If you were among the 111.3 million viewers this past February watching the exciting NY Giant victory in Super Bowl XLVI, you saw a glimpse of Gardiner during the presentation of the Lombardi trophy to the winning team. Czinkota Studios of Gardiner was the creator of the football-shaped platform stage that was sculpted and then reproduced in fiberglass for this year’s award ceremony. This uniquely formed one-of-a kind stage is highly representative of the high end, high tech work perfected by this third year resident of our Industrial Park. Proudly 15 years in business, Czinkota Studios specializes in custom theming and display projects— Owner George Czinkota’s business card says it all: “helping carve out your ideas.”
We have all seen their work; the list of the more famous clients includes Coke, Nike, ToysRUs, the NY Times, FAO Schwartz and Spiderman on Broadway. With clients ranging from theme parks, large retail stores requiring window displays, trade shows, video shoots, rock shows and Broadway plays requiring props, they each bring unique challenges to this magical workshop in our town.
The fast-paced world of design determines the short life cycle of most Czinkota creations. Their typical workflow is basically this: an idea; a paper or computer sketch; a 3-D design; fabrication; delivery and then—it’s off to the dump to see what can be recycled. The average project often has no more than a three-week turnaround from design to delivery to destruction—there is little they can re-use of their finished work. Utilizing materials ranging from foam, rubber, fiberglass, wood, plastic, metal, and paper while employing skilled techniques requiring molds, lasers, Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) machinery, and a sophisticated paint shop, it is all done right here by a staff of seven multi-talented craftsmen.
These seven staff members perform the skilled crafts of twice that number. Working for Czinkota you will find artists, illustrators, designers, carpenters, welders, engineers, sculptors, auto finishers, painters, machinists, skilled computer graphics artists and photo creators. It helps to have a creative, playful vision as well as a sense of product liability to offset the spark of whimsy required to bring ideas into reality.
I visited on an unusually slow morning for the studio and came away with a picture of George as the wizard behind it all; I was lucky to find a few quiet moments to spend with this creative force that drives the studio. My guess is George is at his best when the phone rings and the caller asks, “Can you make that for us?” The creative wheels immediately begin to whirl and spin. These turn out to be the favorite projects of all: the ones that rely on the studio to steer the design and visual appearance of the finished piece.
Long-time residents of Gardiner, George, his wife Jane and their two children have enjoyed living here so much that when it was time to re-locate the studio from Newburgh, both knew they wanted to bring work closer to home. “Relocating our business to Gardiner was something we looked forward to for a long time,” George said. It’s a perfect atmosphere to work in. We are strong believers in supporting our community and fellow business owners.”
Both Czinkotas feel this Hudson Valley location is an asset for their business and have found very few negatives to working this far removed from New York City. Clients enjoy visiting the Studio up here and bringing in extra part-time staff and free lancers has been manageable.
What does the future hold for Czinkota Studios? George’s plans include reaching out in the Hudson Valley to increase local awareness for the Studio in addition to developing a new line of themed display items. As usual, all this will be done from their website, Czinkota.com, which is where you can go to discover the surprises created on the road to our dump.