We are Margot and Matthew Rogers. We take pleasure in innovating aspects of the music industry that have affected musicians for decades. We have altered the basic guitar strap into a tool that transcends merely holding your guitar in the air. The simple and fast height adjustment makes playing music vastly easier, especially when played live! We create bass guitars that are lighter, more comfortable, ergonomic, and beautiful than their counterparts. They have features that you won’t find in a music store.
Our four floor studio in Beverly, MA has designated shop space for our leather and wood products, in addition to our fine art studios with equipment for a variety of media from gold leafing to etching with an antique printing press. Although we are located in the heart of the city of Beverly, our urban community is surrounded by ocean, beaches, farmland that has inspired the artists of America for centuries. The land around our studio is inspiring for painting, creating music and clearing our heads.
We are grateful for our partnerships with a vast network of creative professionals that have collaborated with us on various projects. Only thirty minutes north of Boston, we have hosted classes and internships for students from Harvard University, Tufts, MassArt, SMFA, Gordon College, Salem State and Montserrat College of Art.
Our studio came together organically. The more highly specialized gigs we got, the more equipment we purchased or made. As we grew Wallpusher, we expanded our apartment studio to a multi-level facility that exemplified high functionality with space efficiency. Even with all the woodworking machines, book and etching presses here, hand tools are still our favorite because of their intimacy in honoring the ability of the hand to create.
The hardest sacrifices that we’ve had to make over the years is managing the people and loved ones that occasionally have other plans for our future. Having to press on and forge our own path continues to be a welcome challenge with some tough times. Life is not scripted. Luckily, in creating our studio, Matthew is amazing at 3D conceptual thinking and can see the potential of any space.
Matthew and I actually spend a lot of time making our tools. Our 19th century cast iron sewing machines are my personal favorite, fondly named “Ferrari” and “Lamborghini.” I made the custom colors by mixing industrial tractor paints. The machines are pin striped and accented by areas of Japanese gold leaf, and the tables are painted with blue birds; these machines are so beautiful, they’re fitting gifts for an emperor or president of a country. Matthew thinks that working daily with tools that are intentionally embellished comes through in the finished product; like the old saying goes, “The painting is only as good as the surface beneath it.”
Matt’s favorite tools would be his grandpa Herb Kay’s mallet (made from a log and a broom handle), the Bedrock #8 handplane he got from master luthier Walter Stanul, and the precision machinist tools he got from his early mentor: the master craftsman Wayne Woogen. Tools like these are like inheriting the family sword!
Our house has several different studios designated for different materials. So when the woodshop is busy, we are there 16 hours a day, and when it’s leather we’re equally committed. Attending music and design festivals takes us away from the studios, as does the essential computer typing and graphic design work we do in-house.
When Matthew and I enter the shop, we put on our designated tool belts, aprons or flight suits and we leap into our work. Materials are transformed and there is a fair amount of cleanup necessary to prepare for the next session. At the end of the occasional late night work session, we might leave the space as is, but on those regular days we like cleaning and closing down shop to let ourselves and the space rest. We think showing up to a clean work space when we are also well dressed inclines us to make good, careful work. It’s a total mind-body endeavor.
The shop is decorated with beautiful old tools we have either made or inherited over many years. Having dozens of rolls of leather, as well as our handbound books, piles of wood ready for custom instruments, huge rolls of drawing paper and shelves of painting panels makes our studio a feast for making things.
There are a few Grueby vessels around and scores of beautiful pottery that Matthew has thrown and soda-fired — ironically, in the same studios that the Gruebys were thrown in 100 years prior! But I think one of the most inspiring objects is our etching press. It was the very same starwheel press that Chauncey Ryder personally used throughout his career. Inherited tools like these can be as famous as Chauncey’s press or as simple as the tape measure Matt got when he was 4 years old, but the inspiration and guidance Matt received from his father is the same: “It’s already been done, my boy, so bring your best to the conversation of history and trust God for the results.”
Matthew worked with friend and fellow artisan Alan Shearer to build a gorgeous home theatre. One day while they worked they were sharing their ideas and hearts with one another. Alan wrote on a piece of scrap wood, “Everybody makes mistakes.” The timing was right, and Matthew grasped the full implication of that statement. It has inspired him to keep a sense of humor in all things, as well as to pour the very best he can without fear of the unknown. That very humble scrap of wood now hangs in our studio.