Tag Archives: WoodSmithe

Apolis Presents: Buried in Dandora

Last night Derek and Nathanael helped install a new photo exhibition that our dear friends at Apolis are co-hosting with the Pulitzer Center at Apolis. The opening is tonight, Friday, December 7th from 7 – 9 pm at the Common Gallery.

The event will mark the unveiling of a new photojournalism installation titled: “Buried in Dandora: Waste and Livelihood.” Earlier this year, Apolis Advocate Micah Albert documented life at the Dandora dumpsite in Nairobi, Kenya and his striking images from this project have been featured in the LA Times, BBC, SF Chronicle, and Foreign Policy.

Apolis is honored to present a curated selection of these images and host a live discussion with Micah and Pulitzer Center Managing Director, Nathalie Applewhite. The Pulitzer Center is an award-winning journalism organization based in Washington DC and is committed to sponsoring international journalism focused on under-reported issues.

We hope to see you there!

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Graphic Design: Now In Production

Last night I attended Graphic Design: Now in Production at The Hammer Museum. The international exhibition explores how graphic design has grown in influence over the past decade. Featuring work created since 2000 the exhibition explores design-driven magazines, newspapers, books, and posters, film and television titles, as well as branding programs for corporations, subcultures, and nations.

In 2000 I wasn’t interested in graphic design quite yet, I was too busy memorizing anti-flag lyrics and doing all things I thought were punk rock. It was educational for me to see the evolution of graphic design in such a short time. I can imagine if you were already a working artists in 2000 you would have experienced this growth in real time, however I’m playing catch up. I was also pleased to see a lot of work I haven’t yet seen online. I highly encourage you to check it out. The exhibition will be here in LA till January 6, 2013. Admission is $10 and free on Thursdays.

Graphic Design: Now In Production – Film & Television Titles from Art of the Title on Vimeo.

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Product Placement: Spoonflower

Spoonflower is an online resource to print affordable custom fabric and digitally printed wallpaper designs. I’ve talways wanted custom WoodSmithe wallpaper around the office and at these prices it’s finally possible. What do you think? Do you know anyone who has ever used spoonflower?

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Meet our Neighbors: Matt Crooke

Photos & Interview by Nina Hans

What is fifteen52?

Fifteen52 is better defined by our concept rather than any specific line of products or services. Simply stated, our number one goal is to offer our customers whatever is necessary to make them feel they own truly unique automobiles. We manufacture many automotive and automotive lifestyle products. We also build cars for special customers such as VW, Ford, Chevy, Ken Block and various other special customers. Our main focus is our line of wheels which spans from cast alloy wheels to our forged and modular wheels that cost a pretty penny. We also manufacture various exterior and interior products as well as do consulting on the side for some of the companies we build projects with.

How did you get into cars?

I’ve been into cars as long as I can remember. My father owns a ’73 Camaro that he bought brand new when he get back from Vietnam. My grandfather owns a ’59 corvette that he’s owned since it was brand new. My family has always kinda been into cars, but it kicked it off for me when
I was working at a smoothie joint and some of my buddies there were into Volkswagens. I got my first job in the automotive industry in 1999, I was 16 years old running a shop based out of Berlin, Germany. I was the United States side of the company until I left in 2006 to pursue an opportunity in the music industry.

What do you enjoy about building cars in Los Angeles?

I take inspiration from so many different places, I treat automobiles just like any other artform. Cars are my canvas, but it’s interesting when you are dealing with a canvas on wheels because to have something tangible, the cost is so much greater than your standard canvas. The fun thing is being inspired in different ways through the large community I have here in Los Angeles. The fellowship I have with friends to push and encourage me is huge. Realistically, living anywhere else outside of downtown LA doesn’t give me the inspiration I need to go outside the norm, as I aspire for fifteen52 to be a different type of company in the automotive world. Overall I think Los Angeles is an amazing place and it’s motivating place to live and work, but mainly because of the people that are here. Growing up in LA was interesting, I’m always the one guy that’s from Los Angeles, in Los Angeles. It’s a melting pot that’s growing a ton all the time. There’s a lot of diversity here in regards to what people do and it drives me to be a better person and work harder everyday.

It kinda sounds like a cheesy soap opera but really all our lives are cheesy soap operas when you get down to it. It’s important to me because every single thing I do boils down to the people around me. I realize the main cornerstone of the automotive industry is just a piece of metal with tires, but whether it be cars, a shirt, jeans, drums or guitar, those or just the catalysts that bring us together in our communities.

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Richer Poorer Sock Display

We partnered with Richer Poorer, to re-design their P.O.P. display. Previously, Richer Poorer had made their displays in-house but came to WoodSmithe in hopes of stepping up their game in design, production and function. We set out to design a display that could hold their desired sku count of socks (in this case 72), would be flat packed/ready to ship and would compliment their manly aesthetic. Concepts were presented and RP decided on the design you see here. Socks can be accessed from all 4 sides, it’s assembly is a snap and it allows for the socks to be in plain view at retailers. We are pretty stoked on how it turned out. What do you think? Do you have a pair of Richer Poorer socks yet?

Click here to see more images.

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Meet our Neighbors: Gideon Webster

Hi Gideon Webster! Can you tell us about what you do exactly?

I think of myself as an artist and sculptor— I love to make furniture. I’ve also done production design work and have built miniatures, which are so much fun.

How did you get into art design and fabrication?

