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New art studio offers variety
In Woodman
Woodman art studio
MARK SALAMON moved last year to Woodman, where he plans to open an art studio featuring framing, photography, custom printing and much more.

WOODMAN - If you’re wondering what Mark Salamon can do, and you happen to be pressed for time, you’d be smart to ask him what he can’t do.

Short answer: “Not much.”

Salamon and his wife last year moved to Woodman, where he is preparing to open a studio/workshop to produce, well, pretty much everything: Photography, framed artwork, boat and UTV covers, cutting boards, welded sculptures, wood furniture, custom upholstery, custom printed T-shirts and coffee mugs, large format prints and signs, and leatherwork, as well as (in collaboration with his wife), baked and canned goods.

“And I haven’t even fired up the pottery kiln yet,” he said.

“I don’t put all my eggs in one basket. I learned the hard way, being in business,” Salamon explained.

That proverbial basket, Salamon’s learning experience, was the business of custom-fabricated automotive “ground effects” kits. If you’re not a fan of fast cars, you’ve probably never heard of one, but a ground effects kit is an aftermarket bumper and skirt assembly that basically uses the science of aerodynamics to make a car go faster, especially on corners.

Esoteric? Yes. Popular? Also, yes. Until suddenly they weren’t. “The market changed. It dried up,” Salamon said. “So, then I started making other things.”

He pivoted to car upholstery, and then to woodwork and fabrication, working for ten years at a factory that produced interior furnishings for Starbucks, Trader Joes, and other service/retail businesses. While thus employed, he amassed a stockpile of kiln-dried hardwood scraps unsuitable for industrial scale.

“A lot of guys took them home and burned them,” he scoffed. “Uh uh. I’m turning them into cutting boards.”

Why Woodman? The shop, for starters. It’s got a small office/retail space where customers can buy his photographs, an over-sized two-bay garage for his woodworking and upholstery table, and a ginormous repair bay with a lift. It’s almost enough space to contain his ever-expanding tools and passions.

“Over the years I’ve collected all this equipment and knowledge,” he said. “So I can just go from one thing to another. It’s really a matter of what do I want to do? And what’s the market where you’re at? I just don’t know what the market is here yet.”

Salamon’s photographs are currently display at Gundersen hospital in Boscobel. His studio is located at 200 Main Street in Woodman.