Over the last 4 years, we have had the privilege of working with one of Crimson’s favorite creators, Mark Metal Works.
Keep reading to learn about what Mark does and what makes him one of our favorite creators!
The Guild House Columbus (not designed by Crimson)
Mark is gifted in the lost art of metalworking. Whether it’s a table, partition, shelving, or something else, no one else in Ohio can produce the masterpieces he can. One of the qualities that makes Mark one of our favorite creators is his adaptive collaboration. We can bring him any concept and trust that he will not only create a unique product but will create it in such a way that it works seamlessly within the space.
Raised by a father who was a woodworker, Mark remembers frequently helping him build cabinets, houses and other pieces of furniture. This familial history has resulted in Mark’s love for building things and working with his hands. After receiving a scholarship to Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD), he moved from his hometown of Rochester, Minnesota to the heart of Ohio to advance his unique abilities as a craftsman.
Despite his company name, Mark hasn’t always worked with metal. In college, his focus was on sculpting and glass blowing, with some work in drawing and painting. It wasn’t until he began working as a lab tech in a welding shop that he was introduced to metalworking. After graduating in 1994 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Mark found a few metal fabrication jobs which progressed his knowledge of metalworking and ultimately established his future career path.
Lincoln Social Rooftop Bar (not designed by Crimson)
As Mark’s expertise in metal-sculpting increased, so did the demand for his one-of-a-kind creations. Growth in any business often necessitates changes to allow for the production of a greater quantity of products. The marriage of rich, custom elements in Mark’s pieces create a quality that he refuses to sacrifice. Mark is frequently asked to create custom french doors and wine rooms which require a mixture of metal and glass elements that Mark believes shouldn’t simply be duplicated from past projects. Despite his affection for glassblowing and the joy he finds in working with other elements, Mark recognizes that in order to meet the demand for custom products without sacrificing quality, he needs to focus on crafting the metal while allowing local talent from niches of the art world to focus on the other elements. As a result, he has developed a strength for incorporating professionals from the art community and collaborating with them to design custom products. But he won’t collaborate with just anyone; vital to each project is a band of artists with a sensitivity to spatial relations and elevated finishes. It is with this standard in mind that Mark finds other artisans to involve.
Other than working with difficult metals like brass, one of the greatest challenges in the process of Mark’s metalworking is taking a client’s vision, transferring it to paper, and determining a design that not only everyone agrees on, but also falls in the budget. However, this is a puzzle he enjoys tackling as he gets to use his strength of determining what materials and external artists are needed. No matter how challenging a project may be, Mark explains that it is always well worth it to see all the pieces come together to form the finished, polished product.
Interpersonal collaboration is undoubtedly a strength of Mark’s, but his greatest delight is personally indulging in the hands-on work of each piece. He finds joy in the welding, cutting, grinding, and polishing of each creation. As the demand for his metalworks increase, Mark’s priority of personal involvement in each piece remains unchanging. Restricting his role to simply managing and overseeing the work is nowhere in his plans for the future. He has found a love for the art of metalworking, a love he will cherish and nourish forever. This guides his vision for the future of Mark Metal Works; desiring to grow the company and clientele without sacrificing the hands-on work this lost art began with. Maybe one of his two daughters will carry on his company, but right now it seems like dancing and hanging out with friends is more fun than getting dirty in the workshop!
Whether it be partitions in well-known local restaurants, various pieces for projects with Crimson, or the giant aluminum salmon he hand formed for a museum in Alaska, Mark has done it all. The thought he puts into the detail of each piece and its communication with elements in the rest of the space makes Mark’s metalworks unlike anything found in typical fabrication companies. We are so glad we met him and get to include his adaptive metalworking expertise in our diverse designs!
To see more of Mark’s metalworks, visit his website! He is currently working on a 12-foot diameter, organic brass desk for local company. This project has required a lot of hand-forming to achieve the organic look and is very different from anything he has ever done. Be sure to check his Instagram for updates on this unique piece!
Check our Instagram to see more of Mark’s metalworks in our spaces too!
Not designed by Crimson
All photos courtesy of Mark Metal Works LLC.