Founded by Jason Meyer and Raymond Padron in 2013, Range Projects is now a team of skilled craftspeople, trained in a variety of industries. Our team brings an incredibly diverse set of skills and experiences to our shop and are integral to our goal of being a capable and versatile custom fabrication studio, producing work of the highest quality.
Jason Meyer Co-founder
Why this work? Fabrication was a practical off-shoot of my sculpture practice. The skills I developed as I pursued art also applied to making functional objects which helped pay the bills.
What was the first custom piece you built? I designed and built a ladder and bookcase system for an urban loft dweller out of oak and aluminum. It was definitely over built (really heavy). It was ambitious for my skill set at the time. In the end it turned out well and the client was pleased.
Whose work do you admire? Dieter Rams: He adheres to the principle that design should be "less but better". The objects he's designed are equally graceful and functional. They are considered yet restrained. Buckminster Fuller: he truly sought to make the world better through architecture and design by challenging convention and taking bold risks. He wasn't afraid of big ideas and alternative possibilities.
What are two favorite materials, and why? White oak: it's a beautiful domestic tree, that yields equally beautiful lumber. The material endures. Oak trees are obvious metaphors for life and growth. It's sustainably harvested and plentiful. Elm: It's a fine alternative to imported exotic lumbers. It has a unique grain pattern that is intricate but subtle. It also lends itself to metaphor. It has historically been an American favorite from pre-Revolutionary time. It was widely planted (really over-planted) but succumbed to disease and was decimated quickly in the 1970's. It illustrates both the beauty and fragility of nature.
How have your processes and products adapted as Range’s work has become nationally known? We've grown surprisingly quickly. We started off very small and scrappy, basically 2 guys doing everything. As we've grown we've hired many skilled craftspersons and been able to acquire better tooling to both improve our quality and efficiency. We naturally take risks and like design challenges. Our portfolio is a diverse reflection of that. A major change since I've been working in this industry is the prevalence and accessibility of automated technologies like CNC routers, lasers and water jet cutters. We've been able to purchase a CNC router which has dramatically changed our production methods.
Ray Padron Co-founder
Why this work? I studied graphic design and sculpture in college because I was interested in art and I have always had a fascination with working with my hands and making things, which was something no one did where I grew up (Suburbs of DC). My sculpture practice centers around learning and practicing "new to me" processes that have a rich history in the fabrication world. It was inevitable that my interest in the aesthetic and functional problem solving of design and my fascination with fabrication processes would lead me to making functional pieces
What was the first custom piece you built? I had made a few parts and pieces for people when I first moved to Chattanooga, but the very first project I did was the vertical steel sign at sustainable consulting company green|spaces. It was a great opportunity and in many ways a model for how I still prefer to work; being able to contribute to a business who I admire and support, and getting to collaborate with fellow designers who I admire.
Whose work do you admire? Stephan Sagmeister: He gives a solid counterpoint to so much of what I struggle with in the design world. His work is raw and physical, often utilizing real materials and methods outside of the computer. His work is also a celebration of creativity and possibilities rather than a strict commitment to a narrow set of design principles. Richard Serra: Initially it was Serra's approach to materials and construction methods that captured my (and the worlds) attention and changed the way I think about making and materiality. Lately though I find myself thinking about the insane logistics, planning and collaboration that goes into the production and installation of his works. though his famous large scale works may have the simplistic personality of his early work, its achieved through an amazingly complex and precise system. Isamu Noguchi: His sculpture was some of the first work that inspired me to make sculpture. He never stopped moving forward and exploring new ideas and new methods at a time when the world was changing fast. I look to him now as a great example of an artist who worked in a variety of fields. His furniture, stage sets and art works seemed to all hold a relevant place in his practice. I aspire to do the same.
What are two favorite materials, and why? Steel: Unlike some raw materials, steel is man made. A major accomplishment of humanity. It has changed the face of the built world. It is amazingly strong yet flexible. It is industrial yet can be so elegant. It is not a luxury material. I have always enjoyed working with steel because it is something you have to feel as much as know. When you heat it and bend it, or cut and grind it you are constantly moving between using the full force of your body and just the lightest touch. You feel the material as it responds and from that, know how to make it do what you need. Walnut: Walnut is a very popular wood right now and unsurprisingly so. It dark and beautiful and has ties to some very classic styles of furniture. Though I agree with these sentiments, my fondness for it is far more personal and specific. When I was first learning wood working in college the studio had a large cache of walnut, from a local source, that we were using in a furniture design class. It was a wonderful and life changing experience, and to this day, the smell of walnut brings back some really great memories.
How have your processes and products adapted as Range’s work has become nationally known? It is amazing how things have changed as we have grown. One way in particular has come out of having these larger jobs with more people working on them which has really made me look closely at every step of the process. Before, my interest was always in getting to the fabricating and actually building the thing. I have become very aware and interested in the first few steps of a job; listening to the client, thinking about the problem, taking careful measure and coming up with a plan. The rest is downhill (with the right craftspeople). We have also benefitted greatly from changes in the industry. Consumers now are more interested than ever in well made, well designed, one of a kind things. It's this shift that has really allowed our business to become what it is.