By Jenny Rebholz   Published Aug 11, 2004 at 5:39 AM

{image1}To flux is to flow; it is fluid energy. One dictionary describes it as "change regarded as an abstract influence or condition persisting in time." If you give Flux Design time, it will change the way you look at things and you will be captivated by its creative energy.

A group of artists including illustrators, print makers, sculptors, photographers, painters, graphic and industrial designers come together at Flux Design at 811 E. Vienna Ave. in Riverwest to work in the world of architecture and interior design.

If you frequent such local hot spots as Eve, Roots, Terrace, Vucciria, Vivo and Twisted Fork -- along with numerous others -- then you are familiar with Flux's work. Although many of the creations you see are constructed of steel and concrete, Flux employees were originally trained in woodworking.

"Milwaukee has hundreds of talented woodworkers, so we started to concentrate in other areas, but now it is a misconception that we only work in metal," says Flux president Jeremy Sham. "We are woodworkers and if we can't do something, we pull in the people who can. We can produce anything."

Sham is eager for people to come to Flux with their ideas and problems; he wants the opportunity to solve them.

And come in is exactly what people --- with both commercial and residential projects -- do and that is why you just never know when you may be touching or sitting on a Flux creation or even seeing a Flux original as you drive by in your car. From hand railings and street signs to bars, ceilings and furniture, Flux designs are flowing through Milwaukee.

These artists don't want to make something you can buy at IKEA or reproduce someone else's work. It is not about making something that looks just like a photo, it is about creating something that never existed before.

{image2}"People have given us the chance to do a lot of new things in Milwaukee in a short amount of time," says Sham. "We're still young and new and have ideas and concepts that haven't been seen anywhere in the city, we just need more opportunities to bring these ideas to life."

Flux Design works in conjunction with various architects and designers throughout Milwaukee, bringing others' designs to life.

"We love producing architects' and designers' great ideas," Sham says. "We just want to create original, unique pieces."

Flux hopes to be able to take on a bar or restaurant project all its own in the near future and use its knowledge and expertise in a design/build effort.

"We have been watching many of the places in town be built from the ground up and we continue to frequent them," says Sham. "We watch how people use these bars and restaurants and talk to them. We study our products and environments, and we observe and critique the work in other establishments, too."

All of the Flux employees have worked in the service industry, in bars and restaurants and even at Great America, and that's why they believe they can positively affect the way the customer is served, from equipment placement to workflow to logo design and signage. That's why they are eager to impact the design of such an establishment from start to finish.

According to Sham, most of Flux's business comes by word of mouth. There is an open invitation for people to come to the office and gallery space to see what Flux is all about.

First and foremost, Flux is about giving Milwaukee a facelift.

"There is so much to do here," says Sham. "You don't have to go to Chicago, you can have a great time in this city. If people are complaining, then they just aren't getting out there and doing things."