To some, postconsumer Popsicle sticks are little more than prime vegetable-garden composting fuel. But West Hollywood artist David Hrobowski looks at each 4-inch piece of discarded birch wood as prime lumber for his latest New Orleans–inspired floor lamp design. These are not dollhouse-sized sofas or hand-held summer camp crafts, but mahogany-stained, 20,000-stick glass-topped dining tables and 2-foot-tall Art Deco table lamps with shirred wood lampshades. A lamp was in fact Hrobowski's first Popsicle project nearly 50 years ago, when as a young boy in St. Louis the local news station discovered his ability to turn someone else's trash into functional lamp art. A few years ago, Hrobowski took up his old Elmer's Glue habit again and made his self-dubbed “riffstick” debut at Highland Park's Mor York Gallery. Since then, those life-sized, 18,000-stick Christmas trees still take months to grow, stick by stick. The obvious question: Wherever does one find the patience to glue 18,000 Popsicle sticks together? Hrobowski smiles. “Wine helps.” or email

—Jenn Garbee

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