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Black cabinet with round pink handles
Furniture by Daniel Morrison
Via EAST

East Austin Studio Tour: 15 must-see designers

Functional art at its finest

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Furniture by Daniel Morrison
| Via EAST

Now in its 16th (!) year, the East Austin Studio Tour is an art party that never fails to please. Now that local artists and artisans are opening up their creative work spaces to the public for two E.A.S.T. weekends a year for the ever-expanding event (this year’s second weekend starts tomorrow, Saturday), it can get a bit overwhelming to decide where to go and what to see.

To help with all that, we came up with a list of furniture and homeware designers that Curbed Austin readers will no doubt want to visit and visit with. Then, to make things even easier, we made a map of them.

Did we leave out one of your favorites? Let us know on the tipline in the comments section below.

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T.R. Rodriquez Studio

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Rodriquez is obviously a painter who loves color, and that informs her furniture and homewares with a vibrancy and beauty that’s quite a departure from the more minimal-leaning work of many of her peers.

Box by T.R. Rodriguez

Matthew Kressin at Sawtooth Designs of Austin

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Kressin’s homegoods are made of sustainable materials, durable, beautiful, functional, and reference the natural world in a way that is both sophisticated and refreshingly devoid of archness, irony, or abstraction.

Work by Matthew Kressin

Joy Noguess—Tiny Happy Clay at East Space

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Noguess’ functional and decorative ceramics, which layer texture, color, and graphic elements—often inspired by vintage clip art and scientific illustrations—are beautiful, witty, and quirky in a way we find hard to resist.

Plate by Joy Noguess

Interwoven at Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center

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Interwoven is a community-based weaving project facilitated by batik fabric artist Melissa Knight, an inviting and creative approach to making that’s both ancient and constantly being carried out in new ways. Visitors to EAST are invited to view the artworks and participate in the weaving project.

Fabric art from Interwoven

Keith Kreeger at Canopy Austin

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Kreeger is a go-to choice, it’s true, and his dinnerware and other pieces can be found in fine restaurants, celebrity homes, and many, many other places. Still, we can’t resist calling more attention to his drop-dead gorgeous work, which looks to be taking some new directions.

CHAIRs by WAREs

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This temporary exhibition might be one for the theorists, but it sounds fascinating: It “features ‘the chair’ as object, sculpture, and furniture as conceived through the eyes of Central Texas artists, makers, and designers,” according to the catalog, while also presenting “a comprehensive and multidisciplinary review of chair design and fabrication that also challenges the fundamentals of traditional form.”

From CHAIRs by WAREs

Brooke Gassiot at Pump Project Art Complex

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Gassiot’s ethereal but practical custom lighting is made with sprayed paper pulp and laser-cut armatures and looks quite gorgeous.

Splinter Group

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Splinter Group is home to some of Austin's best furniture-makers, including Mark Macek, Daniel Morrison, and Pete Dahlberg, and their work should not be missed.

Via EAST
Furniture designed by Wayne Locke

Brenda Armistead at Cement Loop

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Armistead’s functional ceramics buck a few current trends—including minimalism and irony; instead she turns out fantasical, rich work, often with an aquatic theme.

Hatch Workshop

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Hatch Workshop is a full-on, local design shop that creates wood and metal furnishings for residential, commercial, and public projects—larger-scale and more client-oriented than most of the designers on this list. They are a perennial favorite, though, because their work remains inventive and emphasizes local materials and thoughtful construction techniques. (Plus, there’s a coffee shop in the complex, creative home to other artists working in a variety of media.)

Ann Armstrong—Austin's Atlas at Splinter Group North

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Ann Armstrong is a maker, artist, architect, sculptor, welder, builder, cartographer and in general a font of creativity whose most continuous project—Austin’s Atlas—is also the most difficult to describe. This is how she puts it: “Austin's Atlas explores our multifaceted relationships to place through hand drawn maps, workshops, and mixed media urban explorations. We reflect on the past, celebrate what is, and contemplate the future though Austinites’ lived experiences.” It’s endlessly fascinating, and during EAST, visitors are invited to hang out, make a map, and explore the Atlas’ cartographic archive.

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T.R. Rodriquez Studio

Rodriquez is obviously a painter who loves color, and that informs her furniture and homewares with a vibrancy and beauty that’s quite a departure from the more minimal-leaning work of many of her peers.

Box by T.R. Rodriguez

Matthew Kressin at Sawtooth Designs of Austin

Kressin’s homegoods are made of sustainable materials, durable, beautiful, functional, and reference the natural world in a way that is both sophisticated and refreshingly devoid of archness, irony, or abstraction.

Work by Matthew Kressin

Joy Noguess—Tiny Happy Clay at East Space

Noguess’ functional and decorative ceramics, which layer texture, color, and graphic elements—often inspired by vintage clip art and scientific illustrations—are beautiful, witty, and quirky in a way we find hard to resist.

Plate by Joy Noguess

Interwoven at Rosewood-Zaragosa Neighborhood Center

Interwoven is a community-based weaving project facilitated by batik fabric artist Melissa Knight, an inviting and creative approach to making that’s both ancient and constantly being carried out in new ways. Visitors to EAST are invited to view the artworks and participate in the weaving project.

Fabric art from Interwoven

Keith Kreeger at Canopy Austin

Kreeger is a go-to choice, it’s true, and his dinnerware and other pieces can be found in fine restaurants, celebrity homes, and many, many other places. Still, we can’t resist calling more attention to his drop-dead gorgeous work, which looks to be taking some new directions.

CHAIRs by WAREs

This temporary exhibition might be one for the theorists, but it sounds fascinating: It “features ‘the chair’ as object, sculpture, and furniture as conceived through the eyes of Central Texas artists, makers, and designers,” according to the catalog, while also presenting “a comprehensive and multidisciplinary review of chair design and fabrication that also challenges the fundamentals of traditional form.”

From CHAIRs by WAREs

Brooke Gassiot at Pump Project Art Complex

Gassiot’s ethereal but practical custom lighting is made with sprayed paper pulp and laser-cut armatures and looks quite gorgeous.

Splinter Group

Splinter Group is home to some of Austin's best furniture-makers, including Mark Macek, Daniel Morrison, and Pete Dahlberg, and their work should not be missed.

Via EAST
Furniture designed by Wayne Locke

Brenda Armistead at Cement Loop

Armistead’s functional ceramics buck a few current trends—including minimalism and irony; instead she turns out fantasical, rich work, often with an aquatic theme.

Hatch Workshop

Hatch Workshop is a full-on, local design shop that creates wood and metal furnishings for residential, commercial, and public projects—larger-scale and more client-oriented than most of the designers on this list. They are a perennial favorite, though, because their work remains inventive and emphasizes local materials and thoughtful construction techniques. (Plus, there’s a coffee shop in the complex, creative home to other artists working in a variety of media.)

Ann Armstrong—Austin's Atlas at Splinter Group North

Ann Armstrong is a maker, artist, architect, sculptor, welder, builder, cartographer and in general a font of creativity whose most continuous project—Austin’s Atlas—is also the most difficult to describe. This is how she puts it: “Austin's Atlas explores our multifaceted relationships to place through hand drawn maps, workshops, and mixed media urban explorations. We reflect on the past, celebrate what is, and contemplate the future though Austinites’ lived experiences.” It’s endlessly fascinating, and during EAST, visitors are invited to hang out, make a map, and explore the Atlas’ cartographic archive.