Ten years after fleeing Hurricane Katrina, Chorsie Gregson and Willem Sypsteyn have built a loyal following with their custom furniture and accessories that blend New Orleans with Austin.
Reworks’ floor lamp sconce, from the Classics collection, comes in a black or silver finish.
On the heels of the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Katrina, two artisans were among the many who left New Orleans for a new life in Austin. Then, in 2008, Chotsie Gregson and Willem Sypesteyn brought together their collective experiences in the art, design, and architecture industries to form Austin-based Reworks, which designs and handcrafts custom furniture, lighting, and home accessories.
In their creations, Gregson and Sypesteyn fuse together the slightly disparate identities of European-influenced New Orleans and the fast-developing yet quirky Austin. “New Orleans in many ways wants nothing to change, and Austin is changing every day,” explains Gregson. “What a challenge for us as artists: How do we bring the classical training and history to the excitement of progression and forward-thinking and constant change that is Austin?”
The answer lies in Reworks’ two lines that honor both the old and new: Classics, which consists of contemporary and handcrafted furniture and accessories, and Limited Edition, pieces commissioned by architects and interior designers in Austin and beyond. Often, a Reworks piece will feature details indicative of age, like patina, in order to pay homage to the indelible marks left behind by extreme weather.
“I’m glad to see that New Orleans has recovered and improved in so many ways since the hurricane,” Sypesteyn says. “But Katrina was such an important time for me to make new personal discoveries, and Austin has been the ideal place to make those exciting changes.”
Reworks pieces are available through private appointments at its workshop, 512-330- 0825 or firstname.lastname@example.org; reworks-works.com. They also sell at select shows such as The Original Round Top Antiques Fair; the winter show dates are January 22–23; roundtoptexasantiques.com