Meet the Submaterial Team

Submaterial thrives as a direct result of the enduring commitment of our staff to an extraordinary level of craftsmanship. We are so grateful for the efforts of this talented group of makers and we'd like to share some of their stories.




Russell Arthur Bauer creates kinetic, performative, and allegorical sculptures by applying his knowledge of construction, electronics, and living systems. When the works hang from the wall he considers them paintings. As much work as possible is released into the public domain. His portfolio is available at Major ongoing projects include the Edible Carnival ( and the United States Chapter of People for the Ethical Treatment of Technology and Infrastructure ( Bauer lives and works in Albuquerque, NM. He received his MFA from the University of New Mexico in the Art & Ecology program, and his BFA from Michigan State University.



R. Ayrton Chapman is a multi-disciplinary artist based out of Los Lunas, New Mexico. She creates installations that often utilize the viewer to complete the work. She uses a variety of materials to put on interactive experiences such as; recycled objects, paint, found objects, wood, fabric, felt, magazines, plastic, people, ready-made objects and more. All of the content she creates is filmed, edited and is available free on the Story Time With Grumbles and Friends YouTube channel. To see more, visit



Kai is an artist from Albuquerque, NM. He grew up with a strong imagination, and eventually received a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico. He has worked with cars, motorcycles, sculpted in clay, metal and wood, and made jewelry and furniture.

He is drawn to classical materials that connect his contemporary aesthetic to the high level of craft and technique that he idolizes from the past. He often explores the movement of energy in his art; energy either in the form of emotion, such as fear or romance, or energy in the form of electricity or heat.

A portion of his work can be viewed on his website:



Originally from Johnson, Vermont, Andy is a motivated individual and has a Bachelor’s of Industrial Design from Victoria University of Wellington. After completing his degree and in effort to reconnect with his roots, he moved to Albuquerque. In addition to his contributions to the products at Submaterial, Andy practices freelance product design and computer modeling: one project is his tactile clock, shown above.



Sara earned her Bachelor’s in Fine Art from the University of North Texas, where she focused on drawing and painting. After moving to New Mexico, she began designing and hand painting custom earrings and marketing through her Etsy shop ( Each earring is digitally drawn, laser cut, and custom painted before shipping to the buyer. She carries her attention to detail and love for color into the work environment, lending her visual and technical expertise throughout departments. In her free time, she’s a plant enthusiast and spends time with her Red Boston Terrier, Brody.



Born and raised in New Mexico, Geo is a lifelong student of art and craftsmanship.  Accomplished in a variety of painting disciplines, illustration and graphic design, woodworking and photography, he remains enthusiastic about learning new and old processes.  Helping raise three daughters has made his life a rich experience, and they share time often in outdoor activities around the country.  He loves New Mexico for its low population density and the daily grandeur of its land and sky.




Christopher was born and raised in Hawaii and studied Fine Art at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He approaches art with an explorative and somewhat scientific mindset evident in his studied repetitions, and enjoys mixing photography with various fiber materials. Following this theme of exploration, Christopher has lived in California; he is looking forward to finding out what New Mexico has to offer. He is excited to be working in a creative environment such as Submaterial and appreciates being surrounded by many creative and talented people.



Born and raised in Albuquerque, Bruce graduated from Highland High School in 1976 and attended UNM briefly to study music, but chose to return to the workforce. He has experience working in everything from ceramics, bicycle mechanics, plastic injection molding, cable television installation, machining and retail sales. He attended classes for architectural drawing and aviation technology. Now finding himself here at Submaterial, he enjoys the kind, gentle, and creative nature of all his associates. He also gets a kick out of being the official senior team member here. His hobbies include fly fishing, cycling and spending time in his home studio writing original music, with five CD projects to his credit over the past twenty years. He became a father four years ago to a beautiful girl, Luella, who is a constant source of inspiration and reminder to try to always see the world through the eyes of a child.



With a firm belief in self-improvement and peaceful living, Rob moved to Albuquerque from New Jersey, and takes comfort being nestled into the edge of a vast mountain range.  Rob became involved in fabrication after Hurricane Sandy, where he volunteered to clear out debris and rebuild both homes and commercial structures. Rob likes to find jobs where he can help others find the beauty in life and allow ideas to come together and move forward. 



