Post Oak Hotel -Custom Door Handles from Design to Casting

 

In an earlier piece we described how we were commissioned to make custom door handles for the landmark Post Oak Hotel. Here we give a brief preview of what is discussed in our newly created News section.

We were contacted by Gensler Architects to design handles for the shower doors for the luxury suites for the new Post Oak Hotel in downtown Houston. The handle needed to be 12” in height, round in shape, comfortable to grip and made in a durable alloy. As inspiration we were sent a photograph of a chain bracelet and Martin Pierce reinvented this as a metal braid which he sketched and used to create the first maquette.

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As alternative design he sketched a piece which loosely resembled a chain of vertebrae or building blocks which he named “Segment”.

These drawings became the basis for the first patterns, molds and ultimately the prototype handles which were cast in stainless steel. For the braid handle he made 2 alternative ends, a soft rounded crown and a more contemporary flat version and it was the latter that went into full production.

Pattern making –

To create the Braid pattern Martin wove 3 stands of electrical wire into a tight braid which he used to create a simple mold so that the braid could be reproduced in resin. Seven sections of resin braid were made and individually fitted to the surface of a wooden dowel. The pattern was then tooled by hand to remove imperfections and to fill any small voids. The round ends were turned on a wood lathe. The Segment handle was assembled from different diameter dowels that Pierce cut at varying angles and then jointed to form a continuous length.

 

Too read and see more of this process please check out our News page.

 

 

Luxury Door Hardware is Defined by the Details

By choosing the lost wax method of casting and by casting only in silicon bronze or stainless steel we have by virtue of the casting method and type of alloy created door handles that are expensive. However, our focus on hand finished details from “chasing” the bronze castings to skillfully and slowly adding patina justifies the price tag. As a case study I have photographed the wine grotto door handles that I mentioned in a prior post.

When assembled each escutcheon plate with lever weighs 4lbs and measures 4” W x 14”H and all of it is silicon bronze not a precious material since it is not exactly rare, but certainly an expensive quality metal. Bronze is an alloy that flows well, and this makes it a perfect medium to capture the fine details and undulations of vine tendrils and leaves of this back-plate and lever. Once cast the bronze pieces need to be refined by hand to remove any debris or surplus metal that has attached to the surface and this done by using metal chisels and grinders through a process called “chasing”. After the larger imperfections have been removed the entire back-plate and lever are buffed with series of buffing tools with the grit of each becoming progressively finer until the bronze is free of abrasions and tool marks. The pieces are then ready to be immersed in a cold patina which reacts with the bronze to oxidize it and turn it black. The degree of darkness is determined by the length of time the piece is immersed and once achieved the piece is then neutralized in water to halt the chemical process.

Marked in Green Areas to be Chased Final piece after refining and with patina

Marked in Green Areas to be Chased Final piece after refining and with patina

Now the true artistry begins as we rework the piece to create highlights by buffing the surface in select areas thereby sanding through the patina to re-expose the golden bronze.

Small Wine Closet Big Statement

Investing in wine is a serious venture and one that works best for those able to exercise self-control in the interest of deferred gratification.

Once the long-term commitment to wine collecting has been made the connoisseur then has to plan how to house the collection and this is where the creative challenge begins. When I think of wine collections I tend to think of lofty cellars deep in the basements of grand chateaus or perhaps grandiose Sonoma wineries and indeed our grapevine collection fits well in either setting. What I am less likely to think of is the modest interior of a hallway closet.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Faye Montgomery, a Los Angeles homeowner who was in the process of renovating a home that she and her husband had bought in West Los Angeles. When I first heard that Faye was creating a wine closet, I instinctively thought of our smaller scale vine door handle which at a more modest height of 14” works well for smaller wine rooms. However, on looking at the 30” x 80” glass door I understood why Faye was leaning toward the Ergo extended door pull a dramatic 3’ tall contemporary door grip. While the Ergo handle may not be an obvious choice, I think it is clear from the photos that this 2-toned sculptural piece works beautifully with the ceramic wall tiles that mimic hexagonal metal studs and a ceramic floor that looks like weathered walnut. Although the wine closet is small the sleek handle appears to be floating and in so doing does not over-power the wine collection which also appears air born. Taken together the 3-dimensional tiles, the angled ceramic floor and the handle create a clever illusion of timeless space.

Photo Courtesy of Faye Montgomery

Photo Courtesy of Faye Montgomery

Tiles from Spain available through Emser Tile, West Hollywood.

