Los Angeles-based woodworker and furniture designer Andrew Riiska handcrafts sumptuous tables that refer to subjects as diverse as the body (as in his Belly Table), mythical creatures (Dragon Table,) or ephemerality (Bubble Table). He once hand-tooled hundreds of little wooden boxes — each one encapsulating a single marshmallow — for Los Angeles design store Ford&Ching, located at 718 N. Figueroa Street. Using recycled wood, non-petrol-based finishing oils and a whimsical sense of humor, these and other works like the 69-leg Table and the Frog Table elegantly combine a “green” awareness of natural and found materials with the playful sensibility of their designer. Andrew grew up in a small town in Connecticut where he studied under designer Tom Bush since he was eleven years old. Here he honed his eye for design and love for craft until he was 18. Andrew matriculated from the University of Colorado with a BA in English with an emphasis in creative writing. After School Andrew moved to New York City and worked his way up from finish carpenter to project manager of high end renovation company. With friend Jaren Habersat and George Evageliou Andrew opened the design studio called El Shopo where he designed and made furniture for clients in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Andrew feels a great dept of gratitude for the unique education he received growing up in a design studio and has sought to repay that dept by teaching his skills to others. Andrew taught wood working techniques at The Parsons New School in New York City and continues to share his knowledge and skills with the students and faculty at Sci Arc, Southern California Institute of Architecture, where he helps run the largest architectural school workshop in the country. In 2005 Andrew moved to Hollywood California to design and oversee the renovation of a 100 year old home in the Hollywood Hills. In 2006 Andrew started a new design studio in Downtown Los Angeles located above the Cirrus Gallery. His work has been shown at “The Rare Gallery,” in Chelsea, the “Replace” Interior design gallery in Manhattan and is featured at “The Space,” photography studio in the Chelsea Market. In California Andrew has shown with “Fordbrady”, “Ford&Ching,” “Fifth Floor Gallery,” “Five and Ten Studio” and his work was featured in the 2010 California Design Biennial at “Pasadena Museum of California Art.
andrew.riiska <at> gmail.com | www.riiskadesign.com