Rhythmic Metal is a family owned business that got its start right here in Portland, OR. Trent is the creator, the artist behind the pieces, and the metal machine. Kathryn runs logistics, answers your emails, handles the website and ordering, and does some of the design work. What began in their basement has grown and evolved. Rhythmic Metal is now part of a rad collective of bike recyclers, photographers, and graffiti artists here in Portland. “We salvage as much recycled material as we can to make our products with a focus in repurposing bicycle pieces and parts.”
Trent and Kathryn are both from Michigan- Trent from the West side, and Kathryn the East. They met in Kalamazoo, Trent’s home town, and relocated to Portland in the fall of 2008 with their 2 dogs. Soon after arriving, Trent knew he needed to set up his workspace.
Trent began working with metal at a young age when he went to work with his dad making teeth. He loved it. He found out quickly that he was quite skilled at working with metal and also passionate about it. He worked in the teeth business for about 5 years and then began exploring alternative metal working options. His keen eye for detail soon lead him to find work in the Alchemist Sculpture Foundry where he perfected his welding, sculpting, and metal finishing skills.
In addition to working with metal, Trent has loved working on bikes for as long back as he can remember. He was the go-to fix-it guy in Kalamazoo and always had a graveyard of bikes and bike parts in his backyard or basement. In the fall of 2007 Trent attended a 2 week frame building workshop with Doug Fattic in Niles, MI where he designed and fabricated his first custom bike frame. He learned all aspects of designing, fitting, and completing a custom frame. Trent put in many hours producing a beautiful finished project. Trent is eager to build more frames and welcomes the opportunity in his future.
While working at the foundry, Trent designed and made belt buckles by sculpting them out of wax and casting them in bronze. He came up with the idea to take his piles of old and rusty bike chain and make buckles out of it. He wanted a way to prevent the buckles from rusting and to give them a more finished look so he looked in to powder coating. Since the project began, Trent has come a long way with the design and look of his completed buckles. And, he’s added a ton of additional handmade and unique products to what they do.
Kathryn and Trent have been together since 2006 and started their business in 2010. They love having the opportunity to work together playing on each others strengths. Kathryn is a massage therapist, yoga instructor, full time mom, and manages their small business. If you have a question, are placing an order, reading a Facebook post, or perusing the website, you are working with Kathryn. She loves keeping things organized and doing a lot of the back end work. When the opportunity arises, she loves working with Trent on creating images for some of their work- especially custom images and those that will be given as gifts. She welcomes the opportunity to begin utilizing some of her skills more through the addition of textiles to their shop.
Trent and Kathryn are committed to local, handmade, and sustainable when it comes to their business and everything they sell, they make by hand- start to finish.
In addition to working, Trent and Kathryn both love living here in Portland and couldn’t be happier about choosing to build their lives and family here. They welcomed their beautiful daughter in January of 2012 and their lives haven’t been the same since! She brings a type of joy only other parents can understand. When they aren’t working, you can catch Trent rocking out on the drums, playing guitar with his daughter, playing darts, cuddling his dog, or simply enjoying life. Kathryn is most likely on her yoga mat, going for a run, playing with their daughter and dogs, or enjoying time with family and friends.
Be on the lookout for new products and designs from Trent and Kathryn, they are constantly striving for fresh and new ideas. Trent loves making people exactly what they are looking for and looks forward to the challenge of unique and custom orders. Trent plans to expand from belt buckles and hopes to include musical instruments and more bike frames in the near future.