meet the makers | Mar 14, 2024 |
This maker earned his woodworking chops building acoustic guitars
This maker earned his woodworking chops building acoustic guitars
Ryden RizzoCourtesy of Allied Maker

Ryden Rizzo has a passion for maker culture. The Glen Cove, New York–based co-founder and craftsman behind Allied Maker loves nothing more than a day spent in his workshop, transforming natural materials into beautiful bespoke light fixtures while surrounded by like-minded artisans. “I love having well-organized tools and a workbench positioned next to a window where daydreaming and getting stuff done happens in synchronicity,” he tells Business of Home.

Growing up in the small Long Island beach town of Sea Cliff, he learned early on about the ins and outs of running a design business. His father is a jeweler who ran his own studio and retail store, where Rizzo experienced the teamwork and passion it took to run an artisan-driven creative brand. “As a kid, I’d roller-skate to his store after school to polish jewelry for pizza money,” he says. “I noticed the importance of each step of the process, from assembly to finishing, and how they are all connected.”

This maker earned his woodworking chops building acoustic guitars
The Alabaster Totem 16 by Allied MakerCourtesy of Allied Maker

In college, he studied design and technology at the Parsons School of Design before enrolling at the Vermont Instruments School of Lutherie, where he honed his woodworking skills hand-crafting acoustic guitars from scratch. “Coming home from this experience, I was hooked on being a maker and setting up a space for myself,” says the craftsman. “I cleared out my parents’ garage and dug into a daily practice. I fell in love with starting my day in a woodworking studio, transforming raw materials into a carefully crafted, bench-made product.”

In 2013, Rizzo and his wife, Lanette, launched Allied Maker with two sleek collections of brass-shaded fixtures named Dome and Arc. “I consider these collections to be what defined Allied Maker’s aesthetic in the marketplace,” he explains. “I debuted our signature silhouette of a glass globe nestled into a brass dome, along with our unique mix of materials, like brass patinas and beautiful hardwoods.”

The artisan describes his design process as “holistic,” beginning with a rough sketch on paper that evolves into a digital rendering and then a prototype. “Our business touches every aspect of production, and all the details are designed on the front end,” he says. “We have a variety of tools, including lathes, mills and CNC machinery, and then we hand-apply the finishes.”

This maker earned his woodworking chops building acoustic guitars
The Concentric 15-inch mount Courtesy of Allied Maker

Materials take center stage in Allied Maker’s offerings, which include everything from hand-spun brass floor lamps to naturally finished black-walnut chandeliers and alabaster totems. “We use natural materials sourced from local partners in the U.S.,” says Rizzo. “We also use materials that are naturally strong and built to last generations—as a way to avoid landfills by becoming cherished heirlooms.”

Allied Maker’s latest collection, Gesso, marks the brand’s first foray into picture lighting. It features three solid brass sconces with milled shades designed to illuminate artwork. “We see its handsome design, high-quality brass-and-glass construction, and American-made craftsmanship as something really unique to the industry,” says Rizzo.

Today, the company—which has grown to a team of 55—is in the midst of building a brand-new headquarters in Glen Cove that will be completed sometime next year. “We see ourselves expanding into new categories as well, such as hardware and home accessories,” says the maker. “Our mission, first and foremost, is to build the most creative and efficient studio and workshop space possible, to give way to continue to create beautiful lighting fixtures.”

If you want to learn more about Ryden Rizzo, visit Allied Maker’s website or Instagram.

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