The Story Behind Blue Bayer Design Studio
“Blue Bayer understands the role and importance of the artisan in our era. His work is like a kaleidoscopic journey through the landfill of classic Americana. The pieces in his collection seem as if they could have been excavated from any decade of the last century. They are powerful in their simplicity, combining grace and kinetic energy with a stage presence that makes them the perfect conversation piece, yet impossible to describe.” Leo Herrera, 2010
Blue Bayer Design Studio was founded in 2008 by Blue Bayer, a New York-based craftsman.
Blue is an independent artist whose roots in underground consumer culture and decades of experience as a street vendor across the country, fostered a merchant philosophy based on original work, quality and customer service at the most direct level.
Blue’s career began selling hand-sculpted smoking pipes in the national Renaissance Fair Circuit, soon becoming a staple in the largest fairs in the country. Like all of his modern work, his pieces were filled with a whimsical innocence combined with a macabre edge, like Fantasy characters in an Edwardian novel, and for years, they were very popular.
“People kept telling me, ‘I love your pieces, but I don’t smoke,’ or ‘I can’t give one to my mother.’” he explained in a 2008 TimeOut Article focusing on his work. After a decade of selling pipes, in 2007, Blue decided to expand his demographic. He began exploring estate sales and flea markets, collecting clock gears, rhinestones, vintage tin photos, lockets and old silverware. Through a year of experimentation, he created his first jewelry line, Assemblagio, a collection of wearable dioramas. He began selling them in the streets of NYC alongside the pipes and the reception was overwhelming. Soon, Blue was forced to scale down his street vending, quit the pipes and he began concentrating on pieces for a select number of collectors.
In 2008, feeling limited, Blue decided to expand. The goal was to keep the originality of his previous collection, while providing to a wider score of people. He enlisted the help of two fellow artisans to create Blue Bayer Design Studio. Master carver Keith Keary, whose prodigious skills at wax carving could provide Blue Bayer the opportunity to art-direct the production of cast pieces, and Leo Herrera, visual artist and filmmaker, who could provide the language of image and design to convey the mood inherent in Blue’s aesthetic to an online audience.
The first collection, inspired by wildlife and Victorian mementos, was launched in December of 2008 through the world’s largest handmade goods marketplace, Etsy.com. Within a year, demand was exceeding supply and Blue became one of the biggest success stories from Etsy, soon becoming a “Featured Artist” with thousands of followers. In spite of the economical recession, or perhaps because of it, Blue Bayer Design Studio experienced an inspiring trajectory in a very short time. As consumers realized the true value of their dollar, the originality and affordability of his pieces held a special resonance to performers, fashion editors and consumers of every genre.
Having had some lucky breaks with press in major fashion magazines Blue signed on with Raw Information. This tightly curated press showroom in New York's fashion district has begun to develop Blue Bayer Design as a brand with placement in Vogue Homme , Nylon and a host of fashion publications.
Now in 2014, Blue has once again decided to expand, this time independently. The relaunch ofBlue Bayer Design Studio includes a completely new website, an independently-run online shopping experience, a new catalog and wholesale opportunities for stores and vendors across the country who believe in the Blue Bayer philosophy of art and honest commerce. Plans to open up a New York City flagship store are underway.
Blue would like to thank all of his loyal collectors, many whom followed him from the streets of NYC to the vastness of the internet. Their taste, attention to detail and independence make the gears of the Blue Bayer Studio turn every day.