Cobalt Designworks: Sculpting a profit

Cobalt Designworks owners Jennifer Corio and Dave Frei


A bench designed by CobaltMoving forward, Cobalt is working on some sculpture projects, and art for private developers.

“We’ve been working with a developer,” said Corio, who has been buying and revamping apartment complexes. He has one in East Vancouver called Slate Ridge. He loves art, and he goes beyond just building. He saw one of our pieces and said he wants something like it at the entranceway to this new and improved apartment community. I love it when there are contractors and developers, who have an eye for art, who want to add that bit of beauty.”

Cobalt Designworks is also continuing to pursue public art projects and calls for art, and working with individual homeowners or businesses.

“We’re working right now on some privacy panels. The client wants them to be art, not just metal panels that block the view of the house the next door,” said Corio.

“It’s pretty amazing,” she added, “that as soon as we put it out there, our clients responded well. I’ve only had to turn down one basic project that was standard brackets or something like that.”

The company started in a studio behind the couple’s home. Since 2007, they have expanded and now also have a commercial space on McLoughlin Boulevard and C Street in Vancouver.

“We started,” she said, “when the bottom dropped out in the economy and the building industry went flat. But since we were just getting started, we didn’t know any different. The key for us was persistence. Our customer base is quite diverse. We work with a lot of home and business owners, but also with interior designers and builders.”

Moving forward, Corio said the company is looking forward to creating more art for private and public settings, and to continuing to bring art into functional, architectural pieces.

“Whether it’s art for art’s sake,” she explained, “or functional art, we’ll do both. We love doing both.”

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