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I've loved mid century design since I was old enough to buy furniture. Over the years I've owned a number of knock offs and replica pieces in the vein of my favorite designers, hoping one day i'd be able to fill my house with real American classics. Since moving to Los Angeles, my fiancé and I have spent months drooling over the incredible mid century furniture produced by Modernica; the fiberglass shell chairs, the George Nelson lamps, and their collection of "Case Study" furniture inspired by Arts & Architecture Magazine's case study houses of the 50's and 60's. We finally bought our dream post and beam house in southern California, and when it came time to fill it with furniture, well... we went a little crazy.

We met Cara at one of the Modernica sample sales, where she helped us gather a pile of "Case Study" ceramic planters and Nelson lamps. We geeked out with her about mid century furniture and Modernica products and made out like bandits, finally able to bring some real mid century design into our house. Soon after we bought our house we were shopping for a number of pieces; a bed, a couch, a tv unit, desks, and as much as we looked, we ended up back at Modernica time after time. 

We ran into Cara again checking out at their most recent sale. We didn't even plan on buying anything and ended up leaving again with a number of pieces. We spoke to Cara about Herman Miller recently purchasing their lamp division (if you're into Nelson lamps get them now! 50% off at Modernica.com), and asked if it was possible to do a tour of their offices and facilities. Today we got that tour.

Getting a little peek behind the scenes was awesome. Have a look at the photos from our tour:

First stop was the fiberglass shell chair production building. The rolls of fiberglass get fed into a machine and chopped up into small pieces that are sucked to the mold and compressed into shape with heat and suction.

After they come out of the machine they go into a heat press where the enamel is added. The machines used by Modernica are the original machines used to produce the Eames fiberglass shell chairs and use the same materials for production. As close to original as you can get!

The shell chairs have been through a number of special projects and collaborations, some of which are on display at the office. Some have not yet been released, so this is the only photo you get!

Our next stop was off to the wood shop. Assembly for dowel rod bases, finishing for molded parts, and creation of parts with their giant C&C machine are all done in house. They have incredible machines that create stacked plywood from sheets of veneer glued together and a press that heat holds ply for specific furniture, but those were off limits for photos. 

We moved on to the assembly area. As you can image there are a lot of fiberglass chairs ready for assembly. Rubber spacers are put in place and an option of 23 different basses can be added to complete the chairs. 

The last part of our tour was the upholstery section. This is where all the patterns are kept and cutting and sewing takes place. Frames are wrapped and prepped for upholstery. 

Modernica also has a prop division where pieces are rented for TV and film. Vintage pieces are brought to the upholstery section to be reworked and rewrapped for rental. Everything is packaged up and ready to ship!

We even added a little something to our collection. A "Case Study" desk for our guest room!

Hope you enjoyed the photos and behind the scenes tour. Modernica has just recently redone their website, and as I mentioned they currently have an insane sale on Nelson lamps. If you don't already follow them on social media, check out @modernica and www.modernica.net to keep up with all events and sales so you can get some of your own!

Thanks Modernica!!

-- Daniel 

 

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