Cory Hamilton - The Man Behind The RZ Mask
Our next Behind the Mask features the story of Cory Hamilton, woodworking artist and power sports enthusiast. Since a young age, Cory spent his time in his father’s workshop learning and watching him blend architecture and design to create custom woodwork for high end homes and commercial buildings. Today he creates furniture and sculptures for clients all over the country, including some notable celebrities like The Rock, Jason Momoa, Norman Reedus and most recently, Joe Rogan.
Q: Tell us about your business.
A: Prior to starting Cory Hamilton Designs in 2012, I spent 15 years at my dad’s construction company learning about carpentry, concrete, faux finishing techniques on furniture and interior/exterior walls. I designed and made custom furniture and art on the side until 2017, when I stepped away to pursue my own business. Now I focus solely on sculptures, custom furniture and painting from my newly built shop and studio named “The Wood Lab.”
Q: What do you love about your craft/work?
A: I love being creative every day and seeing my business evolve into something that I used to dream about. My goal in high school was to create custom art for celebrities, athletes and musicians that inspired me and now each year, the list of celebrities I’ve worked with continues to grow. In turn, this helps promote my work and allows me to keep doing what I love.
Q: When do you wear an RZ dust mask for woodworking?
A: I wear an RZ Mask for wood sculpting and working on furniture, which is most of the work day. I know fine dust can be dangerous to your lungs and body, so I always make sure to wear a filtration dust mask so I can continue to do this as long as possible.
Q: What do you like about the RZ Mask?
A: I’ve been wearing an RZ Mask daily for almost three years. I love how comfortable the RZ M2 Mesh Mask is for long periods of time - and they look good as well.
Q: What are your top 5 tools?
A: My top 5 tools to get the job done are a chainsaw, angle grinders (with Saburrtooth wood carving discs), Dremel power carvers, chop saw and a jigsaw. If I could fit one more, I’d include the hand tools I use like rasps and files.
Q: We know you like to both work and play hard. Where did your love for off-roading come from?
A: My love for off-roading came from being born and raised in the desert. I grew up on ten acres of land where we had motocross tracks and free riding trails all over. We also lived on dirt roads, so hopping on a dirt bike and taking off into the hills was very easy to do. There is something exhilarating that comes with off-roading that I feel is beneficial to your mental health, it’s a temporary release from work and things that tie up your mind. If I start to get into a funk, my wife will tell me to go ride. I’ve even created art for a handful of the top motocross athletes in the world, who I’ve looked up to since I was a kid.
Q: Do you wear a dust mask while off-roading?
A: My wife and I do wear the RZ Mask when off-roading in our Polaris Razor side by side. It’s extremely dry and dusty in California and can get uncomfortable quickly without proper dust protection.
Q: Where are some places you’ve been off-roading?
A: Some of my favorite places to off-road include Joshua Tree, CA, the dirt roads for the Baja 1000 in San Felipe, the Imperial Sand Dunes, the hiking trails around Mammoth Lakes, CA and Salmon, ID.
Q: If you had a daily mantra, what would it be?
A: My daily mantra is to get out there and chase your dreams because they won’t chase you back!
If you’re around Palm Springs, be sure to check out Cory’s first body of bronze statue work that will be on permanent display in early 2022, or see more of his work here.
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