From Royal Oak, Michigan, Leon grew up working in bicycle shops. He followed the bicycle scene to New Mexico, and lived car-free for several years. Though he was drawn back to Michigan temporarily, Leon returned to Albuquerque for the local snowboarding and good friends who have become family. Submaterial has been a new experience in terms of the type of fabrication, and the amount of care and attention employees receive. Leon considers himself an industrial designer/engineer and continues to translate his artistic and technical skills into new hobbies, including motorcycle and car mechanics.



Sophia attended the University of New Mexico with the intention to earn a degree in Art Education, but soon found herself with a desire to focus and grow her own artistic aesthetic. She changed her major to Art Studio, and intends to teach art in the future. She has stayed involved in the art community and even spent time completely self-employed creating sculptural pieces, including cups, toys, and dolls. Sophia currently has her work displayed and sold at a Santa Fe art gallery (pop Santa Fe). In her free time, she is a trail runner and especially enjoys mountain running in her home town of Cordova. She was attracted to Submaterial for its minimalist designs, and has since grown a new appreciation for color palates, which are influencing her personal work.  



Originally from Chicago, Sasha moved to Albuquerque in 2011 to be closer to family. He has been involved in music since he was three years old, and is a third-generation drummer.  His current band is called Russian Girlfriends, but he is also a successful touring and session drummer for other bands, internationally recognized and sought after. Sasha’s local band was recently voted the best punk band in Albuquerque for 2017.  Submaterial has been a new experience as Sasha has no background in fabrication, but he has been able to carry over his love for new processes and creative mind into the work place. He is excited that everything in his life relates to art and creative design, and enjoys sharing his passion with his four-year-old daughter.



After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts and minor in Art History at Herron School of Art and Design in Indiana, Chad moved to New Mexico to further his college career. He attended the University of New Mexico for a Masters in Studio Art. He focuses his artistic talents on both sculpture and painting, which can be seen on his website,



After attending the California College of the Arts for his BFA, Matt moved back to New Mexico for the grassroots art scene and the opportunity to put on his own exhibitions. Beyond developing his personal portfolio, he has gained experience doing design production, art handling, and other creative work. Submaterial has been a good fit for Matt because it aligns with his interest in making aesthetic objects and working with his hands. Matt's next step is to build on the support provided by Submaterial by moving to Los Angeles within the coming weeks, and continuing to pursue his dream of opening his own art studio. More of his work can be seen on his website,  



From years of shop courses learning various skills, Alyssa has always been confident of her desire to make things and utilize her creativity. She earned an undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of New Mexico, and continues to find ways to excavate her interests and try new things. She enjoys mediums such as acrylic, museum board, photography, graphic design, wood working, and even painting hair on occasion. Submaterial has been a good fit to her life because it combines fabrication with design, and radiates positive energy. The next step for her will be returning to school for a Master of Business Administration.



With an outdoorsy soul, Maya draws her creative side from the nature and landscapes New Mexico offers. She has a Bachelors in Exercise Science, and intends to continue her education with a Masters in Physical Therapy. Maya does rock climbing, both indoors and outdoors, with her friends on a weekly basis, and creates nature scene paintings with watercolor.



Cristine began working at Submaterial shortly after completing her Master’s of Fine Art at University of New Mexico last Spring. While expanding her interest in design and aesthetics, and capitalizing on her love for materials and meditative processes, she is thrilled to work at a company with an environmental consciousness.

Cristine’s work as an artist utilizes performance, installation, sculpture, and craft to investigates all types of relationships. From intimate personal human-to-human relationships such as familial, to the larger global relationship of humans to the Earth, each piece or series is unique to its process which results in visual and thematic diversity within her larger body of work. She utilizes her practice to build a better understanding of the world around her. Although the catalyst of projects vary, themes of time, experience, memory and guilt infiltrate all that she does. More examples of her work and video documentation can be found on her website

Learn through Play

Here at Submaterial, we believe and appreciate the process of learning, the importance of making, and the value of helping members of our community come together. Through a partnership with a local program called Wemagination, we are proud to donate various materials with the intention of encouraging children to learn through play.

The Wemagination Resource Center is a non-profit organization associated with the University of New Mexico’s Family Development Program, with a goal to cultivate and foster joy, diversity, community, and promote the inherent instinct to play. The Family Development Program focuses on the right to learn for children up to five years old, as research shows that these are some of the most influential years on learning and brain development. Wemagination takes this concept into the lives of children through teaching creativity and allowing them to use their imaginations through everyday materials.

