Amaral Custom Fabrications is a business located in the waterfront district and received permitting through the East Providence Waterfront Commission in 2016. The East Providence Waterfront Commission is the permitting authority for 300 acres of the East Providence Waterfront. The goal of the commission is to support the revitalization of vacant derelict structures and buildings and underutilized land to attract new businesses, jobs, housing, recreation, civic and cultural opportunities.
What is Amaral Custom Fabrications?
Amaral Custom Fabrications makes custom large-scale art, marine equipment, and sculptures using various metals. Over the past 20 years they have excelled in brining art to life for world renowned artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Keith Haring, and Roy Lichtenstein. The twenty-year-old company is founded by Paul Amaral and is located in the Phillipsdale district of the East Providence Waterfront. In addition to art, Amaral’s makes oceanographic fabrications used to house technology such as sonar equipment for the US Navy and robotics companies. Amaral’s work is displayed in museums and public gardens throughout the world, from Philadelphia to Singapore.
How did Amaral’s become a maker of high-end art?
Making and connecting things has always been intuitive to Paul. He grew up on a family farm in Seekonk, MA where he developed his hands-on skills at an early age. If something went wrong on the farm, structurally or mechanically, he had no choice but to find a way to fix it. Paul’s building and fabrication experience originated in boatmaking in the East Bay of Rhode Island. In 1997 he started out on his own by founding Amaral Custom Fabrications and moved his operations to the East Providence Waterfront in 2016.
Paul entered into the art world in the 1990’s when Claes Oldenburg visited his shop asking if he could make a particular sculpture. After successfully delivering on the pop-art sculptor’s project, the quality and longevity of Paul’s work began selling itself, and he has become a go-to fabricator in the art industry ever since.
What makes their work unique?
What makes Amaral’s unique is the quality of their workmanship. The high quality of the build and longevity of the product is a direct result of Paul’s decades of experience in building world class sail boats. Boat building requires a high degree of precision and quality to withstand salt water at high speeds over long periods of time. There was no margin for error in designing boats meeting the standards of the American Boat and Yacht Council. As a result, Paul’s transition into scaling an artist’s creation into a long-lasting high-quality sculpture was not difficult.
Another way Amaral’s separates itself from other fabricators is the finish and longevity of their work. Evidence of this quality can be found in a structure in Puerto Rico which withstood a direct hit from a hurricane and a sculpture in Aspen, Colorado displayed outdoors, enduring the elements for 15 years before being brought back to Amaral for restoration. Artists came to Paul frustrated with their public displays lasting fewer than five years and now appreciate Paul’s value of creating to withstand the elements over time.
Why did Amaral’s locate on the East Providence Waterfront?
Phillipsdale Landing provides the unique building layout with high ceilings and a sizeable open floor space required to lay out large scale art installations. The building’s location in the industrial complex of Phillipsdale Landing also allows the space for his work to provide no disturbances to surrounding properties. Amaral’s proximity to New York is also helpful as it is close enough to the network of artists they serve. Paul also enjoys abutting the Seekonk River, opening up the tall garage bay doors on nice days to enjoy the view.