Dragon Egg Nest Discovery

On a rugged outcrop on a small deserted island in the outer Hebrides a quite fantastic discovery has just been made. A clutch of very large illuminated eggs was found buried just beneath the topsoil by archeologist studying the Mesolithic age. Scientists remain baffled as to what creature laid the eggs but are certain that it was extremely large and that it could fly great distances. Local residents in the nearby islands of Vatersay and Sandray a culture rich in folk lore are less surprised by the discovery and point to the winged fiery Gods of Antheray in the legends of their ancestors. While it remains to be seen what credence scientists will give to these larger than life stories, field researchers are reportedly searching the dig area for black coal or anthracite deposits that have been used by humans and possibly other mammals for centuries as a source of fire and fuel.

Dragon Egg Clutch or Could these be LED Lights By Martin Pierce

Dragon Egg Clutch or Could these be LED Lights By Martin Pierce

Anthropologists also believe that the dig site may show how early man co-existed and benefitted from the breeding habits of these creatures. One hypothesis is that our ancestors used the discarded shells of the fledgling creature as a building material or possibly as a handheld shield for combat. The theory being that the harsh weather conditions of the region would quickly ossify the shells making them both light weight and impenetrable and thus perfect for either use.

Last but not least support is growing for a Los Angeles based designer’s hypothesis that these shapes are contemporary.



Dragons Deserve A Brighter Future

As dragons seem to be dying, more thought needs to be given to breading dragons and this made me ponder our Dragon egg sconce named in humble tribute to this majestic reptile.

As an avid follower of their fate I was saddened when the first dragon met his chilly death and then horrified as Viserion resurrected said dragon as a hollow ghost. Despite this I was not emotionally prepared when a second dragon was felled by Euron Greyjoy’s mighty cross bow and have since been in a state of heightened anxiety over the plight of the remaining dragon.

Oh well life goes on and light still shines in our LED Dragon egg sconce which is not endangered, and which can be ordered with mood enhancing blue, red or green LED spots. Alternatively, if you are seeking to avoid any sad reminders of recent developments then our Floral sconce with its life embracing leaves may be the perfect antidote.

Both sconces are UL tested and approved and are made to order here in Los Angeles in bronze or stainless steel. The Dragon Egg was originally cast in stainless steel and being silver gray lent itself to our armor like motif. The floral sconce with its fluid soft lines and entwined leaves was cast in bronze a metal with brown earth tones and warmer hues. The scones are between 16” to 18” in height and 6”deep and each creates an organic dispersion of light. When cast in bronze the Floral sconce can be finished with a hot patina green or amber patina to add a spring or autumnal mood.










Colorful Cabinet Knobs and Pulls

As we come to the end of Spring in the Hollywood Hills, I wanted to capture the stunning and intense richness of the flora that flourishes in my neighborhood. The resulting photos show just how diverse and abundant the plant life is in my hood. My hope is that these images will sustain me as the drabber hot days of summer role in.

My appetite for color was no doubt influenced by a recent order from Nob Hill Hardware for scarab cabinet pulls finished with a hot maroon patina, a reference not to the intensity of the color but to the method of application. Most of our door handles are typically finished with an oil rubbed light or dark cold patina but our cabinet pulls are frequently ordered in red, green and yellow patinas. The bronze pull is heated with a blow torch and different pigmented oxides are applied with a brush to the surface of the bronze, a task that is easy to describe but difficult to perform and one that requires a very steady hand.

Jasmine and red bougainvillea are entwined in this floral bouquet.

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These Yellow flowers have the same spongy texture as the succulents that they crown.

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We offer 2 sizes of scarab pull, the one pictured here is 1 ¾” wide x 2 ¾” high and the larger piece is 2 ½” wide x 3 ¼” high. Both are cast in solid bronze and are hefty weighing .75 and 1.5 lbs. respectively.



When is a wine cellar a grotto?

If this sounds like a punch line to a joke, then please do let me in on the joke.

The answer maybe “When you live in Texas”.

I had a lovely conversation this week with a resident of Texas and since we both have accents and are soft spoken I spent a good 3 minutes believing I had misunderstood when she had asked if we made hardware for wine grottoes, eventually I confessed my ignorance and my vocabulary has now grown.

Turning to Wikipedia I discovered that the word comes from the Italian “grotto” and the French word “grotte” both meaning either a natural or man-made cave or cellar not surprising given that both countries have been making wonderful wines for centuries.

