My friend Esro is a maker that I really admire. His primary medium is in painting and graphic design, but he is also an extremely talented sculptor. He has done many custom versions of the Kidrobot Dunny, but also has created and sold vinyl toys. He usually models in clay, and then molds and casts his toys in plastic.
Eric Joisel is a origami master. Lots of beautiful forms are made from his hands. I admire him because he makes so many gorgeous works. Also, folding these human figures and animals requires being quite patient, while I am not.
Eva Zeisel is a huge inspiration for me. Although by the time she died she wasnt making anymore, almost all of her life she was a maker; one of the best makers out there.
Bruce Gray is probably more artist than designer, but his stuff is crazy and I like it. Gray’s work explores a wild range of form, materials, and color.
Aluminum “Paper Airplanes” commissioned installation in Little Rock National Airport
Painted Metal Wall Sculpture, welded aluminum and paint. (Woah! Me gustalo!)
"Intersection A" Table, distressed steel and glass.. and beauty.
Chairs, and benches, and screens, oh my!
"Dead Dog ‘Cartoon Character’ Humorous Function Art Table Sculpture" Welded steel, paint, and glass
Although not everything he makes is necessarily appealing to me, I really admire Bruce Gray’s enthusiasm and fearlessness with his work. His use of color and form, and a range of purely comedic pieces, shows that he truly enjoys his work, while the beautiful and elegant pieces he produces exemplify his undeniable skill.
Bruce is an inspiration in that he really does what he loves, how he wants, and his practiced eye and skill draw people right in. He’s won a bunch of awards and had some of his work featured in various movies and magazines. His website design is kind of awful (http://www.brucegray.com/index.html), but I even kind of like that about him too, because that crazy thing has had no impact on his massive success. Go Bruce!
A cool “maker” I admire - Tamara Bavdek of This Ilk! It won’t be hard to see why that is after you read on for a bit.
This Ilk is Bavdek’s Canada-based shop on Etsy, featuring mainly handcrafted statement jewelry made with vintage lace (there, that’s the reason!!). She does all of the work herself, including sourcing materials, making the pieces, photography, graphic work, and running the business, with some help from a friend. What’s most interesting is that she majored in Industrial Design in college! As she says of her education:
My industrial design background pushes me to constantly reinvent the notion of jewelry, or even simply the wearable. I want to surprise people with well-thought-out designs, and I enjoy using materials in ways no one has ever seen. In my case, sometimes the lace is the chain, the ornament, the link, or the bead in my designs. I think that that is what sets This Ilk apart; I have this constant urge to innovate in one way or another and improve my techniques.
Her jewelry pieces are very neat, and from the student point of view, it’s also just really cool to see this example of another type of career path we have open to us after college!
(photos and quotes taken from Etsy)