There is an abundance of incredible designers from the past that have influenced Midcentury Modern style whose pieces remain popular today. But what about new designers that have something different to offer? If you’re looking to upgrade your interiors with newer products that still pay homage to MCM style, explore designs by Kristen Wentrcek.
Her interest in design started by working in real estate on luxury condos. “I learned a lot, but realized after awhile that I wanted to do my own thing,” Wentrcek says. She started her own design studio, Wintercheck Factory, in 2008 where she began producing her own furniture and home accessories.
Her partner, Andrew Williams, joined her studio in 2013, aiding her designs through his illustrations. “We make pieces that are fancy and artistic but are also simple and functional,” she says.
And when it comes to where she learned to make furniture? You could say she followed her instincts. “We’re mostly self taught. We learned a lot from Youtube videos and from talking to guys at the hardware store,” Wentrceck says. “We’re naturally pretty handy people and we like making stuff.”
They developed a product line (collections 100-500) that became a starting point for custom pieces. “Some people buy our designs straight out, but some people will point to a piece and say they want something similar and develop their own custom piece,” Wentrcek says.
Her designs have developed over the years from smaller tabletop accessories to large wooden furniture and back again. The change was due mostly to material preferences. They’ve started working less on their wooden products and have turned their focus to accessories and furniture pieces made of plastic. “It’s easier to sell and market smaller products and they seem to be in higher demand,” Wentrcek says. “The art of wooden pieces has developed more over the years, and we’re not studied enough to compete with the artistic wood pieces out there.”
Their main choice of material is rubber and plastic. “Our material is what sets us apart. We get our industrial rubber from Akrin, Ohio that’s been imported from Vietnam,” Wentrcek says. “We cut it with a water jet and use it in a lot of our designs.” They’ve also started using Corian, which is essentially an industrial strength plastic. “It comes to us in sheets like wood and comes with its own special colored adhesive. If the plastic is purple, we get the purple adhesive to create a seamless finish,” she says.
Due to their specialized material, some of their products aren’t available for reproduction. Everything from their 100-500 series is made to order, and their 600 and 700 collections are made in Editions. “If it says Edition 1, once it’s sold, it’s gone. If it says Edition 5, we’ll make five and then we won’t make more,” says Wentrcek. “Some of the material we use is hard to get, so it would be impractical for us to make more than one.”
Though she describes her work as postmodern, these pieces can easily fit into a Midcentury Modern home. With similar materials and artistic qualities, these pieces will blend into your decor and provide you with an edgy conversation piece.
Kristen Wentrcek’s designs can be found on 1st Dibs.
Her product line can be found at the Wintercheck Factory.
Atomic Ranch is Celebrating Women’s History Month!
March is Women’s History Month, and to celebrate, join us as we showcase some of the midcentury’s most beloved women designers as well as some modern makers inspired by their legacy. Click here to read more about the ladies behind your favorite designs, pieces and places.