100 Creatives 2012: Bob Martin, Designer

Categories: 100 Creatives

What He Does: Bob Martin began as a jeweler and ended up a designer at Merge Studios, a design and metalsmithing collaborative that specializes in furniture and sculpture. The work Merge produces is startlingly elegant, with crisp, modern lines done in dark metals and stainless steel. They do everything from fountains to signs to beds to rolling library ladders that would complement any steampunk home.

Why He Likes It: "I love functionality! I like to be able to design something that is visually pleasing to the client and myself, but I enjoy it when they really get use out of what I've made. Bigger items usually make the biggest impact. Stairs and beds always seem to be large, more memorable pieces."

What Inspires Him: "Design starts with inspiration! A line, a shape...it could come from anywhere. I like to complement and contrast materials. The craft started for me as a jeweler. The small, detailed world just got bigger. A lot of the processes I learned, I still use in the pieces I do now. I really specialize in custom work and one-of-a-kind pieces."

If Not This, Then What: It's probably no surprise that Martin has an interest in architecture, the career he'd have if he weren't a designer. Many of the pieces that Merge has produced already feel like pieces of brilliantly designed buildings that just haven't been built yet. It would be something else to see Martin's vision in the big scale of architecture.

If Not Here, Then Where: "I like Houston, but I've toyed with the idea of moving to Austin."

What's Next: Martin continues to produce one-of-a-kind pieces for custom order. Currently he's working on a few chandeliers and a spiral staircase railing. There are also some steel paintings on the horizon, just in case you're the kind of person who likes their art with an edge.

More Creatives for 2012
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Mary Lampe, short film promoter and developer
Nisha Gosar, Indian classical dancer
Jeremy Wells, painter
George Brock, theater teacher
Radu Runcanu, painter
Ariane Roesch, Mixed-Media
Sandie Zilker, art jewelry maker
Philip Hayes, actor

Patrick Palmer, painter
Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer
John Tyson, actor
Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker
Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer
Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music
Laura Burlton, photographer
David Peck, fashion designer
Rebecca Udden, theater director
Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer
Paul Fredric, author
John Sparagana, photographer
Damon Smith, musician and visual artist
Geoff Winningham, photographer

Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist
Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor

Katya Horner, photographer
Johnathan Felton, artist
Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer

Carol Simmons, hair stylist
Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet
Greg Carter, director
Kenn McLaughlin, theater director
Justin Whitney, musician
Antone Pham, tattoo artist
Susie Silbert, crafts

Lauralee Capelo, hair designer
Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer
Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ
ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer
Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director
J.J. Johnston, theater director
Mary Margaret Hansen, artist
Richard Tallent, photographer
Viswa Subbaraman, opera director
Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist
Sonja Roesch, gallery owner
Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor
Sandy Ewen, musician
Camella Clements, puppeteer

Wade Wilson, gallery owner

Magid Salmi, photographer
Carl Williams, playwright

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