Artisan America: 16 Fine Furnishings & Finds Made in the USA
Across the country, designers and artists create some wonderful work.
Everywhere in America, artisans and artists are crafting extraordinary goods. And while there are far too many to count, scroll below to see some of the most out of the box and elegant ideas executed in this country:
Circle & Line – Austin, TX
Corie Humble is the designer and founder of Circle & Line. Her mobiles, composed of basic shapes, are an exploration of weight, movement and gravity. Humble flirted with the idea of jewelry design but opted to produce art on a larger scale. Every aspect of the process—sanding, drilling, scaling and weighting—is done in the Austin studio. “Each piece possesses its own movement and grace,” notes Humble. Canopy mobile in green/brass, $375, available here.
Durodeco – New York, NY
The full-service architecture and interior design firm of Durodeco makes contemporary heirloom furniture, either as experimental design pieces or as custom solutions for projects. Co-founded by architect Rachel Robinson and engineer Michael Dunham, they draw on their combined 25 years of experience in the design and construction industry to create innovative interiors and custom furniture designs. The Purl Collection settee and ottoman combines etched low-iron glass, woven merino wool yarn and cherry wood. Price upon request.
Daughter Handwovens – Savannah, GA
Alexandra Forby received a BFA in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) before picking up weaving as a hobby. Self-taught, weaving grew to be her vocation, and she established Daughter Handwovens 2016. Each piece starts with a sketch of the weaving pattern to determine the colors and gauge. “Every inch of the thread runs through my fingers multiple times,” says Forby. “Watching the fibers turn from delicate thread to sturdy cloth is mesmerizing and never gets old.” Three pocket apron, $70, available here.
Nature is a recurrent theme for watercolorist Kelly Ventura. Her study of color, texture and light is evident in the expressive brush strokes. Ventura’s artwork has been translated onto wallpapers and textiles, capturing her painterly style. The designs are digitally reproduced and printed onto paper and textiles in Litchfield, CT, using eco-friendly inks. Shown here, Peonia in Sage. $80 per yard, available here.
Rosalind Shaffer – Weston, CT
Local ceramic artist and sculptor Rosalind Shaffer is captivated by the dimensionality and fluidity of clay. Her Luminous Collection includes functional art vessels like this finely textured porcelain bowl. Thrown on the wheel, Schaffer applies thin, torn strips to create multiple delicate layers on the organic form. Price upon request.
JM. Szymanski – Bronx, NY
Table No. 1, shown here, is the first table artisan Jake Szymanski ever designed and produced and is still one of his favorite pieces (and a best seller). The table is cast in solid steel with a warm black patina. The surface is hand worked with an angle grinder to create movement and texture. Szymanski’s work demonstrates his fascination with unique geometries, raw materials and unusual forms and is heavily influenced by his time spent abroad in Nepal, Spain and Morocco. Table No. 1, nesting pair, $4,471, available here or through Fair.
Indo – Providence, RI
Urvi Sharma and Manan Narang, founders of Indo, both grew up in New Delhi but met while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design. Narang is an architect, furniture designer and maker and Sharma is a furniture and product designer. The award-winning duo employs traditional craft processes to create contemporary furniture and objects. Their cultural backgrounds add a unique perspective. Inspired by the technique of dyeing and weaving Ikat fabrics practiced in India, Indonesia and Japan, the Ikat series mimics it’s slightly “blurry” colorations. Ikat credenza, from $8,900, available here.
James De Wulf – Los Angeles, CA
Known for his concrete creations, James De Wulf pushes the limits of this medium both functionally and aesthetically, with cutting-edge designs for indoor and outdoor furniture, and game tables. In a departure from concrete, De Wulf’s lighting includes the Armadillo pendant, fashioned from solid brass scales stacked to resemble the shell of an armadillo, creating an interesting display of light. $1,760, available here.
