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Andrew Riiska was introduced to his love of design and craft at a young age in Canton, Connecticut. He was an apprentice in a design studio from age 11 to 18, until he moved to attend the University of Colorado. After graduating, he relocated to open a wood shop in Brooklyn, NY named Elshopo with partners Jaren Harbertson, now of Modern Union, and George Evageliou, of Urban Home Craft. During his time in New York, he also taught woodworking techniques at Parsons New School of Design and founded Small Box Press, which published handmade books that paired artists and writers to create short stories.
In 2005, Andrew moved to downtown Los Angeles to start Riiska Design Studio, where he created studio furniture with subjects as diverse as the body (Belly Table), mythical creatures (Dragon Table) and ephemerality (Bubble Table). He has been known to craft hundreds of little wooden boxes — each one encapsulating a single marshmallow. These and other works like the Bunk Bed Side Table and the Bubble Wrap Chair elegantly combine a “green” awareness of natural and found materials with the playful sensibility of their designer, employing recycled wood, non-petrol-based finishing oils and a whimsical sense of humor.
Dedicated to carrying on the tradition of his craft, Andrew has continued to teach over the years in well known craft and design schools such as the Southern California Institute of Architecture (Los Angeles CA) and Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Snowmass CO).
Andrew also works as Facilities Coordinator for the Eliot School.
Woodworking, furniture design