cool door handles

The latest addition to our wine cellar hardware collection

Cabinet Pulls for smaller spaces – latest addition to the Grapevine Collection

Our holistic approach to door hardware is one of the reasons we like to design complete collections that allow the consumer to continue a theme from entry door, to interior door to cabinet pulls and bathroom accessories. It also means that we are constantly adapting designs to give the designer a more complete range of hardware to chose from.

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Our collection of wine cellar door handles led us to design a vine leaf cabinet pull which at 6"W x 3"H x 1 1/2"D works well as a drawer or cabinet door pull. However, for smaller confined spaces we saw a need for a smaller piece and have just added a new complimentary vine loop pull. The loop pull measures 2 ¼”W x 1 1/4”Hx x and projects 1 ½”x making it easy to grip. The pattern for this petite piece was carved by hand from a block of blue wax which is typically used by jewelry artists to sculpt ring patterns. A simple rubber mold was made and then used to create red wax replicas which went through the casting process from shelling to pouring to chasing and were finally finished with a light antique oil rubbed patina.

We mounted the larger vine leaf and the new loop pulls on cabinet drawers that were made using a cherry wood for the frame and myrtle burl cross hatched with wenge for the panels.

Wine cellar cabinet hardware

Wine cellar cabinet hardware

These images below show the fine hand- carved details of the wax pattern. For smaller pieces blue wax is a good sculpting option and you can achieve quick results with good eye hand coordination.

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Post Oak Hotel - Originality in Door Hardware

Our work in the Post Oak Hotel in Houston began in spring 2015 and culminated in our designing and manufacturing 3 unique door handles. The design process was a collaborative process and we were fortunate to work with Gensler in Houston and their wonderful creative team of designers and architects.

The first concept drawings were for the smaller 12” closet and shower doors and 2 alternative handles were designed and cast as protypes in steel for the model room. For those unfamiliar with the process, the model or mock-up room is where alternative samples of fabric, wall covering, and hardware are assembled for review and hopefully selection. We had submitted 2 handles for the barn doors and our braid prototype was selected as the handle for the closet, shower and French doo

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The braid handle was inspired by an image of a chain bracelet that the Gensler team were using as a starting point. The interlocking woven nature of a gold chain was re-conceived by Martin Pierce as rows of braided rope that would ensconce a rod of solid steel.



The alternative handle “ribbon” was a more abstract design loosely based on vertebrae and building blocks.

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In posts that follow we will be sharing photos of these pieces and will continue to discuss the other original handle designs made for this luxury hotel.

Color Changing Door Handles

We have just changed our profile photo to a collage image of colored door handles taken from our Morphic and Coral styles of door hardware. Our illuminated handles began with the introduction of low voltage LED lights into our Morphic cylindrical handles. To do so we had to solve the problem of how to incorporate a hard wired LED spot into a cylindrical handle the smallest of which has a mere 1.25” internal diameter.  As the cylindrical handle is vertical and as the design is open we could not use a strip of LED lights but needed to work within the confines of a small downward projecting light with a narrow 10 lens that would center rather than diffuse the colored beam.

The cylindrical handles range from 16” to 32” in length and are available either with a single color constant voltage LED spot with built-in driver or a color changing constant current spot.

The profile collage also shows the illuminated Coral handle which is one of 3 panel style door handles These are also color changing handles but are lit using multiple diodes encapsulated in a weather proof flexible strip that fits into the inner perimeter of the handle.

Both types of door pull are made using the lost wax method of  casting and  are available in bronze or stainless steel and are UL listed.

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.

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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.