It is not the sound from a distant lathe or the exhaust fan of the sanding closet, nor is it the murmur of pleasant voices being exchanged. It is suspended and consistent like the vibration that hovers between the tines of a tuning fork.
It is the buzz when the past and the present meet to create something beautiful and purposeful.
On mirco and macro levels, everything related to O&G furniture is about organic synergy.
The O&G Studio opened at the historic Cutler Mills complex in 2010. They partnered with and eventually took over production of the established Warren Chair Works (WCW), whose meticulously handcrafted Windsor chairs are very well-known and respected.
The entire WCW line is made of American wood in classic finishes. The O&G designs are simplified versions of these traditional forms, but unforced and familiar. Their finishes are saturated earth-born colors such as "salt pond" and "turmeric". Side-by-side, one line compliments and enhances the other like the cousins that they are.
The proud roots of furniture design looks no further than southern New England, particularly from Rhode Island. Proportion, form, and rhythm are essential characteristics when translating historic design into modern utility.
While accurate reproduction is necessary to maintain the significance of historic and decidedly traditional interiors, furnishings for contemporary interiors have to adapt. Considerations such as space constraints, lightness (for movability), scale, and color determine if a piece is appropriate. These new pieces often are the link between a historic setting and a modern use.
An organic approach extends beyond the O&G Studio as the chain of supply (and therefore craft) is emphatically based in Rhode Island. Indeed, multiple parts created throughout the state may construct a single chair. The result is an heirloom-quality piece of thoughtful design and excellent craftsmanship.
Having designed tables and bar stools for celebrated neighbor Eli's Kitchen in Warren (http://www.eliskitchenwarren.com/), the O&G Studio has recently expanded their portfolio to include restaurant design, as may be experienced at another Warren restaurant, Bywater (http://bywaterrestaurant.com/). Hospitality interiors seem like the natural next step for O&G as they consider growth. Making dining tables and chairs naturally evolves to the floors, walls and decor.
Perhaps the O&G Studio is best summed up by an Instragram-worthy photo description: Athenaeum Settee in "Beet" c. 2015 rests on honeyed wood floor of textile mill c. 1868.
For any description of the O&G Studio should be about tone and harmony—new and old—simply humming along.
O&G welcomes visitors to their showroom, studio and workshop, all housed in the urbane Cutler Mills complex—itself a study in adaptive use (http://cutlermill.com/).
Hours are Monday thru Friday, 10am - 4pm, and weekends by appointment. 30 Cutler Street #220 Warren, RI 02885 / 520-247-1820.
by Sheila McElroy