Next I turned by attention to the back set of the door that was being custom made in maple with a proposed back set of 2 3/8”. The back set is the distance from the edge of the door to the center point of the back plate or escutcheon. The wider the back plate the deeper the back set will need to be. The center of the back plate is where the lever or knob will be positioned or in the case of a locking door it will also be where the cylinder face is positioned. The handle set components are centrally positioned on the back plate to give symmetry to the trim. The handle set is then positioned on the door stile and if sufficiently wide will be centered but if space is tight it may be positioned closer to the edge of the door.



Door latches and locks are made with standard back sets with 2 3/8” and 2 ¾” being common for tubular latches and 2 ½” and 2 ¾” being common for mortise locks.



The Grapevine entry lever set has a standard back plate that is 4” with the center being 2”. If the door was built with a bore hole for lever/knob at a back set of 2 3/8” then this would leave a mere 3/8” clearance from the outer edge of the back-plate to the edge of the door an area that will often be caught by the door’s stop which is why we recommend a 2 3/4” back set. For doors that have already been drilled for a 2 3/8” back set we do offer a narrower 3 3/8” back plate with a 1 11/16” center.

Morphic Door Handles - The etymology of Morphic

We are often asked about the etymology of certain words that have been used to name our different door hardware collections and this is especially true of our “Morphic” series. Some of our hardware collections were named early on in their development with names borrowed from a complimentary furniture collection. Such is the history of “Hedgerow” used to describe our furniture as well as our hardware collections with both being named for the man-made hedges of western England.

By contrast the Morphic collection derived its name through an amalgam of different words that included “Morpheus” “Morphing” and “Anthropomorphic”. By synthesizing these words, we stumbled upon “Morphic” a word that is short and easy to pronounce though perhaps not as well suited to describe this collection as the definitions below make clear;

Anthropomorphic – attributing human characteristics to non-humans, a habit we plead guilty to when talking about our beloved Pitbull Iris

Morpheus – God of dreams or sleep would have been a very fitting name as the collection certainly has an unearthly dream like quality and the name would appeal to fans of the Matrix franchise (see accreditation)

Morphing – this term comes from the animation industry and describes how one image can be changed by small steps to smoothly create another image and while this would have been a good choice, we needed a noun and not a verb to name our collection (accreditation below).

Morphic – meaning a specific shape or form

The Morphic collection is an ongoing series whose shapes and form we are constantly stretching and changing so that it’s fretted cells can be made to work for larger door handles and for different hardware and lighting applications. It is also a style that takes on a different character when it is cast in bronze and finished with a charred patina. The charred appearance is created by applying the chemical patina M20 made by Birchwood Technologies over a satin brushed bronze surface and by burnishing the surrounding surface to create depth.


Accreditation;

Definition of morphing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morphing

Morpheus fictional character in The Matrix franchise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morpheus_(The_Matrix)

Chemical Patina M20 by Birchwood Technologies distributed by Sculpt Nouveau

https://sculptnouveau.com/collections/birchwood-patinas


Easter Bunny Door Knobs

This bunny may have chocolate tones but being cast in solid bronze it is definitely not edible. Thinking of Easter bunnies, I followed Alice down the rabbit hole also known as the internet to research the origin of this Easter custom. Dependable Wikipedia sets out how the rabbit or rather the hare has possibly several ties to pagan times and has been associated with Eostre the goddess of dawn whose torches may have been carried by hares. Hares it seems have been celebrated by many from prehistoric times onwards as creatures of spring that herald lighter longer days and fertility to crops and mankind.

Our bunny door knob has more earthly origins and is based on a soft interpretation of this very soft animal. As a nod to the preferred diet he/she sits on a wreath of swirling vegetation all of which is cast in solid bronze and typically finished in a light antique brushed and oil rubbed patina. The bunny shape was designed so that all the legs and ears are tight to the body thereby making a round and compact door knob that fits easily in the palm of one’s hand. The bunny design is one of 4 nature inspired door knobs that collectively make-up our Netsuke collection, a collection whose namesake is the compact toggles used to fasten clothing. The Netsuke collection is interchangeable so a rabbit and frog or lizard or bee can happily co-exist on the same door, one on each side of the door. The netsukes can also be mounted on different back-plates to create a truly eclectic interior.

Insect Art Sculptures - Stag Beetles by Martin Pierce

We are focusing some of our design and casting energies on smaller terrestrial creates that arguably take on an extra-terrestrial persona when they are portrayed as larger than life subjects.

Beetles and in particular stag beetles have been inspiring awe in Martin Pierce since his early childhood but only now is he able to capture their majesty in bronze. The first sculpture of 2 fighting stag beetles was completed in the late 1970’s when Martin carved a pair in Ebony, a very hard wood that can be polished to a high sheen.