My father studied art when he was in school and when he and my mother got pregnant he had to drop out of school. He started doing construction and carpentry. He started his own business that he ran for about thirty years. I grew up working for him. I went to school and studied digital art, animation and printmaking. I got really sick of being behind the computer so I started making things instead.

How did you end up Los Angeles?

Before I came to Los Angeles I was teaching art, 3D design and that sort of stuff. The economy tanked and I lost my teaching job. My wife got a job offer here and Manahattan. I figured we could struggle to live way out in Brooklyn and I could be an art handler or work at a design build, or we could come here and do a similar thing and live more comfortably. It’s going well so far. Hopefully I’ll teach again at some point.

How do you feeling about art and manufacturing here in Los Angeles?

There’s a lot of creativity and interesting things happening in this city, with that there’s a lot of terrible things happening in the city as well. For me, its trying to discern what’s actually interesting here and try and be a part of it. I have a wide variety of skills that allow me to take on very interesting projects, sometimes it’s straight welding jobs but other times its taking on a role of an engineer and figuring out mechanical things. Or some interesting mechanical clock or what have you, I just helped make a vanish for Justin Bieber.

So that we are being thoughtful in what we build and why we are building it. To re-use and repurpose things…and build things to last. And not just to be tossed out.

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Movie nights at Santa Monica Pier

Our friends over at Santa Monica Pier have done an amazing job at re-branding the pier. As the development continually unfolds, they are hosting all sorts of events, including FREE Friday movie nights for the next 4 weeks. Hope to see you there!

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Handsome Coffee tiles (available to you soon!)

As you know by now, we thoroughly enjoyed designing and building Handsome Coffee Roasters. We love the feedback and responses its received, particularly the excitement around the aged maple tiles. Because of the questions and interest surrounding them, we’ve decided to offer you an opportunity to enjoy them in the comfort of your own home! Currently we are sampling wood types, finishes, sizing, wall adhesive, packaging and everything under the sun to make this a possibility. Stay tuned, we’ve got lots more to come!

Photos by Nina Hans

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Meet our Neighbors: Joseph Pitruzzelli

What was the process of opening Wurstküche

I started working on the idea of  Wurstküche in 2007  with my partner Tyler Wilson. I was in San Francisco designing night clubs, entertainment spaces, products, basically industrial design. I was starting to look for other areas to move to, I had been in San Francisco for 9.5 years. I was thinking about going to Austin, Texas. Tyler, who is my cousin, was at USC and mentioned that downtown LA was having a re-birth and I should come down and check it out. I came down and met him and kinda gridded the city, and we found the little cool pocket of the Arts District., which at the time was nothing like it is today but we felt like it had some sort of great energy. That’s when we decided we start a little project together. I wanted to build a bar that was my own, that I got to design.

 Why did you choose the Arts District? 

In hindsight it was pretty risky, but the Arts District was very similar to the area I was living in in San Francisco. I had an immediate comfort with it, you could see things like Barker Block just coming down the line and you kinda start to see this infrastructure and you could tell this infrastructure of downtown would modernize. There was no one living in these cool buildings, it felt totally vacant. It felt like behind the walls and empty exteriors there was a really awesome youthful vibe of people doing things and executing things. Apolis, Steve Opperman, Dubbeldam, those guys kinda key in moving this way.
Were you surprised at the success of Wurstküche?
I was surprised how the front sausage grill took such a prominent roll, how much volume it was doing. The original idea was that we would have a small sausage kitchen in the front , and the overflow would be in the back. We thought in the evening we would pull out tables and chairs and there would be a dance bar in the back. That never really took because the sausage kitchen kind of overwhelmed that. I thought we would do well, but I thought it would be with cocktails and a dance bar,  but really the lunch business kinda just took off.
How do you feel about growth of the Arts District since you have been here?
So far, it’s developed really well. I get a really hesitant when I hear about bus rides of developers coming through. What I see in front of me right now I think has been awesome growth. I think there’s been a great magnetism of places, which is why I don’t think development efforts are necessary in this area. There are projects like Handsome, which was probably attracted to places like Apolis and us, and then others will come because they are attracted to Handsome and it will grow like that, and it will be a great way of developing an organic, unforced community of commercial stores.
How are you involved in the community here? 
I am the president of of LARABA, the Los Angeles River Arts and Business association. And we are the 501©(4), community betterment association. LARABA is the guardian of the dog park, and we put on bloom fest. We partner with Melissa Richardsons Banks to produce that event. We also do various other things like planting trees, etc.
Our focus is not to just make food but it’s to make experiences for people that they come in. Food is part of it, drink is part of it, meeting people is part of it, design is a part of it. If we can build a consistently good experience that is fun and allows people to meet each other, then it’s great. I love to see people who have never met meeting each other, sitting at the tables and exchanging numbers.


Photos by Nina Hans

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The Giving Keys Necklace P.O.P. display

Our friends at The Giving Keys have been up to their necks in orders since appearing on sites like Huffington Post & Teen Vogue.  The brand is doing inspirational work and looked to WoodSmithe to create a home for their product that was equally inspirational.  Prior to our coming on board the handmade necklaces were being piled on tabletops and counters with little product visibility and virtually no individual product distinction. By utilizing reclaimed barn wood with a variety of tones, we were able to compliment the varieties of tones offered in the key necklaces. Once we designed the logo, it was etched, and the piece was given the final bit of love with a hand applied finish. You can purchase a key online or at Fred Segal stores.



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