By Trish Holder
We love a great story and this “Surf-rider” sofa table, designed by Gerald Olesker of Architectural Detail Group (ADG), has one.
The original design was commissioned by an unnamed film industry professional in Malibu, California. ADG had designed some exterior lanterns for the client’s beachfront home (using reclaimed rusted lanterns), which prompted the client to invite the ADG team inside. Before long they were collaborating on sofa table design….and the “Surf-rider” table quickly came to life on paper. The original table incorporates some reclaimed items Olesker had spied at Just Folk, a gallery south of Santa Barbara that specializes in American folk art and antiques. So, reclaimed items that already had artistic value were incorporated into this unique table, which is both functional and artistic.
Therein lies the clever approach that ADG has leveraged to command some high-end commissions all over the world. Working from an evolving inventory of reclaimed treasures, ADG has provided custom lighting and furniture for both individuals and commercial owners.
“I think the term we use is contemporary urban/rural archaeological reprocessing,” said Olesker. “But we are more sophisticated about it, with projects in mind.”
Thrill of the Hunt
Procuring materials is the fun part – at least it sounds like fun. Olesker and his senior designer travel to local and regional construction projects, looking for inspiration in architectural elements being tossed out.”
“After 20 years in the manufacturing business I have my favorite haunts,” said Olesker, who started designing and manufacturing in the early 90’s.
Functional Art — Made in California!
Architectural Detail Group is 8 years old and currently manufactures all its architectural ornamentation and furnishings in 2 facilities southern California. In addition to using reclaimed items, they use all water-based low VOC paints and their processes generate very little waste. Plus, says Olesker, they are able to turn out a lot of product in a very small space.
You won’t find ADG creations on ETSY. Rather, the one-of-a-kind items command handsome prices on sites like on VintageAndModern.com. ADG also works with directly owners and designers on custom décor and lighting solutions. Relying on 3 generations of manufacturing experience, the items are designed and built to last….and last. That’s good – because these aren’t simply furnishings, but collectible works of functional art.
We get it. And we like it.