Stag beetles are part of the Lucanidae family of beetles of which there are several hundred different types. The stag beetle that Martin saw in England was probably the Lucanus Cervus so named for it’s very large mandibles that clearly reminded early botanists of stag antlers. The stag beetle is aptly named and like the male deer the mandibles are used like antlers to establish male rank and priority in everything from mating to food to territory.

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The bronze beetles that from part of Martin’s collection of art works were loosely modelled on the Japanese Miyama stag beetle. The original pattern was carved in wood and 5 molds were made for the head, body, left and right legs and antennae. As the 6 legs (3 left,3right) are separate castings this allows Martin some leeway in how he welds and positions the feet and enables him to create a more animated sculpture.

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The size of the sculpture 20” (from antler to toe) and the polished patina on the bronze metal allow the ridges and indentation of the wing casings and knuckles of the legs and serrated jaw bone to be appreciated as both tactile and visual experiences.

Luxurious Soap Dishes an Enduring Detail for Master Bathrooms

It is true to say that the subject of soap dishes is hardly the most exciting of topics for a blog, but these domestic items do deserve a mention.While this modest vessel is often a boring mundane feature in most bathrooms there are some notable exceptions.

If your taste is for semi-precious gemstones then look no further than Mike and Ally who offer a selection of bathroom accessories in lapis, amethyst and flourite. These gemstone pieces are quite unique as each is made from hewn stone and with no 2 pieces the same, this brand delivers one of a kind soap dishes with every dish having a distinctive pattern of veins and hues.

Mike and Ally also offer a range of precious metal accessories in polished and matt gold and silver.

While we do not offer our Ergo or Morphic bathroom collections with gemstone we do think they can be considered as hidden gems that will surprise and delight family members.

We usually cast these collections in 316 stainless steel a corrosion resistant and highly durable alloy which can be polished to a high luster or brushed for a satin finish or for the ultimate in sophistication, finished in two-tone polished/satin. For a warmer appearance these pieces can be cast in silicone bronze an alloy that is also corrosion resistant but one that will change color as the metal develops its own natural patina. One reason to choose soap dishes made of gemstones or cast in solid steel or bronze is that both will endure the test of time and neither will rust so can be kept as timeless gems to beautify your powder room or master bathroom.

A Swarm of Bees Inspires a Collage of Bee Knobs

This has been the most remarkable spring but the arrival of a swarm of bees was as unexpected as it was spectacular. On Sunday we heard loud buzzing from our front garden and spent the next hour watching the process of hundreds of bees settling in our Brazilian Pepper Tree. What began as a few bees over the next hour became a mass all huddling together to protect the queen. By evening the swarm had settled in and become calm as the temperature cooled and their rest time commenced.

While we knew that the Queen was at the center of this colony, we did not fully understand why this event had occurred so turned to the internet. The queen increases the size of the colony by laying eggs that become worker bees and so the colony grows until it eventually it out-grows the hive at which point the queen lays a few queen eggs. The queen then leaves the hive before the new queen bee hatches and takes with her about half of the worker bees to journey onwards to begin a new hive. We were lucky spectators at the point where the queen and her followers had set out in search of a suitable location for their new home and had decided to rest over-night in our tree. At no point did the swarm pose any threat to us as we passively looked on from a safe distance remaining still save for the photos we took.

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The following morning the queen and her entourage waited to be warmed by the sun before continuing on their quest.

I was inspired by the sight of these live bees to create a playful collage using our polished bee door knob with a back-drop of dark honeycomb roses which is the most well-known handle set from our Netsuke collection of animal door handles.

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Painted Lady Butterflies and Their Influence on Door Hardware Designs

Painted Lady Butterflies and their influence on Hardware Designs

Like so many in Los Angeles we have been stunned and are “gob-smacked” at the multitude of Painted Lady Butterflies that we have seen this week. These small pretty insects are everywhere but only once has my iphone been to hand to snap a couple of shots.

While the monarch butterfly is sadly in rapid decline, for this year at least, the Painted Lady population is booming with billions passing through on their way north from the Mojave Desert. The exceptional rains that have put a temporary hold on California’s drought have given rise to an abundance of nectar as food for these migrating beauties. The short life cycle of a butterfly consists of 4 stages from egg, to caterpillar to pupae and then to butterfly and for the Painted Ladies lasts about 4 to 5 weeks.

