This month’s Designer Dailies takes a peek into the working life of Los  Angeles-based designer Brendan Ravenhill. The designer, who was born on the Ivory Coast and spent summers on the coast of Maine, studied sculpture at Oberlin College and Industrial Design at RISD. He fell in love with building things when he was a boy, helping his father with carpentry projects. He has collaborated in the construction of a timber frame barn as well as the construction of eight boats, and spent a year as an apprentice welder. It’s no surprise, then, that Ravenhill finds his inspiration in the functional beauty of working tools. Let’s see how he spends his day.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

If I start my day with coffee and drawing it means it’s a good day.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

Alex (pictured) and Jon arrive around 8:30. The studio is one half of our house in Echo Park. Here Alex is working on a new toy prototype.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

Part of the morning is spent in assembly; here we’re working on Cord Lamps. The ceramic socket is cast locally in LA and everything is assembled on site.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

The shop is off to one side of the house. Outside! So LA. We’ve only been in the house since May, so I haven’t had to put a roof on it yet. We keep things pretty basic since we only work on prototypes out here. Once we work out the forms, production runs take place at local fabricators.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

This is a cast aluminum table leg prototype we’ve been working on. It’s sitting here reminding me to do something with it.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

Here we’re using the block plane on the leg of a new side table design. The table will be paired with our first bed frame design for a client in Mount Washington.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

Here’s the prototype. I’m liking the forms, but it needs to be a bit taller.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

I visit with fabricators a couple of days a week to check in on the progress of different projects. I can’t help but get inspired talking to makers and being in these vast industrial spaces around LA. This trip was to check out the progress on a new version of the Black Chair in white oak.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

We discuss the alterations we want to make before the upholstery goes on.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

Different furniture making patterns from some of the many pieces manufactured here. I love the way they look all stacked together. It may look disorganized, but if I asked Gustavo to show me one of my earlier patterns, he’d know right where to find them.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

Lunch at Guisado’s in Boyle Heights. Level 7 heat on the cochinitas pibil. They make my favorite taco in all of LA.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

Another visit, this time to my metal fabricator to pick up some Hex Lamps.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

I love the scale and color of these metal-forming tools.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

First aid kits and security alarm boxes stacked up. Most of what they make here is produced in the thousands, but they work with a few local designers like me in smaller batch runs.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

The light coming in through the cupola at the factory.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

Back at the studio, we inspect Hex Lamps for quality control before packing them up for shipment.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

Look at the late afternoon light coming into the space. This is our bedroom on the other side of the house from the studio. An original Cord Lamp in cast plastic is mounted above the bed.

A Day in the Life of Brendan Ravenhill in home furnishings  Category

The sun is setting in Echo Park, the view from the shop. I finished the day making taller legs for the side table. I was glad to get a few more hours in while there was still light.