By Dylan Roche | Studio Photography courtesy Gutierrez Studios
For John Gutierrez, it was always about the artistry and craftsmanship.
Even before the Baltimore native founded his business that would eventually grow into the thriving Gutierrez Studios, the ambitious woodworker had a vision for making a big impact on the arts and architecture scene.
“He was able to visualize and had a future in his mind of a much larger company that could do a lot of things,” says Roya Golpira, the studio’s president and CEO, and Gutierrez’s partner of 30 years up until his death in 2010. “Having come from a background of being an artist, he was always willing and ready to figure out the next thing—even if he’d never done it before. John never said no to anything, so if a project involved a material he hadn’t worked with before, he kept exploring. He was such a creative person and always willing to work with something new.”
With this can-do spirit and his connections across a network of other craftsmen, Gutierrez expanded from woodworking to metalworking and other projects. Today, the studio works with an array of materials to handle any part of a customer’s built environment, whether that’s decorative lighting, impressive signage, grand staircases, beautiful yet practical benches and tables, or even larger-than-life sculptures.
For the talented team of 23 who work in the studio’s 20,000-square-foot workshop located on Clipper Point Road in Baltimore, their work is not only about craftsmanship but also problem-solving and truly helping customers realize their vision. “A lot of times, what you find is people do one aspect of what we do,” Golpira explains. “You might find people who are strictly designers—they’re just going to design the scope of the project. Then there are people who are strictly fabricators—they’re going to take somebody’s drawings and build it. And then there are people who just finish it or just install it. In our case, we are capable of taking a concept all the way from design and engineering to the construction and installation.”
It requires expert talent to pull off these kinds of projects; Gutierrez Studios has been fortunate to retain many of its staff for decades. Kevin Weston, the studio’s general manager, notes that this longevity means the craftsmen have not only strengthened their individual skills but also galvanized their ability to work as a cohesive team. “We’ve pulled from a very varied group of past experiences to find the right people and energy and chemistry that can work together in all of this controlled chaos,” he says. “We’ve been really lucky over the years to attract the right people.”
Golpira and Weston agree that the rewarding part of leading Gutierrez Studios is the lasting impact they can have on their clients. Although the studio works with both commercial and residential clients, this reward is even greater with the residential ones. A person’s built environment is where they live, work, play, and ultimately thrive—so it’s only natural the studio plays a role in improving their quality of life.
The Gutierrez team carries that understanding with them from the moment a client explains their vision to the final stages when the piece is installed. As Weston puts it, “We’re helping create their dream house—we’ve helped them create the house they want to live in for the rest of their lives.”
To learn more about Gutierrez Studios, visit gutierrezstudios.com
Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 11, No. 6 2020