STEWARDS OF A LEGACY
Isaac Maxwell Metal (IMM) is recognized as one of San Antonio’s unique craft studios. Works from IMM appear in the Frost Bank downtown, the Tower of the Americas, along the River Walk and in the homes Isaac designed as the architect for some of San Antonio’s most prominent families. Isaac began his career in an office with fellow architect E. B. Flowers in the 1960’s in a King William house, across the street from the offices of O’Neil Ford, the dean of San Antonio architects. Ford was the champion of a regional style that responded to the geography, culture and materials of the area, which included the incorporation of traditional crafts. The fixtures Isaac designed are much more than just a source of light. Through individually punched holes in copper, light and shadow are cast into mesmerizing patterns on the ceiling and walls and, with his torchieres, onto the floor. Isaac was also known for his exquisite doors of copper and brass, cabinet hardware, planters and other hand-made accessories which he created to complement the architecture of the houses he designed. As his architectural career became more successful Isaac did not have the time to do the fabrication so in 1978 he brought into his office, called “The Works”, a young carpenter and wood-carver, Gregorio Rebollar whom he trained as an apprentice. Gregorio remembers that Isaac was a demanding teacher who accepted nothing less than perfection. Isaac became godfather for Gregorio and his family. Gregorio has a grandson named Isaac and a daughter named after Isaac’s widow. Isaac died much too young in 1998. Isaac’s widow, Judith, also an architect took over Isaac Maxwell Metal and heroically carried on the business until October, 2014 when, with her blessing, close friend of Isaac and Judith, Mike Casey took over IMM along with Gregorio, now a master craftsman, as equal partner. Gregorio has brought in as apprentices his grandson, Abel Gonzales and son in law Jacob Reza and the tradition continues. With access to Isaac’s original drawings the studio can reproduce any of the fixtures and accessories since the origin of Isaac Maxwell Metal.