A young couple in Brooklyn who makes furniture, lights, invitations, and signs, all with their laser-cutting expertise.
Elissa and Ryan are the owners of Surface Grooves, a design and fabrication studio based in Brooklyn, NY. They can laser cut or engrave just about any type of material, and after a few years as makers, they have lots of creations to show off!
As partners in life and in business, this duo brought together several talents. Ryan had worked as a freelance sound engineer and stage technician. Elissa has a background in architecture and art. They share a thirst for traveling, a hunger for the outdoors, and they love exploring the world with its many natural and well-designed features. We caught up with them recently to chat about their inspiration and their work.
According to Ryan,
"Making has always been a passion for us in one way or another. I grew up building with legos, creating model cars, plus some woodworking. Elissa was always doing something with crafts, pottery or painting, but she had an eye for architecture early on. These days, we've done chair design, lofting a room, light fixtures, wall art, and video editing. Although barbeque is still one of our favorite forms of making!"
"The most exciting project was the first creation of our profile chair. We split the work between a laptop, a friend's shop, a loft, and a school studio, all in Brooklyn. Help came from everywhere! We had a friend cutting wood for us, a roommate painting different pieces, and a parent lending us tools. The result was a really awesome looking throne. Recently, we redesigned the original and created a second model, which went on display at the NY International Gift Fair."
Elissa and Ryan love exploring new places and cultures through buildings, art, and furniture. They get much of their inspiration from new patterns, shapes, materials, as well as the light's effect. Their favorite phrase has become, "Hey, we can make that!", which is often said to inspire better and more creative making.
Surface Grooves was formed through a passion for design, catalyzed by the combination of Elissa's love of art and Ryan's entrepreneurial spark. In their mind it's a dream come true; "We own our schedule, create new things, and get to work with really inventive people!"
We asked Ryan and Elissa about their favorite part of the work,
"Making people's eyes light up. Seeing people excited over our products, designs, and style is worth the countless hours spent on the smallest details. So far, our best creation has been the PATTAB Lamp. It combines some really unique qualities to truly enhance ones environment. It's incredibly customizable so anyone can put their style into it."
Since we feel like all our makers are superheroes in their own right, we always love to ask what kind of power they really wish they had!
"I want the power to stretch time. Seriously, where do all the hours in a day go?! We have so many things on our daily, weekly, and even lifetime To-Do lists... both professionally and personally. Or maybe just a superpower to add sunlight for several more hours a day would be amazing. Although that could also get dangerous."
Surface Grooves is a family business. Their shop lives next to Elissa's father and her uncle. They've received wisdom from grandpa, tools and advice from both fathers, and lots of Facebook Likes from the whole family. Everyone gets involved.
Just recently, Elissa and Ryan got married. Can you guess who made the invitations?
Surface Grooves is always ready to try out their next laser cut or engraving project. Whether invitations, furniture, lighting, or other types of signage, they're always eager to use their talents in new exciting ways.
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