Adam Nahas, Cyclops Studios: Foundryman-metal smith

Adam Nahas is an artist who makes his living by offering resources and creative services to other artists, in addition to selling his own work. “The sculpture business never really is consistent,” he says, describing one of the realities of a professional artist’s life. “So I’ve done my best to make myself versatile, taking jobs as they come to me.”

Adam Nahas

Adam Nahas

Nahas has run Cyclops Studios, a multi-service art business offering project design, modeling, metalworking, welding, and more since 2005. He became interested in sculptural art in college at Indiana University after starting out as a singer/performer, then switched to theater. Theater work sparked his interest in stage craft, which led him to special effects and mold making, then finally to casting and metalsmith work; this in turn delivered him into majoring in fine arts. He graduated in 2007 with a BFA in studio art with concentrations in sculpture and metals and a minor in art history.

While at college, Nahas did an internship with Mark Parmenter at the White River Foundry in nearby Owen County. Mark and his shop foreman, Charlie Savage, taught him to make molds, build armatures, cast various alloys, form patinas, and chase (the technique of sculpting details on the face of hammered metalwork) – a range of skills applicable not just to fine arts metalwork but to hardware and architectural components such as handrails and decorative fixtures.

Nahas has long been active in Bloomington’s arts scene. His first studio was in a small warehouse that he shared with multi-disciplinary art friends from his college years. Within a few years it expanded and became established as the Trained Eye Arts Center, sharing space in an larger warehouse along the railroad tracks, now the B-Line Trail. Besides pursuing their own work, they held demonstrations and classes and did benefit shows for area nonprofits. Nahas is also a longstanding member of the illustrious Krampus Krewe, that group of creative souls who put on Bloomington’s annual Krampus Nacht. (You can see a video of the fire breathing Krampus from the 2017 event here.)

Lebus_hardware

The pulls Adam made for my latest reproduction Harris Lebus sideboard, one of the projects in my book about English Arts & Crafts Furniture, forthcoming from Popular Woodworking in June 2018.

In 2014 Nahas took the business model of Trained Eye Arts and started a new venture called Artisan Alley, a community of artists who collaborate and share common space and amenities, encompassing a tool library, gallery, and events venue while offering professional fabrication and artistic services for hire. It’s an outgrowth of his affable nature and skills as an organizer, combined with a real-world need to make a living. “My market shouldn’t just be the end customer,” he realized a few years back. “My market should be the artists: a community of artists that support artists.”

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