Hidden Spring Designs is the artistic collaboration of husband and wife team Rob Matthews and Leslie Guinan.
Rob was a stained glass artist for 30 years. He has created gallery pieces and commissions throughout the country and worked with prominent architects and designers such as Clodagh.
Leslie is formally trained as a furniture maker. She began woodworking as a creative outlet while working as an environmental lawyer, and spent a year at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program.
Their collaborative partnership began with furniture and has evolved to include work for the wall and sculpture. Lightweight concrete is the core material in most of their work. It is combined with various other materials including hand-cut glass, found objects, wood, metal, paper, plant materials and photographs. They create a unique mold for each piece. Texture is created in the mold. The piece is then cast with lightweight concrete. Recycled styrofoam aggregate is used to reduce weight, locking it inside a piece of art and keeping it out of the landfill. Color is added after the piece has cured. Once cured, the piece is painted with various concrete stains and pigments, or encaustic. Themes are frequently architectural, exploring our relationship to the built environment and the feelings of belonging or alienation that can arise from perceptions of place.
Rob and Leslie each do all steps of the process, with the division of labor varying on each piece according to the muse.