New Artist Spotlight: Hidden Spring Designs

Hidden Springs Designs
Leslie Guinan and Rob Matthews are from Nevada City, California. Rob has been a stained glass artist since his early twenties. He began combining glass and concrete almost 20 years ago, looking for a way to move his creations outside while living in Hawaii. Leslie is formally trained as a furniture maker. She began woodworking as a creative outlet while working as an environmental lawyer, and spent a year at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program. She left her job to pursue furniture making full time, moving to a small town in the Sierra foothills. In a brilliant twist of fate, Rob turned out to be her next door neighbor. They began collaborating on furniture with wood and concrete components. Over time, they have evolved away from functional work and now focus on wall sculpture and free standing sculpture.

Let’s learn more about them…

Describe your work:
We create lightweight concrete sculpture and wall sculpture with various surface textures, treatments and pigments. The work may incorporate hand-cut glass, found objects, encaustic, handmade paper, concrete stains and/or plant material. Themes are frequently architectural, exploring our relationship to the built environment and the feelings of belonging or alienation which can arise from perceptions of place. The majority of the work is cast in a unique, hand-made form. Texture is created in the form before the lightweight concrete is cast. We use a recycled Styrofoam aggregate, which makes the work lighter and locks the Styrofoam up inside a piece of art, keeping it out of the landfill. Color is added after the piece has cured. We use various concrete stains and pigments, and/or encaustic.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
I (Rob) have just begun working with cast glass. This year Leslie will add cold wax to her work.

Hidden Spring Designs

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Artists don’t have weekends, but hiking and live music are our loves.

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
We’re masochists?

No, really, we’re excited about being part of a truly unique art and music experience with people we know and love. We want to be part of Austin’s burgeoning art scene.

Is there a band you are looking forward to seeing (or hearing from your booth – ha!)?
Jimmy LaFave!


Find Hidden Spring Designs in booth U-4!