I was surprised to discover that these small beauties can travel at speeds of 25 miles an hour and cover as much as 100 miles per day but this explains how they are able to make their trek from the Mojave to Northern California in their short lives.

We have been inspired by butterflies as well as bees, wasps and moths in our collection of insect cabinet pulls. We also have incorporated a butterfly as the thumb-latch for our entry way lizard handle set.

The Painted Lady captured here drinking from Clematis demonstrates this butterflies preference for purple clustered flowers, a fact observed by Katelyn Boisvert in her paper presented at the Young Naturalist Awards.

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LED Handles and batteries a discussion

This week I wanted to reach out to get feedback on whether there is a demand for LED door handles that are battery operated rather than hard wired. When we designed our handles and particularly the longer lit pulls finding an LED spot that was small enough to fit in a 1.5” diameter pull was a challenge but one that American Illumination were able to solve. We selected American Illumination as our supplier as the unit they make is well designed, compact and is ETL registered. The spot they make is hard wired which means it can only be used on doors which have been constructed with a hollow channel for the wires to pass or by adding an external power transfer unit.

Copyright ©2019

Copyright ©2019

The installation drawing below shows how the wires are fed through the door to connect with our handle to light the LED spot. This method of installation is attractive as it is completely concealed with your guest’s focus being on the handle and not on the apparatus, but it is not well suited to the hobbyist or home owner looking for a simple way to add light and color to their entry door.

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Too date, I have not found a small enough battery that can power these very low energy LED spots for long periods of time and none that can keep the handle lit for a year or more so thought I would ask for suggestions from any of my readers. So, if you do know of a small battery that is 1” diameter and 2”H l would love to hear about it.

Wine Cellar Door Hardware

We are expanding our collection of wine cellar door hardware and have just designed a small cabinet pull that will function more as a cabinet knob.

The design was sketched by hand at full scale and from both the plan and front views.

The vine knob at 2 ½”W, 1 1/2” was designed for cabinet drawers and as a complimentary piece to the larger 6 ½” vine pull.

The small scale of this piece enabled Martin Pierce to carve it from a block of blue wax manufactured by Ferris® being a wax designed for use with high speed machines as well as steel carving chisels.

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The outline of the knob was drawn with a felt tip pen onto the face of the block of wax which was then cut out on a band-saw. The individual leaf segments and fine leaf outline were cut using a slow moving scroll saw. Martin then carved the fine veins and shaped the leaf contours using 3 types of chisel and an improvised hand scraper made from a band-saw blade.

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Many of Martin’s chisels were acquired when he was an apprentice wood carver and they were made by legendary William Marples & Sons in Sheffield, England. The chisels were forged from the finest Sheffield steel and they maintain their sharpness even when cutting dense hardwood.

For the carving enthusiasts and hobbyists amongst you can read more about the superlative chisels that were made by William Marples by visiting http://www.williammarplesandsons.com

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Rio Grande is a good source for the blue carving wax

Nature an aid to designing long door handles

Nature an aid to designing long door handles


Having the luxury of enjoying a solitary walk in the Hollywood Hills with 50 minutes free from the demands of technology one’s mind is able to consume the smaller details that otherwise would go unnoticed. I do mean smaller details as without a scale reference it can be impossible to judge the size of a flower from a photograph, so would you be surprised that the buds of the flowers shown below are less than .25”? While Martin Pierce tries to be true to nature when it comes to realism and to the scale of his lizard and butterfly hardware, he often employs considerable latitude when designing plant door handles or cabinet knobs as can be seen in the larger than life daisy flower knob.

We are presently developing a series of long door handles for both hospitality and residential projects and to create functional pulls that are easy to grip and meet ADA standards we are using considerable artistic license. Working with a narrow 1.5” diameter our creative canvas is extremely limited, so we are looking to nature for ideas. As the door pulls will be 60” in length the initial designs have been for vertical and elongated filigree but by segmenting the pull into decorative and non-decorative areas we are able to create vertical bands of decoration and these will be more geometric and abstract.

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The elongated floral designs are being sketched and will be reviewed soon before a final selection is made.

More to life than door handles

The rains have turned the area we live in into a beautiful landscape full of trees in blossom and nesting birds in what is still a dense but thriving urban environment.

With the recent 3-day weekends we have been able to walk for hours in the Hollywood hills and were able to capture some lovely and surprising views.

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What is always startling is how quickly the grasses spring to life and turn the hills into a verdant intensely green landscape. While the Hollywood sign is a familiar view it is great to see it through a curtain of green leaves.

