long door pulls

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.

Large Exterior Doors Pulls - A Contemporary Style in Demand

The demand for large door pulls as entry statement hardware continues to thrive in the hospitality sector. The Ergo collection of contemporary entry door handles began modestly with the Heroic handle, ergonomically sculpted as left and right handles but still substantial at a height of 19” and girth of 1.75”.

The sequel was aptly named Epic but in the size contest has been relegated to second position with the arrival of Mega which has just been released at a height of 54” and hand friendly diameter of 1.5”.

Mega Ergo is cast here in Los Angeles using the lost wax method of casting and is cast either in solid stainless steel or investment grade silicon bronze. The length, fluid shape and complex curves of Mega created challenges that lent themselves to this method of investment casting. The original pattern was carved by hand in 2 sections that were mirror images of each other, essentially a left and right section that together create a single non-directional handle and one where the bowed central grip can be pointed inwards or outwards depending on door jamb restrictions. The size of  Mega at 54”  is too great a length for the molten metal to flow smoothly without cooling so 2 molds are used to create wax replicas of the left and right half of the pattern. The wax replicas are “shelled” and then  fired to create a hard ceramic casing. The fired pieces are then placed in an autoclave to remove the wax which is “lost” and molten metal is poured into the hollow cavity of the ceramic shells. Once the 2 sections have been cast they are welded by hand to create a seamless fluid handle.

This process is obviously labor intensive and time consuming but as we can make the handle in wax sections we can fabricate longer innovative handles and meet the artistic needs of designers looking for statement pieces for public spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

Unusual Refrigerator Door Handles - what to consider

High end refrigerator manufactures like Sub-zero allow consumers to customize the look of their refrigerator by selecting handles that will complement the style of their cabinet handles but deciding what handles will work both aesthetically and practically can be a challenge.

As a door hardware designer and manufacturer we thought we should review some of our handles to see which do and don’t work well for this use.

Before reviewing the styles there are some practical points to consider;

1.       You will need to order your refrigerator without the manufacturer’s standard issue handles and without the door being pre-drilled for the standard handle and also without the standard mounting brackets. The manufacturer will have their own door handle size and this is unlikely to be the same as the custom alternative.

2.       The alternative custom handle can then be installed either directly onto the refrigerator door or on to a custom panel that is being fabricated by your kitchen cabinet maker.

3.       Door pulls or grips rather than knobs work best as they allow you to more easily open the refrigerator if your hands are wet or full. A round or flat 90 degree angle is sadly the typical style for most refrigerator pulls and while these are easy to grip they are typically non-descript so use this as your practical starting point.

4.       While there is no standard length that is recommended for a refrigerator the grip will need to be attached at 2 points to the door panel and will need to be sturdy enough in size and width to easily open the door without difficulty and without coming lose after repeated use.

5.       You will need a professional cabinet maker or contractor to install the alternative handle in accordance with any manufacturer warranty guidelines.

Styles that work:

We see the kitchen area as a work space with surfaces that will need to be easily cleaned. My preference is to use more fluid slick styles without a lot of undercuts or filigree that will be difficult to clean. The Ergo and Morphic styles with the exception of the Morphic cylinder are good choices and look wonderful in stainless steel which will complement most refrigerator doors.

If you are using a wooden custom door then consider the Morphic and Ergo styles in bronze but with a baked enamel clear protective coating to help.

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