October 26, 2017
Behind the Scenes with Jonathan Glatt and Sara Ossana of O&G Studio.
Jonathan Glatt and Sara Ossana, of O&G Studio, draw from the handmade legacies of early American design to create beautiful, handcrafted furniture.
by New York Spaces
NYS: What made you both decide to found O&G Studio? What are you known for now?
Sara Ossana: Jonathan and I have been friends since 2002 when we met as grad students at RISD. We bonded over a shared love for antiques, art and architectural history. O&G naturally grew out of that. Objects we wanted to live with, inspired by the things we love. We founded O&G Studio in 2009 with a focus on creating modern Windsors. At the time there was a growing affinity for quality American-made furniture, and we wanted to not only meet the needs of this expanding market, but do so in a way that continued and expanded upon what we define as American Design. The Windsor was consequently a natural starting point, given our mission and the iconic role it's played in America's design legacy.
The style that we make is uniquely American. True Windsor chairs are unique and are extremely difficult to produce, but when made correctly the result is a stunning blend of artistry, style, form, function and craft.
NYS: Tell us about your past in design before founding O&G Studio!
Jonathan Glatt: I began at a very young age, collecting and creating. It was in college when my love of antiques and love of creating came together. I was trained as a jeweler and sculptor, and spent time in and after college in the antique and auction world. I was lucky enough to work at Sotheby's under some amazing people. Seeing masterworks on a daily basis was as much a design education as my time in school. Post Sotheby's, I shared an antique store and had my own jewelry line. It was after several years as a fabricator that all of my knowledge came together and was activated when Sara and I started O&G.
SO: I grew up surrounded by art and design enthusiasts. My mother is very fond of pottery, art, and furniture, so my affinity for objects imbued with history and meaning started at a young age. I studied English Literature and Studio Art as an undergraduate at Rice University, and then went on to study Interior Architecture as a Graduate Student at RISD. While in graduate school I started designing sets for theatre and have continued to do so ever since.
NYS: How have your pasts helped and/or influenced how you approach design at your company?
JG: Sara and I share a respect and passion for the craft and the history of American design. We were all about American-made and local manufacturing from the start, from a creative, philosophical and economic perspective—it fit who we were and what we wanted to do. We find American design isn't celebrated enough. Our country has amazing design traditions that are often lumped into one or two misunderstood categories. We view our work as a reflection of those traditions, as much as they are a look into the future. We each bring a different background and skillset to our work, which gives our collection a unique point of view. Every piece is timeless yet retains a strong historical narrative.
NYS: What design styles most influenced your approach?
SO: We draw inspiration from early American design, including the restrained Windsor and Federalist silhouettes of Colonial New England, which integrated style and form with expert craftsmanship. Drama and style are a natural outgrowth of paying attention to all the little subtleties of proportion and detail.
NYS: What is one of your favorite respective designs and why?
JG: Our Atlantic Settee set the stage for our style and point of view—it's a reimagined take on the contemporary Windsor, by blending the nostalgia of the known with the surprise of modernity. It was the first piece we designed which clearly stated our point of view.
NYS: Tell us about your line for Rejuvenation! What does it consist of and how does it differ from what you currently offer?
SO: The best collaborations are the ones that produce work that neither collaborator would create on their own. Rejuvenation shares our commitment to craft and quality, so the partnership has been quite organic, allowing O&G and Rejuvenation to bring their respective expertise to the table in unique but complementary ways. The collection ranges from lighting and furniture to hardware, and includes showstoppers like our Contrapesso Lighting Collection, as well as more quietly perfect pieces like our Emre Bench.
NYS: What are you working on now?
JG: We're in the process of expanding our O&G Contract Line, which is geared towards restaurants, commercial and hospitality projects. We have a new café chair in the works, which was designed in collaboration with our friend and colleague Lothar Windels, the new Chair of the Furniture Department at RISD.
NYS: Where can our readers find and purchase your furniture?
SO: You can find our O&G Studio collection at www.oandgstudio.com, and our collaboration with Rejuvenation is available exclusively at Rejuvenation stores (including 3 West 20th in NYC) and www.rejuvenation.com.
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