Kent and Emily's Profile

About

When we first married, we had a sense that one day we would have a design-build fabrication shop, together... eventually. An endeavor larger than each of our individual selves where we could work with each other and bring others in to share in their processes, to one end or another. Like the gestalt of a piece of finely crafted artwork. The sum of the parts equalling a greater presence than each individual component alone. Kent, a third generation machinist and very intuitive at how nearly everything functions and I having obtained a bachelor in Two-dimensional Art with an emphasis in sewing had skills to bring to the table but were too busy living our daily lives amidst mortgage and babies to find a specific focus. It was a matter of when? It seemed as though we were expectantly awaiting.
Throughout the unifying process that was the first few years of our marriage (are we there yet?) the inkling of a…

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  • Joined February 19, 2009

Favorite materials

exotic composites ie carbon fiber, ferous and non ferous metals, engineered and specialty wood and textiles

Shop

About

When we first married, we had a sense that one day we would have a design-build fabrication shop, together... eventually. An endeavor larger than each of our individual selves where we could work with each other and bring others in to share in their processes, to one end or another. Like the gestalt of a piece of finely crafted artwork. The sum of the parts equalling a greater presence than each individual component alone. Kent, a third generation machinist and very intuitive at how nearly everything functions and I having obtained a bachelor in Two-dimensional Art with an emphasis in sewing had skills to bring to the table but were too busy living our daily lives amidst mortgage and babies to find a specific focus. It was a matter of when? It seemed as though we were expectantly awaiting.
Throughout the unifying process that was the first few years of our marriage (are we there yet?) the inkling of a dream churned and later solidified when we decided to pursue the first step. Kent had torn up his white gold wedding band countless times, while I ( Emily) would dutifully drive it down, lifetime warrantee slip in-hand to the local jeweler to have it mended and repaired. Slag from a welding job in one case, a series of scars from automotive repairs in another. Meanwhile Kent was fed up with the high-maintenance nature of his ring (although he loves it still for sentimental reasons- it was the ring I slid over his knuckle on our wedding day) so he got online to do his homework. Platinum was no better than gold. Tungsten Carbide was lightweight but also alloyed with many of the metals he welded with. And wooden rings, although beautiful in form would simply not withstand the daily abuse, functionally. He had heard that carbon fiber was being processed to make rings, but his search came out flat. Everything he found resembled an accessory one may consider for a high performance vehicle; all weave and gloss. No, he would have to try his hand at manufacturing his own. Something more organic in appearance and feel, yet maintaining the unwavering functionality necessary to keep up.
Over the next weeks and months Kent sourced materials, engineered process and honed finished product. He was happy to again wear a wedding band. It was comfortable, lightweight, and impervious to wear and tear. Over the continued months, the ring was garnering much attention from co-workers, friends and family. Why not see if we could sell them? In March of 2010 we opened Refractory via Etsy, made a handful in popular sizes and posted a few rings.
The long awaited, down-the-road-desire turned instantaneous impulse when Kent lost his job. Nearly 8 years into our marriage and now with two additional bodies to nurture, we threw caution to the wind and pushed to pursue Etsy as our premiere source of income. Additionally we are suiting up to expand, including the original vision of design-build studio. (More to come.) A dear friend created a website for us. And thanks to the review stylings of bloggers Nickel Cobalt and Bernard of EveryDayCarry, we have had some truly outstanding feedback.
Thank you to all who have contributed to the gestalt of ourselves, our family, our community, our livelihood.

Kent & Emily
Refractory

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