Studio visit: Studio Gioia
August 17, 2015 / Online Exclusive / Photos ERIC BELL
Tucked behind a building on Second Avenue in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood is a creative hotbed—literally. Mary Gioia’s forging studio has been turning out custom ironwork for clients since 1991. It’s a storied location: In the 1930s and '40s, the building housed a film processing company, and Gioia's studio features the metal door and explosion-proof room where volatile film supplies were once kept. Soundgarden and Pearl Jam practiced in the building's basement before they were household names. Some of Seattle's most famous grunge-era rock bands had their debut at The Crocodile, located just around the corner. Gioia herself fit right into the scene; in the late '90s, she was commissioned by one of the members of Pearl Jam to do custom ironwork throughout his house.
Under the name Studio Gioia, Mary creates custom drapery hardware for clients and interior designers; she’s currently working on new finishes and finials. Her collection features brackets, rods, finials, and rings, based on best-sellers over the years. Custom designs and sizes are fair game, too.
In December Gioia plans to unveil a new gallery-showroom to showcase hand-forged home decor, and a variety of finishes and wrought iron textures.
We toured her fascinating studio, which was full of rich (and often humorous) details. We think you'll like a look-around!