(01/24/14) - It's one of Mid-Michigan's best kept secrets - Bishop Custom Designs in this Grand Blanc Township warehouse. It's where Team USA's Olympic goalies turn to for that little extra something to make their masks stand out.
"You bump into somebody and you start talking, and they're like, 'I didn't know that was done here.' It's pretty neat, really," said Ray Bishop, of Bishop Custom Designs.
It's Bishop's fourth time doing Olympic work. The graphic artist will have three of his creations on the ice in Sochi, Russia.
"It's great. To see your work on a global scale is a big deal," he said.
This week, Bishop is finishing up a mask for starting goalie Ryan Miller, a Lansing native and member of the Buffalo Sabres.
Red Wing Jimmy Howard's Olympic mask is still a work in progress.
"It's going to have an eagle's head on the top of the mask, and we're just going to have some red and white stripes ripping into the helmet," Bishop said.
Bishop already completed work for U.S. Women's goalie Brianne McGlachlan. He spends between 40-60 hours on each mask and works closely with his clients on their designs, which must first be approved by the International Olympic Committee.
"A lot of times with Howie, with his masks, he'll let me throw out the first idea, and then say, 'I like that' and 'Can you do up a quick little thumb nail sketch?'" Bishop said.
From past Olympic experience, Bishop knows tat this kind of international exposure can bring in big business.
"T-shirts, replica helmets, all kinds of things people ask for. It's definitely exciting, and you hope it all goes well," he said.
If you'd like to have a look at more of Ray Bishop's designs, click HERE.
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