There is nothing Paul Meneses, founder of Make Architectural Metalworking, likes more than being hands-on in his shop or on an installation, and present for the design and fabrication of custom architectural metalwork. Good thing, because the demand for his medium has exploded within the last decade, and he has positioned his versatile studio to ride the groundswell.
Meneses comes at metalworking from an art background. He has molded galvanized and stainless steel for public art in South Boston and contributed fabricated aluminum for a rainbow-hued artscape at the Guggenheim Museum and a stacked sculpture on the lawn of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. And, while he has done corporate work for well-known commercial endeavors in places from L.A., and N.Y.C. to local Assembly Row, Make Architectural Metalworking’s bespoke creations are also available to homeowners, architects, builders and interior designers.
His studio, which is staffed by “like-minded people with an attention to detail and craft,” includes welders, fabricators and machinists, who work on projects large and small. Though the style is most often clean-lined and contemporary, pieces run the gamut—taking the form of stairs and railings to furniture, fireplace surrounds and landscape features. The metals are also varied. While steel (particularly oxidized with a great dark patina) is the most popular, bronze and stainless also have a following. They also work in copper, aluminum, brass and titanium.
While Meneses has little time to devote to sculpture outside the studio these days, Make’s one-of-a-kind pieces feed that “creative and sculptural need.” Meneses is passionate about his craft and where it takes him. Because of the nature of the work, each day is unique—and fulfilling. “Every project is a learning moment,” says Meneses. “You take away something from every project.”