Chain saw master
In his new location on La Brea Avenue, Reform Gallery owner Gerard O'Brien will celebrate the legacy of the late Marin County sculptor J.B. Blunk. "He took the philosophy of Japanese pottery -- working with materials that are around you -- and applied it to woodworking, creating art from the nature that surrounded him," says O'Brien, a longtime champion of 1960s and '70s studio crafts. "He was green before it was a slogan." O'Brien's store will showcase rare pieces by Blunk, known for monumental chain saw-cut redwood forms like the one shown here. The display will be part of a show running through April 18 featuring California artists who recently lived and worked in Blunk's 1959 home and studio in Inverness, Calif. The show opens with a reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, and sales will benefit the J.B. Blunk Residency program, jbblunkresidency.org. 601 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 938-1515; www.reform-modern.com.
-- David A. Keeps --
String gang multiplies
Latchkey kids, backpack wearers and adults with a sense of humor may delight in the String Doll Gang, a collection of handmade key chain characters. The gang's ever-growing numbers near 100 and include Ninjette, left, who comes with her own nunchucks; the rocker E-Moe, center; and the baguette-toting Some French Guy. They are imported from Thailand by Kamibashi, a firm founded by North Carolina-based Kristen and Chris Daniels, who met many of the artisans they now employ while teaching English in Kyoto, Japan. The String Doll Gang members can be apprehended for $10.95 each at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 937-4230; www.kamibashi.com.
-- David A. Keeps
MADE IN CALIFORNIA
Sparkle up space with diamond-cut table
With few people willing to spend $1,500 on a coffee table, let alone $15,000, will anyone buy furniture that not only looks like an emerald-cut diamond but also costs as much as one? Alexandra Von Furstenberg's 15-grand Bullet table consists of clear acrylic panels fused with black and mirrored accents in beveled configurations that reflect and refract light as you move around them. Art Deco geometry, meet Studio 54 decadence. 9001 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (310) 777-0253; alexandravonfurstenberg.com.
-- David A. Keeps
The center of attention
In search of a modern centerpiece? Pritzker Architecture Prize-winner Zaha Hadid's new modular Niche just might fill the void. Together, the five free-form pieces in jet-black melamine resemble a small sculpture, much like her fluid, dynamic architecture. They can be displayed together (they come with a diagram, thank goodness) or pulled apart like some three-dimensional puzzle. Small concave receptacles are perfect for holding nuts and candy or perhaps rubber bands and paper clips. Although melamine is generally dishwasher-safe, at $168, Niche is best washed by hand. Alessi, 301 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles; (310) 276-7096; www.divafurniture.com.
-- Barbara Thornburg