Get to know the people behind some of Dallas' interesting, unique, art-inspired local businesses. Know any good ones? Drop us a tip in the comments.
Matt McCrimmon makes mirrors. Not the big sheets of nothing you find on bathroom walls, but ones that are circular, inspired by astrology and wrapped in flat-brushed copper. He's come a long way from his first job stocking the shelves of Kmart where aco-worker informed him that he had to shake the bottles of Italian dressing before straightening them because they sell better that way. Of course, that was a hazing ritual and no doubt the first in a long line of BS he's been fed from job to job. We've all been there, but McCrimmon actually did something about it. He spent 34 years trying his hand at furniture making, business owning and wine pairing, and his latest endeavor is just the right fit.
Mirrors an extremely niche product and such an unusual thing to specialize in, so how exactly did McCrimmon learn how to do what he does? He asked questions. In fact, he "asked one million and one fucking questions." He talked to everyone in the Dallas area who made mirrors, cut glass, new how to adhere this surface to that one. Everyone. He picked up the phone, met people in person and just kept following that trail of knowledge. Old-timers were always happy to share their wisdom, even if they didn't quite understand McCrimmon's vision. Maybe none of them had seen the constellation Aries hand cut in brass and set in a mirror, but they were about to.
McCrimmon's first collection featured mirrors like "Horizon" where the bottom sixth of the mirror is actually colored glass. His next collection is an ambitious one -- he's taking fussy old Victorian mirrors and giving them a clean, modern twist. His days are spent running around town, gathering materials, creating prototypes and finding just the right glue. That's when he's in collection creation mode. When he's not figuring out the next collection in the studio, he's finding inspiration all around him. "I can be inspired by jewelry, I can be inspired by landscapes ... for the most part that initial thought really comes from just keeping your eyes open and taking in everyday things." So yeah, he's always working -- observing, sketching, 3D rendering, trying out new things. Maybe that's the best piece of advice we can glean from McCrimmon --everything worthwhile takes a few tries to get there, but when we asked him, he had an even better answer, "You're biggest enemy is obscurity. If no one ever knows it doesn't really matter. Share everything with everyone and never worry about anyone stealing your ideas." We asked him a few more questions, too, like where he's from in order to get to know the man behind the mirror. (Cue a modified Michael Jackson song.) When he told us he grew up in Tampa, Florida, it was time for a little hazing of our own.
Why does Florida ruin everything? I would say heat, beer, meth and waves.
Were you ever in a neighborhood gang? Yes, there was an -- I can't even say infamous because we weren't even that bad -- but we decided to throw an acronym together one day. BTT for Blood Thirsty Teenagers. There was no blood drawn on anyone. It mainly involved just water balloon slingshots.
Did you have satin jackets? No, but I do still have the class ring.
Seriously? No, not at all. Café Press didn't exist when BTT existed.
What's the greatest city on Earth after Dallas? New Orleans. I love New Orleans. Can't get over it.
What's one thing that drives you insane? Which is a fancy way of saying 'what's your pet peeve?' Literally my pet peeve is someone trying to -- slowly without making noise -- open a big of chips. I fucking hate that. Just open it.
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