Robin Crocker began her study of art in the northern Michigan woods where scholarship to the Interlochen Arts Academy afforded her access to the Visual Arts program developed by Cranbrook-educated, Jean Noble Parsons. Working within that creative tradition, focused on the importance of both craftsmanship and concept, she developed skills in ceramics, metalsmithing, sculpture, and printmaking. It was an exhilarating time spent immersed in the process of mastering techniques, learning design principles and discovering personal forms of expression. This rigorously creative environment provided challenge, support, and fostered Robin’s unique brand of critical thinking.
Awarded the Conway Fellowship, a four-year tuition and supply stipend to attend Washington University in St. Louis’ School of Fine Arts, Robin continued her arts education focusing on ceramics, sculpture, and glass. After a semester abroad at the Goldsmith’s College in London, where she received her first exposure to the bronze casting process, she chose to explore papermaking and printmaking with Professors Peter Marcus and Joan Hall, pioneers of the massive press and large-scale printmaking.
Following a summer spent glassblowing, working in clay, papermaking, painting, and playing at the SummerVail Art Workshop in Colorado alongside some of the leading American craft artists, Robin settled into her first job at the B.Z. Wagman Gallery in St. Louis representing many of those craft artists as well as locally and nationally recognized artists.
In lieu of graduate school Robin chose to attend the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute for Sculpture, a Fine Art bronze foundry owned by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. located outside of Princeton, New Jersey. In addition to developing foundry skills during the two-year apprenticeship program, she discovered an affinity for patina and was hired after completing her certification to become the Patina department head. She worked with nationally and internationally recognized artists (e.g., George Segal, Beverly Pepper, Joel Shapiro, Claes Oldenburg, Leslie Dill, Marisol Escobar, Julian Schnabel, Mel Kendrick) to determine and execute finishes for their new bronze work and completed restorations on numerous existing pieces (by Calder, Henry Moore, Botero, e.g.)
Robin returned to St. Louis at the invitation of Paul Guzzardo, design/media activist, to collaborate on the design and development of a four-story loft building, 1521 Washington, into a virtual/actual nightclub (Club Kabool) and living space. Contributing both architectural design and surface finishing expertise toward the transformation of this former shoe factory, the project won an American Institute of Architects (AIA) award. While in St. Louis, she completed two significant sculpture restoration projects: The University City Lions Gates, comprised of 32 large plaques and friezes, and Michelangelo’s David, a bronze cast located in Buffalo, New York molded from the original marble sculpture.
After completion of the 1521 Washington project Robin moved to New York City and entered the digital design world working for production companies specializing in large meeting events for corporate clients. CDR Architects in New York City learned of Robin's patina expertise and contracted her to finish the interior and exterior architectural elements for their project, Eileen Fisher’s Flagship Soho Store, which also garnered an AIA Award. Robin also contributed finishing expertise to Felissimo, a 1901 mid-town Manhattan townhouse turned boutique department store designed by Clodagh and Mark Weil and Joan Hall's Jamestown, RI home designed by Trivers Associates of St. Louis. With the exception of the occasional patina project Robin has worked the past 22 years as a freelance designer through her company, OceanRoar Graphics contracting with production companies to provide presentation design for large scale multimedia experiences, meetings, and events for clients in the pharmaceutical, automotive, financials, fashion & fragrance industries.