We had the good fortune of connecting with Bobby Bacon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bobby, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?

I loved “making”. It was an unfulfilled desire. Waking up to my late 40’s it became clear that if I didn’t do it now (1997) I never would. So I got in the car and drove to Alamo Welding Supply. The guys behind the counter had seen my type. They said “don’t scratch it and you can return it before 10 days”. That was five welding systems ago. I still have 4 of them. I made my first simple outdoor sculpture and was hooked. And that was 120 something sculptures ago. But I couldn’t view it as a hobby. Hobbies are things you can walk away from. There was no way I could walk away from this. It did not feed me, it fed my soul. Okay so let’s treat it like a business.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

Before the world of fabrication and art I was a corporate employee from time to time and a consultant. My employee work was in the geophysical world, high tech companies and my consulting was more related to mergers and sales of companies. It was lucrative. Annie spent 13 years with Compaq and then a series of start-ups. We were comfortable and living a terrific life as a couple. When that came to an abrupt halt May 17, 2006 pivoting was critical. We’d saved for “rainy days” and it was absolutely pouring. I went from being a “white collar” professional to a person who would work with his hands full time. No choice. I had to take care of Annie and while she rested or slept I needed to stay busy. I was okay with my hands but I needed to get from okay to pretty good in short order. I interned with Jay Hargrave Architects. Jay’s company was design-build. They did it all. From the concept to the finished home or building. They used all processes, welding, concrete pouring, woodwork, metal work, etc. I worked for free (they didn’t mind that aspect) and was able to do structural steel, woodwork, dirt work, heavy equipment and detail features. It was the best accelerant I could have imagined. Jay and I remain friends and try to work on projects whenever we can.
I want my brand to be quality, accountability and positive interactions.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

We’d start at Tiny Champions laying out plans over their fabulous pizza and having some local beer. Their pizza is the best ever bar none. Over the course of the week we’d visit artists and sites. Patrick Renner and his work, Dylan Conner and his work. Justin Hughes and his new venture. Nick and Jake Studios for their cool queer art. We’d end days at Moon Tower Inn. We’d make a jaunt to Galveston where I have some sculptural earth works tests going. We’d end the day a Galveston Island Brewing. We’d go to Laser masters and check out the systems they use for my large scale art. We’d end days at Hugo’s. We might make a road trip to Austin to visit some of my sculptures and builds where I learned to weld. Pop back to Houston and stop at El Tiempo or Ninfa’s. We’d hit the Houston Museum of Fine Arts. We’d hit the Kinder. The East End has been my zone for the last 7 or eight years and I never tire of it. There is always something going on.  It changes daily. My studio is attached to Box 13 Artspace. I help artists with their larger project fabrication. A lot of joy in solving problems.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

The fact…my wife had a stroke in 2006. It left her alive but severely handicapped. I dropped out of the consulting work I did (art does not pay the bills additional income was necessary) to full time caregiving. The full-time aspect of my caregiving required me to be “right there” for 7 months. While she rested I would go work on art. I’d been doing small fabrication jobs to support the studio. Without the consulting I had to think more like a business person again. And my wife Annie was completely supportive and encouraging me to do this. We detuned our lifestyle from jet set to home set. Annie has been supportive the whole time as has the rest of my family. So dedication would be to her and my siblings. My mother who left us in 2018 was also wonderfully encouraging. Once I gave in to this full-time I knew some portion of it had to be used to help others. That’s when I opened the shop in Houston.

Instagram: @bobbyfab

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.