Clay Achee fluffs out the fur of one his playful monster puppets.

An artist’s workspace can say a lot about them. What they put on the walls or what tools they use can reveal more about the person and their process. Frame of Mind is a monthly Red feature focusing on Baton Rouge creators and the spaces they work in.

A spare bedroom is usually turned into a guest room or maybe even an office space, but in the Mid City household of Clay Achee and Kirstin Martinez, the spare room is the center of a creative, puppet-making business, Beyond the Garage. You may have heard of these puppets through the rock 'n' roll band Ziggy and the Junkyard Band.

Beyond the Garage's puppets are vibrant, playful monsters perfect for children or the child-at-heart, and previous commissions have led to puppets of people and celebrities, like Larry David, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia and even a grandmother who wanted herself depicted as a troll.

The small puppet-making studio is jam-packed with music memorabilia and records to keep the creative energy flowing. Collections of fur and fleece of almost every color are stockpiled and organized on shelves alongside buckets of hand picked clothing scraps, like denim that Achee personally thrifts and collects to design costumes. Look through the drawers, and you'll find various pieces and parts that bring a puppet to life, like hand-painted red foam tongues and 3-D printed eyes. Because one of the biggest lessons of running a creative business is learning to be resourceful, scraps of synthetic hair and fur are saved and kept in clear jars.

A hot glue gun, a drill, pliers and a comb are just a few of the various tools laying around, and giant sheets of mattress foam and a bundles of wire help to make up the inside and armature of the puppet. However, the main tool — and focal point of the room — is an industrial sewing machine Achee uses to construct everything.

Physically, Beyond the Garage is an tiny space with a typical artist's chaos. But zoom out and it is a huge, imaginative brand adding a playful spirit and unique DIY creations to Baton Rouge.

Beyond the Garage can be found online at and on Instagram at @beyondthegarageshop.

More photos from the space can be found online at


Clay Achee sketches out parts for a new puppet creation in his Beyond the Garage studio space.


The tiny Beyond the Garage puppet workshop is packed with fabrics and materials, an industrial sewing machine and music memorabilia.


Rolls of fabric, furs and materials sit among music memorabilia in the Beyond the Garage workshop.


Blank puppet bodies wait to be adorned with fur and costumes in the Beyond the Garage workshop.


Sketches and patterns for puppet creations in the Beyond the Garage workshop


An industrial sewing machine is the main tool, and focal point for the room, in the Beyond the Garage workshop.


Clay Achee and Kirstin Martinez have turned their spare bedroom into a puppet workshop for their business, Beyond the Garage.


Pieces of vibrant colored fur that will be used in new Beyond the Garage puppet creations by Clay Achee and Kirstin Martinez


Puppeteer Clay Achee works inside his studio space


Puppeteer Clay Achee works inside his studio space, Beyond the Garage.


Clay Achee cuts out parts for a new creation in his puppet workshop, Beyond the Garage.


Pieces of red-painted foam will be used as puppet tongues in future Beyond the Garage creations.


Clay Achee sketches out parts for a new creation in his puppet workshop Beyond the Garage.


Clear glass jars hold bits of vibrant fur used for future puppets in Clay Achee and Kirstin Martinez's Beyond the Garage workshop.