Martin Industries - Passion for Perfection in the Grundy Commons
by Cate Murway
Enter the world of expression that is Martin Industries.
There is a fine art to what appears to be so beautifully simple.
The roots of Martin Industries run deep in Philadelphia. They stand for American quality.
Over 60 years ago the original creator and owner, WW II Navy Veteran Martin Frank “Marty” Winkler [1924-2011], who grew up on 5237 Peutridge Street, began his furniture company in a three story building at 13th and Lombard, a purveyor of a custom furniture business open only to the trades.
John Carl Kline and his son Jeremy Paul are committed to preserving this art of custom upholstering and furnishing, catering to interior designers, clients who expect nothing less than perfection.
Now, with joint creative vision, John and Jeremy have brought their unique combination to this Philadelphia tradition right into the Grundy Commons located in historic Bristol on the Delaware.
They continue to produce luxury upholstered works of art, putting themselves wholeheartedly into everything they do as they fashion custom, made-to-measure elegant upholstered furniture of extraordinary quality and timeless beauty that creates the perfect room.
It’s a truly hidden art.
John started designing furniture in 1967. After graduating from Tyler School of Art in 1964, an art and architecture school based at Temple University, he taught K-12 Art in a school in Reading for 2 years. “In Tyler you learn to do everything. I just liked art. I always drew and painted throughout high school.”
He was a design major in the Philadelphia College of Art [now The University of the Arts created from the joining of PCA with another pioneering, century-old institution, the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts (PCPA) in 1987], when he toured Martin Industries that was owned and operated by Marty Winkler and his wife, Shirley [Brown] and his sister, Renee Rubin. John and his son Jeremy partnered and purchased the Martin Industries business about 13 years ago and ran those furniture operations in Port Richmond for almost a decade in a large factory building before moving into the “much cleaner” Grundy Commons 3 years ago.
“Fred was nice enough to rent this space with lower ceilings and a large storage area. It works out well.”
John and his wife, Cheryl Eileen, a retired nurse who now works full time in ministry, have two sons. Jeremy, a dedicated craftsman, works along with his father at Martin Industries and is extremely talented at cutting fabrics and matching patterns. Their son Christopher John lives north of Atlanta.
John and Cheryl are the proud grandparents of 9!
Each exceptionally comfortable and exquisitely styled heirloom piece is an individual work of art, meticulously crafted by hand; the handmade frames of tempered, hand-tied steel coil springs are constructed in the time-honored way. They may begin with a pencil sketch, a fabric swatch, photograph, and a snatch of an idea with a page torn from a magazine to fulfill any request.
John designs for the designers or a dealer who owns a furniture store who sometimes have seen inspiration for their custom-made desires in the Architectural Digest magazine, the international design authority, featuring the work of top architects and designers.
Born and built in the USA, their furniture with expertly cut upholstery and skirting fabric so that patterns match perfectly and the fabric along seams and pleats, is smoothly finished with exacting care. Their frame shop makes “very unique frames” and their hand carving work is done in Allentown.
It’s all about what looks right!
Fabrics are sewn with perfect symmetry and balance throughout each piece of their custom-made furniture. Workmanship remains impeccable when the master upholsterers custom cover each unique and timeless piece with the finest elegant, exclusive and luxuriously comfortable fabrics or the most sumptuous leathers.
Their custom one-of-a-kind upholstered benches can see service in a range of residential prestigious homes, as well as formal, commercial and informal settings, bridging the past and the future to create a sense of timeless style and luxury.
This Saturday's child sure works hard for a living.
John at times meets with designers with a floor plan, some of whom are sent to him from stores in Philadelphia. “I can draw what things would look like. Jobs very often come from word of mouth.”
Each meticulously unique piece, closer to works of art than furniture, is designed to fit specific dimensions in balance, line, and proportion.
They LOVE furniture!
It’s their scrupulous attention to detail! Much like a classic made to order suit, the proportions of a furniture creation can be custom tailored to personal tastes exemplary in design, comfort, fabric and style. The feel of each of their masterpieces is just as important as the overall look. It’s the individual measurements for a natural pitch that create an experience of opulent comfort.
“I love the variety. It’s always a challenge. We’re always doing something different.”
John was once asked to replicate a signature vintage Baumann chair. "Grands créateurs" Emile Baumann and his son, Walter were most acclaimed Swiss who lived in France and created their own furniture manufacture at the beginning of the 20th century, becoming very well known in the sixties. Dining- bistro Baumann chairs, some of the most sought after chairs in Europe, were much seen in French restaurants.
Martin Industries has acquired a reputation for impeccable craftsmanship, dependability and service.
Their final result is American-made furniture of luxurious comfort and outstanding beauty.
Quality and customer satisfaction is always first.
Client furnishing desires serve as their masters.
Martin Industries in the Grundy Commons
925 Canal Street
Bristol, PA 19007
215.426.7890 / FAX 215.426.7939
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