Dreeben Michael Dreeben
Back story: Dreeben got an MFA in sculpture at the University of Chicago, apprenticed with a Chicago cabinetmaker, and was later awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study traditional woodworking in India. He has sold pieces to Crate & Barrel and Room & Board. fascinated by: "The chair-it has such rigid parameters; it has to be a certain height and hit your back at a certain place," he says. Inspiration: Hans J. Wegner and the Shakers. His work: Everything from walnut and teak tables to cherry cabinets and milled aluminum chairs with plastic or leather seats. Billet chaise with Amish brown leather seat, price available upon request; Available at dreeben.com
– Laura Castellano
Hale Jonathan Nesci
Back Story: Nesci is a self-taught furniture designer with certification in 3-D drafting. His technical skills help him build bold-colored, industrial-looking metal pieces, like the angular Jack stool, which has garnered national media buzz (he also created a pink stool in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month). His First Project: A 30-foot BMX bike ramp when he was a teenager. Day Job: Managing restorations at Wright auction house. what he’s working on now: A line of metal coffee and dining tables. A-Stool in powder-coated aluminum, $940; Available at Orange Skin, 223 W. Erie St., 312-335-1033; halefurn.com.
Lagomorph Seth Deysach
Back Story: Deysach has a BFA in ceramic and metal sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and worked as a cook and bicycle mechanic before becoming a furniture designer and builder six years ago. Inspirations: Mid-century masters George Nakashima and Sam Maloof. Mission: Designing furniture to be as eco-friendly as possible (given the resources available and people’s willingness to pay for it). "If a client is paying $4,000 for a vanity, do they really want to pay twice that for sustainable materials?" he asks. On The Front Burner: A collaboration with Chicago-based Covers Unlimited on a line of green furniture made from FSC-certified wood and steel frames and upholstered with vegetable-tanned leathers and bamboo chenille. "No slipcovered sofas with pleated skirts," promises Deysach. Available at lagomorphdesign.com. Welded recycled steel and reclaimed ash bench, $2,995.
– Lisa Bertagnoli