ArroyoWoodWorks was birthed in fire. Not the wildfires Southern California is famous for during the dry months when the Santa Ana winds rage. A house fire caused by trust. We trusted a “builder” to fix the problems in the house created by the prior owners who “fixed” things so that cosmetically they looked fine, but inside were rotten. The house was in a beautiful area: a short walk to the Angeles National Forrest, 100' towering deodars, pines, scrub oaks and eucalyptus and on the east side was an arroyo (a deep channel cut to handle the power of water that rushed down it in the rainy season). We saw what needed to be done and hired the builder to do it right. We knew he was an actor, we lived 15 minutes from Hollywood, but his references were good and he understood the aesthetic we hoped to achieve and the budget we had to work within. He and his crew did the framing and he subbed out the plumbing and electrical.
Susan was home with our son, Brendan, 10 at the time, when the fire started. Brendan was watching t.v. waiting for his grandparents to take him off to Catalina. He complained that the reception was bad so Susan went out to the rear of the garage to see if the cable had been chewed by squirrels. She saw the flames and ran to the phone, but lines were already burned. Brendan was dispatched next door and caught the neighbors just as they were leaving. They called 911 and came to help me with the hoses trying to douse the flames. The fire department sirens could be heard, but the trucks did not arrive within the normal 10 minute window. Later in debrief with the fire chief, the problem was finding our street. We were fortunate that there was no wind that day or the whole neighborhood could have been torched. The arson investigator revealed that the fire was started by faulty electrical work. After that, Larry vowed to never trust a builder again. We hired a contractor who would work with us and teach us how to build. From there our garage became the “shop” and power tools began to arrive.
Once the damage from the fire was repaired and the additional changes for the house were instituted, we realized the furniture we had did not work. Since our budget did not include new furniture, we designed and Larry built furniture. Friends and family began to ask him to build for them and more pieces were designed and built.
Nine years ago, our son called from NYC and announced that he and his wife were soon to be parents. Shortly after, Susan declared that she did not want to be a long distance grandmother and the house we spent 19 years working on was listed and sold in three days. Larry had just retired from teaching math and Susan announced her plan to retire as a school district assistant superintendent. We began a search for a property to build our dream house in an area near NYC which landed us in East Hampton, NY.
We spent eight years working on a complete rebuild of a 1979 salt box done badly and during the process, Larry acquired more tools and further refined his skills. The result is this catalog of furniture and architectural detail pieces.