Tag Archives: LA Box Collective

Windfall Show at CAFAM, May 28th

It’s almost here! Our exhibition at the Craft & Folk Art Museum opens at the end of the month and we hope you’ll join us. We’ve been working hard on a diverse body of work for this show, incorporating locally sourced wood from the massive storm that felled many trees throughout Los Angeles in 2011.


Windfall features new furniture and functional objects from members of the Los Angeles-based Box Collective, a group of designer-makers dedicated to creating innovative objects from reclaimed and sustainably sourced wood. The works in the exhibition were fabricated from trees that fell in northeastern Los Angeles during the historic windstorm of 2011. Ten members of the group will have works on display: Robert Apodaca, Casey Dzierlenga, Harold Greene, David Johnson, RH Lee & JD Sassaman, Samuel Moyer, Andrew Riiska, Stephan Roggenbuck, Cliff Spencer, and William Stranger.

The opening reception for Windfall by Box Collective takes place on May 28, 2016 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. The reception is free for CAFAM members and open to the public for a $12 entry fee.


LA Box Collective’s Fourth Year at AltBuild Expo in Santa Monica

LA Box Collective's Fourth Year at AltBuild Expo in Santa Monica

We look forward to seeing you there! Meet many of the members, working to support sustainable local designer-makers in Los Angeles.

Photos from AltBuild 2011

Thanks to everyone that stopped by to chat and see our work.  For those of you who couldn’t make it check out this  Flickr page of photos from our booth.

New Frontier

It’s rare that I hit a design on the first try.  I don’t waste time making mock up’s or prototypes, I just let it fly and hope for the best. When I made the first versions of the two table lamps I knew they were close but I needed to see something before I could get the right combination of elements happening.  The floor lamp is painted with a waterborne lacquer that is non toxic but expensive.  But, it’s worth it.  I have been wanting to see this lamp for over a year and now it’s alive. These lamps are on their way to DeSousa Hughes in a few weeks.  What I love the most about these lamps is they are all made from the off cuts of other commissions, with the exception of the Glass Series No.8 floor lamp.  The metal is recycled copper plated in nickel.  I shot some footage of these guy’s today and I have posted the video below.  Enjoy and take care.

I have posted it below for you to see.  Enjoy and take care

BoxCo’s Altbuild Debut Photos

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A Turning (and Pizza) Party

Making furniture as a business, it generally takes an actual project that requires a new aspect of the craft to make the time to work on it. I’m sure most people who take their hobby to a professional level find some version of this. So, I was pretty stoked on this idea for our BoxCo meeting. Meet on a weekend and experiment with the lathe. In our wood shop, we turn legs for some pieces, and bowls from time to time, but (believe it or not) there just isn’t a lot of time to mess around.

The Lathe

Pooling our tool resources, the BoxCo members located two lathes in close proximity as Topher and Cliff work next door. Sam had recently milled a salvaged black oak tree for Gary, and we had some walnut blanks we’d been waiting to use.

Sam turning.

Some bowls.

Casey turning

Pizza. MMMmmm

Turning Tools

No actual masterpiece was completed in the few hours, but it was good practice and great pizza. You can see some more aspirational examples at the Del Mano Gallery in Los Angeles and the Wood Turning Center in Philadelphia.


For me, the holiday season also includes my birthday which I just celebrated yesterday.  This time of year often gets me thinking about my family and how I got where I am, and also how lucky I am to do what I do.  I just finished visiting with my sister, niece and nephew and spending Christmas up at about 5,000 feet  in Payson, Arizona where my parents have lived since retiring 5 years ago.

My mother grew up in München, Germany and her father was a master carpenter.  She remembers fondly the toys that he used to make for she and her sister, but of course these were brought to them on Christmas Eve, not by him, but magically by Christkindl.  However, before Christmas, early in December they had to make it through a visit from Saint Nicklaus who is much less benign than his doughy American counterpart.  If you were a naughty child in Bavaria, he and his servant, Knecht Ruprecht, would steal you away in a sack!  So, my mom and her sister would wait for them in anguish (mostly my mom since she was the naughty one) as their heavy footsteps slowly ascended the stairs with their chains and possible child abducting attaché!  They’d then have to sing a song or recite a poem to make up for their misdeeds and if they were lucky they’d receive some candy, a cookie, or an apple.

My father grew up in New Mexico and it was said of his father that he could make or fix anything.  It is now established that with these two Grandfathers in my lineage I’m in pretty good shape to be building things.  My parents’ property is covered with an assortment logs and interesting rocks my dad has collected, which he says someday he’ll make into lamps and tables and benches. But what with all the golfing to be done these days the projects never seem to get finished! At least he has got his own priorities straight, and he too sees the value in saving these things from the landfill. He is also part of the Firewise committee so he is diligent about clearing the vicinity of flammable trees, which leaves me with more manzanita branches that he brings me than I know what to do with.  One of these days I’ll have to haul back some larger bits of his collection to make some of these projects for him.

I’m thankful for my family and the fact that I’ve been lucky enough to inherit a love for making things and working with my hands.  I hope everyone else has had an opportunity to reflect on fond memories this Holiday Season and wish everyone a very happy and productive New Year!  And so begins my 33rd.

-Robert Apodaca