T.R. Risk's Origin & Ash Creates Custom Comforts

The Bryn Mawr furniture designer used to be a best-kept secret, until he gained international acclaim.

It’s not often that T.R. Risk is asked to ship his handcrafted furniture abroad. The request came from clients who’d been living here temporarily and wanted to bring something home to Paris with them. “It was a huge honor that, out of anything they could have chosen, they wanted one of my pieces,” says Risk, who lives in Bryn Mawr. “They sent me an email with a photo of the family sitting around the table. It was the best to see that image.”

It’s been 17 years since Risk decided to pursue furniture-making full time. He now spends his days at a 5,000-square-foot warehouse space in West Chester creating pieces on commission and for his retail storefront, Origin & Ash, in Bryn Mawr. From hutches to tables, everything is made with salvaged lumber, vintage hardware and antique glass. No two pieces are the same. “I’m an intuitive creator,” he says.

Risk’s rustic style has garnered quite a following, with most of his business coming from referrals. “From the beginning, clients will order a piece from me, and they give me free reign to design it. It’s amazing that they have that confidence in me and my work.”

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Growing up near Downingtown, Risk spent much of his 20s in South Carolina, running a glass-and-mirror company with a friend. “The experiences I had then have helped me run my business today,” he says.

Risk is also an accomplished painter. His vibrant abstracts are done mostly in acrylic or oil. “There’s so much energy and inspiration in my paintings,” he says. Visit trrisk.com.

Click here to read about jewelry designer Lisi Lerch.

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