New York, facturestudio.com
RISD grad Quincy Ellis got his start working in the studio of Fernando Mastrangelo. But when he decided to break out on his own, he eschewed the natural materials he’d been working with in favor of resin — a material that might better allow him to explore concepts like opacity, gradients, color, illusion, and depth.

What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?

I’ve never thought too much about what country a design comes from, unless it’s obvious, which is why I get really excited about a lot of the new design that happens to be from Americans. There’s a strong push for experimentation in forms, materials, and finishes; an outright disregard for functionality; and a smashing together of disparate styles to create new ones. Only what has never been done before truly excites me and that’s what I think American design is to me — not that something is quantifiably good, but that it strives to move the field forward without relying too heavily on tradition.

What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?

A highlight of the coming year is definitely having an incredible amount of custom commissions that will expand and scale the pieces I’ve already experimented with. My plan is to push the materials I work with to their physical limits this year just to explore the outer edges of possible concepts. But like what? Probably an installation as well as an expansion of the techniques available to me.

What inspires or informs your work in general?

Working with my materials and understanding their possibilities is half of my inspiration. The other half is connecting what I see in the materials with visual phenomena I experience with light and color in everyday life. Anything I see that makes me question how my eyes are perceiving what I’m looking at really gets me to try to figure out why and how that visual feeling can be translated into both a visual language and a physically excitable technique.

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