What We Do and Why We Do It

Welcome to the Matrix Design Group blog! This is the first entry into what we hope will become a regular addition to our website. Our main goal is to provide some insight into our processes and the people who make up our team. Most customers only see the initial sketches and then the final results, which is interesting in and of itself, of course. Here we would like to expose more about what goes on in between, our general ideology, and, on occasion, stories about specific projects.

What Kelly Does and Why He Does It

Kelly is the lead artist, designer, and fabricator behind Matrix Design Group. Traditionally he would be considered a metal worker, however his skills – and interests – far exceed this title. While he began in welding, he enjoys carving and other wood working, creating tools and sculpture, and tackling the unique issues that often arise when commissioned for custom projects.

A perfect example of what I describe above is a recent chandelier that, in addition to the expected precision metal craftsmanship, required the use of raw silk and the addition of the necessary electrical components. Each of these things require a different set of skills – and Kelly created the entire piece within his own studio.

Although all these talents and skills are pretty impressive, he would ultimately prefer to call himself a folk artist. This term embodies the wide range of skills he has while calling attention to the specific design ideals he strives to achieve.

Kelly’s interest in these arts came at an early age. He credits his grandfather, a college educated butcher, farmer, and craftsman who forged his own tools. Kelly still has some of the tools that his grandfather gave him and cherishes those items dearly. So after high school, he attended AB Tech for welding and has now been a working artist for over 18 years.

Many would say that any decent artist evolves over time. Kelly has been able to do so, though a recent trip to Philadelphia served as a catalyst to bring his work to another level. During his visit, he toured sculptor Wharton Esherick’s home. The type and quality of wood-working Esherick created helped Kelly see what was possible in his own pieces. This experience proved both inspirational, and, when discussing new work with new clients, as a story that anyone can appreciate and build on.

While there are several people, experiences, and events that have inspired Kelly’s artistic journey they are ultimately bound by a similar theme: any piece that Matrix Design Group produces is hand-made with heart and soul. This further supports Kelly’s own favored title of folk artist, and his desire to create pieces of the utmost integrity and quality. Luckily, he has put together a team that not only agrees with this vision, but also is able to make products that adhere to these standards.

We’ll further introduce team members Tony Mazza and Cameron Wethern (pictured, with Kelly, in our header photo) over our next few posts. Together with Kelly and myself, Hillary Kruger, we are Matrix Design Group. We hope you will enjoy the blog and follow along with us as we embark on new projects and explore the personal side of what we do.

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