The bottle bush trees are a familiar sight but when in full foliage they take on the character of a weeping willow with their fine dropping branches. In the Willow sprig pull these flowing tendrils are captured in molten bronze. The handles are available as either right or left cabinet pulls but, in the photo, we accentuated their weight by superimposing these 2 handles.

Mule deer also reside in these hills and we saw whole families of them grazing happily on the lush vegetation.

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We spotted a pair of ravens preening each other whilst perched on a bare sycamore branch.

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Several of the photos were taken from the vantage point of the Hollywood reservoir which is also a great place for bird spotting as it is frequented by herons, egrets and the occasional osprey.

How the Handing of A Door Can Affect the Aesthetics of Your Door Pull

How the handing of a door can affect the aesthetics of your door pull.

The handing of a door is not something you would necessarily consider when ordering your door pull or grip especially when they are to be mounted as a pair of back to back handles, but the handing does impact the security and beauty of the door handle set.


How to determine the handing of your door?

This is not hard, simply look at your door from the outside, if the hinges are on the right then your door is right handed and for a pair of back to back handles this would mean the handle on the outside would be right and left on the inside. When we are preparing a left and right grip as a back to back through bolted set, we machine the grips so that a threaded bolt can be screwed through the face of the grip that is on the inside of the door and pass through the doors core and into the threaded hole in the back of the grip on the outside.

The bolt on the inside will be counter sunk and concealed with an attractive screw cap but the handle can still be removed by unscrewing the bolt, so it is wise to have the bolt accessible only from the inside.

By comparison, the bolt on the outside handle is only screwed in sufficiently to make a strong connection, typically about ½” into the back of the pull and cannot therefore be unscrewed from the outside. Through bolting a door set makes for an easy installation and one that provides a very solid connection for your door handles. In a later piece I will compare different surface mounting techniques. In the photo of the Ergo heroic handles these have been mounted on a pair of doors (double door). From a handing perspective you have 2 doors, one is left handed, the other is right. If these had been installed with a locking mechanism, then for clarity one would call out the door that has the lock as the “operational” door.


Plants That Never Fade

Having hunkered indoors to avoid the torrential rain we were finally able to take a refreshing walk in the Hollywood Hills and discovered some trees and bushes that are already blooming including pink camellias and golden mimosas.

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Living in this exceedingly temperate climate we also have plants that can bloom at any time of year as their reproductive cycle occasions. A spectacular example can be seen in the desmettiana green and yellow agave that we planted back in May 2016 when we turned our garden from being a sad lawn to a water tolerant stunning landscape. Just under 3 years later the desmettiana cuttings have grown to am impressive 12’ in height and have thrown up sculptural asparagus spears that have just blossomed into fleshy yellow flowers. What is beyond my comprehension is how this agave giant has grown to such height and girth with minimal water and no added nourishment. The spears began to shoot up before we had seen the recent rains showing us these plants true mettle.

Desmettia Giants in a drought tolerant garden

Desmettia Giants in a drought tolerant garden

The pollen is hidden deep inside the flower at the base of its stamens making it accessible to only the most tenacious bees and hummingbirds, the latter being suitably equipped with long beaks and even longer tongues.

Modern cabinet pulls and nickel plating

Nickel is a hard corrosion resistant metal and it is one of the components in 316 stainless steel that we use in many of our door handle and cabinet pull castings. Nickel is also used to plate metal and a thin layer is deposited onto the surface through the electro-plating process. The nickel layer can be used to protect the base metal from corrosion and wear but it can also be used to create a decorative finish. We offer nickel plating as a custom finish and recently plated our Hedgerow branch pulls over a bronze base to achieve a more rustic look.

In an earlier post we detailed how we modified the Hedgerow branch pull to accommodate a bank of kitchen cabinets where space was tight and traffic was high. As there were only a handful of pieces it would not have been cost effective to make a new pattern and mold so we modified each of the 9 cabinet pulls when they were still in the wax stage by sculpting each piece. The two wax mounting posts were cut and repositioned and the ends of the tree canopy were cut and re-sculpted making each pull shorter and self-returning.

Mounting posts were re-positioned and ends shortened in the wax stage

Mounting posts were re-positioned and ends shortened in the wax stage

Once cast, the pulls were buffed, cleaned and plated. Nickel plating is versatile and can be used over polished or matt surfaces and can be finished in a range of light to dark patinas. In this instance we were matching the new pieces to ones that were installed 18 months ago but as we had a sample Boyles Snyder were able to make a perfect match.