

How did you get into art and making?

I’ve always been interested in drawing from before I went to government school in the 50s. My father introduced me to tool use, and by my teens I’d learned to build models of balsa wood of my own design. In the 70s, I apprenticed with a local welder and then bought my first power supply and began experimenting, learning other modes of welding after starting with stick. As I worked in the trades I realized I could use my trade skills to build art or furniture; so, I began to experiment in those areas- eventually I began to build welded aluminum fishing boats for the local salmon fishery.

What do you design and make?

I’ve designed houses for friends, furniture, sculptural pieces, vehicles for specific tasks, welded aluminum boats from 3-feet long to 36-feet long, and built all these items in wood or metal over the years.

How did you learn to do this?

Most often, I’ve read on a tool use subject, then purchased a modest-cost version of that set of tools from wages, then worked with the tools to increase my skills and finally invested in more sophisticated and higher-precision tools, and that progression was parallel to the quality improvement in my projects. I have worked in the welding trade in both oil and gas as well as boat building, and I did some finished carpentry/joinery in both the commercial and housing market, as well as designing and installing the interior of a few live-aboard-sized boats.

What artists, designers or makers do you most admire?

I don’t know the names of the people whose work I most admire. I may see their work once in a while online (Pinterest) or receive an email with someone’s project pictures. However, I can’t say I really know their names but often can recall their ‘hand’ when I see another piece of that artist’s work.

What inspires you?

Like most people who imagine ideas of objects to build, I have a semi-constant stream of ideas that appear as color 3D images in my mind’s eye. I believe that my ideas come to me from outside my own perception but not sure the source except that is seems to be external. Shape is the primary influence that inspires me. I like flowing streamlined shapes. They appeal to my aesthetic sense of design.

So I’m inspired by the grace of the forms of animals in motion, as well as the grace of the lines of some vehicles or furniture to design and build my take on those flowing forms.

What do you do when you aren’t working or making art?

Not much work these days. Arthritis slows me down. I spend lots of time drawing on the PC using various CAD applications. I’m learning to cook and find that enjoyable to prepare dinners for the family. I read a lot and sketch constantly, as I refine ideas and explore concepts that may be worth building.

What advice do you have for others?

Most industrial-skills-related art that I see online lacks strong design fundamentals. I think the skill of most people doing this work is much higher in the related trade or tool use than in the conception and drawing skills. I’d suggest more time and priority be given to the development of the ideas, forms and content.

What is your personal philosophy?

My philosophy about art is that the creation of physical pieces that originate in our imaginations should be for the enjoyment of the viewer, user, collector. As the builder/maker, I have my own enjoyment of the process from conception to creation; so, once a piece is complete I’d like to have made something that will be a “thing of beauty; forever.”

main pump suction header construction
main pump suction header construction

inside of boat chest and handle wooden eagle panel