A Bold and Sculptural New Furniture Collection Inspired by the Basics

Artist Troy Smith turns to his construction background to create handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces out of rebar.

troy smith designs rebar collection
Courtesy of Troy Smith Designs/KEN HAYDEN PHOTOGRAPHY

With a background in construction, designer and artist became fascinated with rebar from early on. Short for reinforcing bar, rebar is the steel used in the formation of concrete to give it strength—and is now a signature in Troy’s one-of-a-kind home furnishings. Inspired by the universal utility of the material, Troy was determined to explore rebar beyond its immediate purpose. “I liked the simplicity [of rebar]. It was raw and could be reimagined,” Troy says. With a style that leans toward contemporary abstraction, Troy crafts rebar pieces that are equally industrial and whimsical.

troy smith designs rebar collection
Troy Smith
Courtesy of Troy Smith Designs

Enter: Troy’s latest seven-piece —a place where hot pink, snake-like rebar legs hold up a modern coffee table; where a contemporary double-sided mirror is framed by neon green rebar and grounded by an exotic wood base. Breaking the rules of traditional design, Troy was able to free his creations from aesthetic boundaries while exploring new techniques through the use of these evocative materials. He describes the Rebar Collection as having modern lines with an Art Deco past. “As if the ancients had discovered modernism,” Troy says. All of the pieces are built on the foundation of powder-coated solid rebar steel frames, with eclectic, sculptural silhouettes that are a true embodiment of Troy’s artistic spirit.

troy smith designs rebar collection
The twisted, vibrant telemagenta frame of the Cobra Side Table colorfully supports its low-iron Starphire glass top.
KEN HAYDEN PHOTOGRAPHY

And while Troy prides himself on avoiding the mundanity of “square box design”, he does build for living. “Form and function are great friends, and I don’t subscribe to design without usefulness,” he says. Plus, the technical skills required to effectively work with rebar is enough to ensure function is at the forefront of each design. For non-industry natives, rebar can be a very tricky material to work with, which is why Troy’s background has lent itself to a natural process for creation. “[Rebar] takes furnace ovens and acetylene torches to get the metal hot enough to bend. Unless it’s red hot, its un-pliable in making delicate curves, if the rebar is to0 cold, you run the risk of snapping it. And once it's broken, it's back to the beginning,” Troy explains. Once the rebar is worked into the designer shapes, millwork, kiln cast glass, marble, leather, and final details are added to finish off the design.

troy smith designs rebar collection
The Nefertiti Dressing Mirror is illuminated by lime green rebar.
KEN HAYDEN PHOTOGRAPHY

From start to finish, this process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, proving just how complicated each piece can be. All of the furniture is produced in Canada and range from $2,200 for the Cobra side table to $12,950 for the Cleopatra writing desk—reasonable prices given the meticulous craftsmanship required for each piece. Troy, who has been described as a "modern renaissance man," proves that with a discerning eye, a sense of imagination, and a bit of fearlessness, an unsexy metal gained aesthetic value in bold and exciting ways.

troy smith designs rebar collection
The Cleopatra Writing Desk features a custom ‘Melting Ice’ glass top and Macassar ebony floating drawers. The desk’s ‘Electric Purple’ sculpted rebar foundation and handles give light and life to the design, reflecting a theme of vibrant color that characterizes the collection.
KEN HAYDEN PHOTOGRAPHY

You can shop the entire collection .

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