Hanro Studios, A Different Kind of Automotive Art
Hanro Studios evolved out of Hank Robinson’s passion for art, metal, automobiles, and healing from three overseas tours as an infantryman in the U.S. Army. Upon leaving the Army in 2010 he discovered a new path which has transformed him from a freedom fighter to one of the most talked about talents in the performance automobile and truck scene.
After graduating from the Combination Welding program at Arizona Automotive Institute through the GI bill, his affinity for metallic objects led him to experiment with engraving, a process in which his Dremel rotary tool helped forge a new identity.
But his evolution was a process. Robinson professes he was lost and lonely upon his discharge. “I was lonely. I couldn’t find a job. I really didn’t have any skills besides shooting. That all changed when my welding class instructor asked me to sign my name with a Dremel. It inspired me. It kind of set me straight with a new path to follow in life.”
What started with a few pieces has evolved into metallic tapestries covering trucks, SUV’s, cars, bikes, performance parts, wall art, sculptures and more. As you can see through these images Robinson’s talent and vision are off the charts as well as revolutionary in their scope. One look at his blue 2016 “H150” 4×4 Ford pickup tells you all you need to know about his skill. He built it and engraved it as a tribute to those who served and sacrificed. It took no less than 800 hours of engraving.
When Robinson isn’t at Hanro Studios he is busy being a husband and a father of three children. “Outside of the business, I am always making things. I really try to focus with my children that it’s better to make stuff. It’s unique, it’s one of a kind, and that’s how I see myself and how I want my children to see themselves,” he said.
His skill set could potentially open an entirely new look and feel in the world of wheels and machines. The styling pendulum swings mightily in the performance aftermarket as we have seen through the decades.
In truck circles, patina is cool but is becoming too widespread. We have seen real patina, faux patina, and various experimental textures coating sheet metal for a good long while now. Never before have we seen anything like the magic Hank is making. His unique surface treatments blow people away. It’s a new frontier in our scene and to see him get into the zone, earbuds in jamming to music and solely focused on new designs with his Dremel tool in hand is an experience that leaves enthusiast’s jaws open. It’s that impactful.
We first saw him at the SEMA show in 2016 while we were walking through the Ford “Out Front” experience. His talent stopped us in our tracks. We were stoked to have a chance to send our photographer John Jackson to his studio in Avondale, AZ just west of Phoenix where he was engraving a canister for a FLO air ride suspension setup the day these pics were snapped. Like everything Hank engraves, it was epic when finished.
But there is more to the Hanro Studios story than fast machines. Through his gift of engraving, he has been fortunate enough through the years to memorialize fallen soldiers paying respects to those who weren’t lucky enough to come home. He engraves black aluminum memorial bracelets and wall art which is both impactful and powerful to those they touch. For Robinson, there is a responsibility that comes along with creating something that honors his military brothers and sisters. He makes sure each piece is perfect. “There is no room for failure when memorializing someone who lost their life,” he said.
Through a chance meeting with a Dremel engraver five years ago, Hank Robinson has literally carved out a new life – one with purpose and immense satisfaction. War takes away a lot. Through his Dremel, he is giving back the only way he knows how.