conteporary door handles

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.

Colony of bees in the pepper tree .jpg

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.

BEE FOR BLOG.jpg

Large Exterior Door Pulls

With the continued surge in construction we are seeing more demand for large exterior door pulls and ladder pulls both in the commercial and residential sectors. In the early 2000 period our large “Heroic” door handles topped out at a mere 19” for our Hedgerow and Ergo handles but by 2012 we responded to demand and revised our Ergo series to include an epic 35” tall handle. Clearly though the demand continues for even more gargantuan pieces and so we are about to launch our newest “Grand” Ergo door handle which will be 54” high with a 1 ½” diameter.

Making larger scale handles is both stylistically and technically challenging. The iconic Ergo shape began as a mere 12” cabinet door pull that was subsequently rescaled to a 35” handle. The stylistic challenge was how to keep the fluid contours of such a small piece yet make it substantial enough to work as a large exterior door pull but not so substantial that the diameter would be difficult to grip by those with disabilities.

While our soon to be launched Grand Ergo handle posed the same stylistic challenges, it also has presented us with technical casting demands. At a height of 54” and with such a curvaceous shape we decided to cast the handle in two 27” sections.  Had we tried to make a single mold the weight of it would have made it unwieldy and we would run the risk of the steel  prematurely cooling before it reached the end of the mold. To make the handle a continuous 54” length our craftsmen will then seamlessly weld the 2 sections to create on long exterior pull.

 

However, our move into this grand scale market is by no means over and we are currently working on designs for 2 projects at 6’ and 9’ so stay tuned.