Refractory: American Craftsmanship Revisited

Refractory, founded by Angie West and Alberto Vélez, emphasizes materiality and American craftsmanship in design. Based in Chicago, Refractory is a furniture, lighting, and objects brand and design studio that conceives, produces, and purveys rigorously crafted works in a language distinct within American and contemporary design landscapes. The studio’s ethos embraces the unusual, durable, and resilient, drawing inspiration from nature and classical training. Their work represents a renaissance in American artisanship and small-scale urban manufacturing, combining noble materials and innovative branding. Layering traditional methods with modern tools, Refractory is both an evolution and an extension of a community of artists rooted in American craftsmanship who seek to create in the space where art meets collectible design. Their mission is to sustain and evolve American craft while fostering a collaborative environment among artisans. The debut collection aims for aesthetic durability, encouraging interaction and the visible wear of time.

“Cypher is a shroud of nature’s codes.  The patterns born from millions of years of DNA coding, celebrated by both the outside and the rarely seen inside of the armadillos armor, are wrapped together with human language and literature. A series of seven AP variations in polished bronze is currently available.” Each work is piece-unique. The artist hand assembles each pendant from panels of torn wax. Textural compostion, diameter, and height will slightly vary from one to another.

dining table refractory

american craft refractory table

refractory bowl

dining table refractory

dining table refractory

refractory lighting

refractory american craft floor lamp

refractory dining room table

american craft refractory dining table

sconce refractory

tributary table refractory

side table refractory

bench refractory