luxury cabinet knobs

Choosing Cabinet Handles for Children

We have just had the pleasurable task of helping a very thoughtful parent select suitable cabinet handles for his children’s game closet. The cabinet was fronted by 2 outward opening large doors behind which were 6 sets of smaller double doors housing a variety of games.
What I found especially pleasing was the way an eclectic but related theme of handles was chosen with each child receiving his/her pair of handles. The cabinet pulls were chosen from our animal inspired collection and were all finished in a soft light antique oil rubbed finish.
The result was a very artful collection of pieces reminiscent of the specimen cases of 19th century entomologists.


Two larger Polynesian inspired pulls were chosen for the main cabinet doors, the pulls are very thought provoking as the design is a fusion of bird, vine stem and even human features all of which flow together to create an abstract mythical piece. Cast in solid bronze, the pull is affixed top and bottom with 2 substantial 1 1/4” tall 5/8” diameter threaded posts which provide good clearance from the front of the cabinet making it an easy piece to grip.

While the pieces chosen should make for some engaging conversations, they were not designed for any specific audience but rather reflect Martin Pierce’s fascination with animals and insects.

The piece shown below is one that Martin did design for children and one that he had immense fun making although the Bombay shape and the characters portrayed in the parade challenged his skills both as a wood carver and storyteller.



Silver cabinet pulls for a Luxury London Residence


Silver and gold are unusual choices for cabinet handles but when integrated into a credenza design they can become the finishing touch. Our first silver plated pulls were commissioned by interior Design Anna McPherson when she was with the international developer Candy & Candy. On that occasion we silver plated our dragonfly, geckos and frog handles. More recently Anna has used silver plating to add sparkle to our sycamore leaves for a custom credenza being made by the furniture craftsman, Thomas James in Worcester, England.


While Martin Pierce designed these leaves to function as left and right pulls, each was made as a unique cabinet handle, reflecting the reality one finds in nature where no 2 leaves are identical.

The first sycamore leaves were made for the Ascot armoire, a limited edition piece that Martin Pierce Furnishings our sister company makes. The armoire as you can see is decorated with a scene of autumnal leaves rendered in gold leaf and glazed with layers of translucent pigment. The handles were simply buffed and left as natural bronze to provide a subtle compliment to the leafy scene.

Ascot Armoire_8200 high res.jpg

To add depth to the bronze leaves we add a dark patina to the buffed metal and re-burnish select areas on the edges and higher sections and then we oil and wax the surface to help fix the finish.

For a more dramatic colorful finish we use a brown chemical patina which needs to be applied to a hot surface which we achieve by heating the piece with something akin to a blow torch.



Arts and Crafts Movement Inspiration for Door Hardware

One of our earliest introductions to the American arts and crafts movement came when we discovered the Gamble House in Pasadena. This gem is a perfect example of the craftsmanship and artistry that is the name sake of this organic architectural style. When we arrived in Los Angeles we started out as a small furniture company that specialized in hand carved pieces so it is not surprising  that we were awestruck by the design brilliance of the Green and Green brothers who were commissioned by the Gambles to design their home.  The Gamble house offers a wonderful insight into households living in a less technological world and one where construction techniques were integral to whole aesthetic of the house. When constructing the walnut stair hand rail and cabinets the carpenters used peg joints rather than mortise joints which gave the joint strength but also added a decorative contrast. The carpenter would hand drill a round hole into the walnut and then using a square walnut  peg  he would hammer this into the hole to create a strong and contrasting joint.

While we had a fleeting introduction to the Arts and Crafts style in England this had been limited to viewing exhibitions of William Morris’s textile and wallpaper designs where entwining acanthus leaves and brambles were common subjects. Together these movements have channeled some of our cabinet pulls as can be seen in our Hedgerow drawer knobs. The patterns for these pieces were carved in wax by Martin Pierce and after molds had been formed these designs were rendered in bronze using the lost wax method of casting.

One of our earliest introductions to the American arts and crafts movement came when we discovered the Gamble House in Pasadena. This gem is a perfect example of the craftsmanship and artistry that is the name sake of this organic architectural style. When we arrived in Los Angeles we started out as a small furniture company that specialized in hand carved pieces so it is not surprising  that we were awestruck by the design brilliance of the Green and Green brothers who were commissioned by the Gambles to design their home.  The Gamble house offers a wonderful insight into households living in a less technological world and one where construction techniques were integral to whole aesthetic of the house. When constructing the walnut stair hand rail and cabinets the carpenters used peg joints rather than mortise joints which gave the joint strength but also added a decorative contrast. The carpenter would hand drill a round hole into the walnut and then using a square walnut  peg  he would hammer this into the hole to create a strong and contrasting joint.

While we had a fleeting introduction to the Arts and Crafts style in England this had been limited to viewing exhibitions of William Morris’s textile and wallpaper designs where entwining acanthus leaves and brambles were common subjects. Together these movements have channeled some of our cabinet pulls as can be seen in our Hedgerow drawer knobs. The patterns for these pieces were carved in wax by Martin Pierce and after molds had been formed these designs were rendered in bronze using the lost wax method of casting.

Happy Thanks-Giving

We have used some of our cabinet knobs to create a festive wreath to celebrate Thanksgiving, see if you can spot the pieces we used. We will be spending our Thanksgiving with friends and neighbors and celebrating the day pot luck style. To all our friends, neighbors and clients may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.      

Anne and Martin Pierce

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