Michael Robbins – Germantown, NY
Michael Robbins and his team of talented artisans produce made-to-order pieces with meticulous attention to finish and detail. A designer and craftsperson, Robbins incorporates wood, metal and leather into many of his furnishings. The Plum Daybed is constructed of oiled black walnut wood, satin brass and chestnut bridle leather and upholstered in a Kvadrat fabric. Price upon request, available here.
Ottra – Brooklyn, NY
Ottra stared as a side project for the architectural firm of Zimmerman Workshop but has grown into its own award-winning brand. Principals Sofia and Adam Zimmerman’s intention is to craft long-lasting heritage furniture that will be enjoyed for decades. Not surprisingly, the pieces are architectural in nature, composed of quality materials with meticulous detailing. The Modular Shelf, sculptural in form but functional in use, can be customized in number or positioning of shelves and wood species. $5,360, available here.
Magnolia Ceramics – Ojai, CA & Bethel, CT
With studios on both coasts, Warner Walcott has found the perfect balance. The artist established Magnolia Ceramics in 2009, having previously worked in the worlds of fashion and publishing. His wheel-thrown ceramics are characterized by clean lines and a pureness of form, inspired by a love of post-war and midcentury Scandinavian, British, Japanese and French ceramics. Wolcott favors simplistic shapes in glazes of greens, blues and neutrals. Plain Goods in New Preston represents Walcott and carries exclusive pieces, like the Angelo vase, shown here. $850, available here.
Husband and wife Lara and Moses Nadel, together with their team of artisans, take a hands-on approach to design, creating products rich in detail, juxtaposing various materials, tones and textures. The Vertebrae Tapestry X, shown here, can be used as a decorative wall hanging or a headboard. Soft natural shearling panels are joined with interwoven leather links and suspended on a wood peg rail. From $5,400, available here.
Doorman – New Orleans, LA
Alex Geriner is the mastermind behind the New Orleans-based furniture brand Doorman. His company sources materials from the Gulf South with sustainability and preservation in mind. The team of woodworkers and artisans are masters in transforming unique materials into furniture, utilitzing reclaimed and architectural salvage, much of which still comes from the remnants of Hurricane Katrina. The Audubon pedestal dining table, designed by Geriner in partnership with interior designer Sherry Shirah, is topped with solid planks of white oak, tapered with a surfboard edge and paired with a ribbed pedestal base. From $3,850. available here.
Phloem Studio – Stevenson, Washington
Based in the Pacific Northwest and founded by designer/craftsperson Benjamin Klebba, each piece of furniture from the Phloem Studio collection is custom built at the studio’s location on the Columbia River Gorge. The Osprey chair—influenced by the geometry of boat hulls and the smooth texture of river rocks—is a collaborative design by Klebba and his father, Ron Klebba. The studio uses domestically sourced hardwoods with an emphasis on natural materials, traditional joinery and graceful proportions. $6,300, available here.
Materia Designs – Hudson Valley & NYC, NY
Owners of Materia Designs, Megan Sommerville and Matt Ensner focus their craft on furniture, lighting and objects that amplify the inherent beauty found in natural materials, such as stone, brass, calfskin, parchment, steel, porcelain and wood. Inspired by the draping of womenswear, the Loop light fixture features hand-cut goat parchment shades gracefully suspended under thin bent brass armatures. $10,380, available here.
Moran Woodworked – Hudson Valley, NY
Don’t try this at home, warn Moran Woodworked owners Michael Moran and Celia Gibson. Their Charred Collection stems from the traditional roots of ancient Japanese wood construction utilizing a carefully controlled wood-burning process. Moran and Gibson create bespoke, limited-edition furniture from sustainable wood, letting the wood and its natural characteristics and idiosyncrasies inform each piece. The Night Black Charred x Brass Case cabinet is made from Loblolly Pine, salvaged from Charleston, SC with ash black legs and handmade unlacquered brass handles. $7,000, available here.
The print version of this article appears with the headline: Out of the Box.
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