animal door knobs

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.

Bunny, Bee and Frog Door Knobs - animal door knobs

Whimsical pairings for a magician - this may sound like the title to a children’s novel but in the context of door hardware perfectly describes an order we have just completed for James Shafer’s magical solutions store opening soon in Columbus, Ohio. A full description of this enchanting enterprise can be found at;

https://www.hierophanyandhedge.com/

As befits a magician, James strayed from the path of “sameness” and instead conjured up a fun set of door handles using the animal knobs from our netsuke collection and the swirling leaf escutcheon plates from our willow collection. The results were beautiful and whimsical and could well have been illustrations for a children’s book.

 

The sets were cast in solid bronze and finished with a dark antique oil-rubbed patina. Each piece was burnished by hand to highlight the bronze tones of the raised sections making the leaf veins and wing and ear details more pronounced and creating a sense of depth through the contrasting light and dark areas.

Burnishing the wing veins to accentuate the golden bronze beneath

Burnishing the wing veins to accentuate the golden bronze beneath

 

We have mixed  and matched  our door styles for other clients and readers will recall the willow knob being used as an entry set with a medium bark back-plate in a very creative residential remodel by Los Angeles Designer Bonnie Mcintyre.

Spring is in the Air

EASTER RABBIT.jpg

 

Our Netsuke rabbit door knob is taking a break from vegetables and has turned her appetite towards chocolate eggs that seem to be in abundance at this time of the year. So, we hope you will take a leaf out of her book, yes the pun is intended and turn your appetite towards chocolate Easter eggs or maybe some hot cross buns or other delicacy enjoyed at this time of the year.

From us here to you there have a good Easter.

Christmas Gift Ideas and the Need to Plan Ahead

At this time of year we often receive calls from parents trying to find the perfect gift for their child’s bedroom and so we wanted to share with you some of the choices people have made.

We are currently making a rabbit passageway set for a Santa delivery in New Hampshire. Thankfully Santa enlisted some advice from a local door and lock installer who helped with tricky issues like dealing with a very old and thin door. The installer understood that a narrow 1 1/4” thick door may be a problem for the latch mechanism as the tongue of the latch in this case was 1” but being a skilled professional he felt that with Santa’s good cheer he would be able make a hole in the door with a 1/8” to spare on either side of the latch. Phew, Santa was wise to plan ahead!

Of course there is nothing wrong in a little self-gifting but the adage always plan ahead is equally true. In this instance, as Santa was not involved, the home owner asked for our help in deciding what to order to replace her old very dilapidated kitchen and dining room door knobs. The doors did not have latches but were held shut by a roller catch or closet door ball catch at the top of the door.  The customer did not want to change the catch so we steered her towards dummy knobs that could be attached on each side of the door by screwing through the knob plate into the door, a low tech but good way of adding beautiful knobs to her kitchen and dining room doors.

 

 

Color in Nature and Hot Patinas for Door Handles

The green anole lizard was the inspirational basis of Martin Pierce’s lizard door lever. The lizard’s vivid pea green color is however a challenging finish to capture as a bronze patina and one that requires considerable dexterity and access to a blow torch, so hobbyists should proceed with caution.

While the lizard door knob is not of the anole family, as you can see from the photo below he is often specified by customers who want a similar finish to match his mate.

In an earlier post we described how to create an antique patina on bronze by using Birchwood Technologies' M20 product and how this chemical solution, through chemical conversion, creates a brown black patina that penetrates and bonds with the bronze. The cold patina process is a necessary first step that has to be taken before moving on to create a  hot green patina as without it, the green solution will tend to slough of the surface of the bronze. Once the blackened piece has dried it is then gently burnished to remove some of the cold patina from the lizard area. We mix white, pea green and yellow dye oxides, available through Sculpt Nouveau, to create the right shade of green which is applied several times to the handle to achieve the right hue. Throughout the hot patina process the handle is kept at a temperature of about 200° by using a blow torch.

Nature inspired door handle.jpg

The vivid greens are used by many creatures as camouflage that allow them to blend in with surrounding flora as is the case with this praying mantis that was wonderfully hidden in the variegated tones of this begonia vine.