Wemagination receives donated materials from local businesses and community members, then acts as a distribution hub, with a goal to allow kids to bring their own ideas to life. With a vast library of materials at their disposal, children are taught to think outside the box, be inclusive, and ultimately retain the passion for creative discovery.

During our visit to the location in Nob Hill, we were told by Education Consultant, Alida Davila-Larrichio, that children are encouraged to use these materials for new things every day, as opposed to something permanent.  By using each piece of material in this manner, there are endless possibilities for the imagination to wander. Using our post-manufacturing wool felt and cork scrap donations, Wemagination helps teach kids how to use their imagination and kick start their senses. Preferred by daycares and preschools, the felt has proven to be a great sensory material for babies and young children to learn through touch.

Teachers and parents have seen their children use the felt as race car tracks, ninja belts, animal tails, puppets, knotted chains, and even imaginative hanging forests. The cork donations typically get repurposed for both classroom and home pin boards.

In addition to our commitment to helping our community in any way we can, Submaterial also supports the initiative to reduce waste and promote a sustainable environment. Through donating our unused materials, we eliminate 10-15 cubic yards per month of waste that might otherwise end up in a landfill.


 “(Wemagination) provides high quality recycled materials in

support of understanding the essential role of play for children’s

optimal learning and development.”


Wemagination offers free workshops to familiarize educators and parents with the creative process and how to jumpstart imaginations of today’s youth. The next workshop being offered will take place on February 1, 2017, on the topic of “Discovering Storytelling and Pre-Literacy Skills Through Play.”


If you’d like to get involved with Wemagination, you can sign up to donate, get a membership, or register for a free workshop on their website at



Childhood Educators Membership Registration (parents & teachers)

Non-Childhood Educators Membership Registration (artists & community members)


 Childhood Learning: Reggio Emilia Approach



4010 Copper Ave NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
Phone Number: (505) 268-8580

Aerial Wall Panel 6.3.14

We’ve been busy in the Submaterial studio exploring prototypes for our fall product releases. One of our favorites is this new wool felt and cork wall panel we have decided to call Aerial (since the surface reminds us of aerial land photographs). The mosaic-like surface of different colors and thicknesses of wool felt is especially tactile in this high-contrast colorway.

As we complete the prototypes we’ll be sharing the images both here and on our Facebook page. All the pieces will be available for purchase in September as we enjoy our annual studio sale. More details on this as fall approaches.

Fall Newsletter 2013

Customizable Design – One of the most important design features of Submaterial products is the adaptability built into everything we create. By allowing designers to modify not only colors and materials but also dimensions and scale, our work can be transformed to suit any environment. Canadian client Artkonstrukt recently chose to modify our Wall Panel 069 by selecting an off-white shade of vegetable-tanned cow hide instead of the usual recycled leather composite. This new material was thicker and more rigid, dictating a change of scale to our basic design. More than 1250 hand-cut leather parts were assembled to create this eye-catching geometric wall panel. The forms are stronger and more architectural than our typical design, with a deep, sculptural surface. The muted sheen of the leather adds another layer of visual interest.

In a similar fashion, one of our residential clients asked us to scale up the size of the standard tiles for our Wall Hanging 042. By increasing their tile size to over 13 inches square, the client was able to use a thick wool felt in a color they loved for the surface – an option which would not have worked with the smaller standard tile.

Commercial Project – For the new Quicken corporate offices at 1001 Woodward in Detroit, designer Andrea Glos of Hamilton Anderson Architects specified our Index Dimensional wool felt and cork wall covering. The vibrant greens and magenta accents were composed randomly on the wall surfaces to striking effect. Index Dimensional cuts and installs easily, and you can even get a crisp outside corner where needed. You can see the 26 available colors for Index Dimensional as part of the color library now integrated into our website.

Press – Thanks so much to Interior Design Magazine for featuring our new Index WIDE wall covering in the 2013 Fall Market Tabloid. With Index WIDE you can now create a bold and sculptural felt wall installation faster and easier than ever. The larger 12” H x 36” W size of Index WIDE makes for quicker coverage and we offer custom widths up to 42”. The height variation between the wool felt stripes brings a strong linear and dimensional quality to the design. Apply directly to the wall using heavy duty wall covering adhesive. Choose from one of 26 monochrome colors, or work with us to create your own unique colorway with over 60 colors to select from.