Angie West & Alberto Vélez

Founded by Angie West from Texas and Alberto Vélez from Bogotá, the studio embraces a fascination with materiality, a deep respect for craft as an integral aspect of design, and an obligation to participate in the shepherding of American making. Based upon a sense that there are stories as-yet untold in design, the work is both provocative and exploratory.

Angie was a creator from her earliest years, embodying the roles of a scavenger and a connoisseur of hardware and tools. She devoted countless hours to exploring the rugged landscapes of West Texas, where she gathered talismans and crafted art. Initially, she believed her future lay in architecture, but she soon realized her passions were drawn more towards intricacies that required attention to smaller scales. Her journey through the arts brought her to a pivotal crossroads in 2010—a sliding-doors moment—that presented her with the unexpected chance to purchase a struggling artisanal foundry. This venture evolved into her fabrication enterprise, West Supply, and its dedicated team, collectively developing an extraordinary and inspiring roadmap. Their experiences and discoveries highlighted a pressing demand, ultimately giving rise to the inception of Refractory.


Alberto ventured to Chicago with a determined objective: to steer the Holly Hunt design studio in rapidly and substantially broadening their house collection portfolio. It was during this ambitious expansion process that he encountered Angie and initiated a collaboration with West Supply, infusing the collection with unique cast bronze and glass pieces. Over a decade, they achieved significant success, marked by the popularity of numerous products they developed. However, beyond their professional achievements, their relationship evolved personally—they became close friends, thoroughly enjoyed their collaborative efforts, and discovered a profound alignment in their creative sensibilities.

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