luxury door pulls

Post Oak Hotel -Custom Door Handles from Design to Casting

 

In an earlier piece we described how we were commissioned to make custom door handles for the landmark Post Oak Hotel. Here we give a brief preview of what is discussed in our newly created News section.

We were contacted by Gensler Architects to design handles for the shower doors for the luxury suites for the new Post Oak Hotel in downtown Houston. The handle needed to be 12” in height, round in shape, comfortable to grip and made in a durable alloy. As inspiration we were sent a photograph of a chain bracelet and Martin Pierce reinvented this as a metal braid which he sketched and used to create the first maquette.

PostOakDoorHandlered.jpg

As alternative design he sketched a piece which loosely resembled a chain of vertebrae or building blocks which he named “Segment”.

These drawings became the basis for the first patterns, molds and ultimately the prototype handles which were cast in stainless steel. For the braid handle he made 2 alternative ends, a soft rounded crown and a more contemporary flat version and it was the latter that went into full production.

Pattern making –

To create the Braid pattern Martin wove 3 stands of electrical wire into a tight braid which he used to create a simple mold so that the braid could be reproduced in resin. Seven sections of resin braid were made and individually fitted to the surface of a wooden dowel. The pattern was then tooled by hand to remove imperfections and to fill any small voids. The round ends were turned on a wood lathe. The Segment handle was assembled from different diameter dowels that Pierce cut at varying angles and then jointed to form a continuous length.

 

Too read and see more of this process please check out our News page.

 

 

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

Braid designs original and revised.jpg



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.

Ribbon pull custom barn door handle.jpg

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.

Creating a custom door knob using old world methods

We have in the past discussed the pros and cons of using 3d printing in the casting process and return to this topic to describe our most recent commission. The willow door knob was featured in the last post and coincidentally it is this piece that inspired the current work. While it is technically a door knob it’s scale is regal and it was designed to take center stage as a dramatic door statement. When first designed the piece was intended to be used as non-operative pull that would be used to open an entry door but with a separate thumb latch trim operating the door latch as is shown in the photo.

In European doors particularly in the baroque period such grand knobs often fully functioned to open and close the door and a local artisan would fabricate a mortise latch for a very deep back-set to reach the center of the door. With this in mind the second Willow knob was designed in 2 pieces with the knob being separate from the back-plate and mounted on a spindle that can be rotated to activate the door latch.

The current commission uses the same concept but the style of knob is simpler with no filigree and is designed for a less ornate setting. The Willow knob being elliptical and with many layers of filigree was carved over a period of weeks. Our commissioned knob needs to be made from design to delivery in 10 weeks and will be cast in stainless steel. As the piece is symmetrical circular and as we have a great pool of lathe artisans in Los Angeles we have found that it is faster to slab up a block of wood and have it turned on a manual lathe rather than 3d printed.



Hidden elements of artistic door handles

Intricately detailed bronze door handles cast in investment caliber bronze are our hallmark but often these details go un-noticed.

The Willow heroic door knob is the signature piece in the Willow collection of bronze entry and interior door handles. Cast in bronze the entwined leaves are finely detailed to create a veritable vortex of swirling filigree. Made in 2 sections the backplate alone is 6.5 lbs. with the center a further 2.0 lbs. making a total of 8.5 lbs. of investment grade bronze. While bronze may not be as precious as gold it still holds its value over time especially when artistic value is added. This door knob is 11” tall by 7” wide and 4” deep (279 x178 x 102mm) and its scale deservedly gained it the title “heroic”.

The Grapevine large door is sizeable at 3"W x 4"D x 42 ½"H (76 x 102 x 1080mm) and contains 11 lbs. of bronze. There are some small difficult to spot details in this piece that remind me of Gringling Gibbons the legendary 17th century Royal wood carver whose works are world renowned for the amount and depth of his relief carvings. Gibbons is known for his 3-dimensional carved leaves, flowers and berries but he also carved more lurid hanging fowl and human skulls. While free of human bones the Grapevine pull does have the odd beetle so may not be suited to those with an insect phobia. For the collectors among us this statement piece is part of a limited edition of 100.

grapevine-insect-section.jpg

Fibrous gnarly tendrils of bronze cling to the center stem.

grapevine-section-gnarly.jpg
Hidden details

Hidden details

 

Unique Metal Door Pulls - Influence of Medium and Luster

Our contemporary door handles, Morphic and Ergo are usually seen in a polished or satin or 2 tone finish. Each finish can give a different aesthetic to the same handle allowing the same handle to be employed in different areas to different effect.


These 2 modern collections of door handles can be cast either in bronze or in stainless steel and the appearance and mood is very different. When you add the textural layer from smooth, to satin to brushed you achieve even greater scope of use.

Consider the Ergo heroic pull as shown here.

The Ergo pull shown on the left is cast 316 stainless steel while the image on the right is silicon bronze. Both were cast using the same mold and by means of the lost wax method of casting. Both metals are resistant to corrosion but the stainless steel is more easy to maintain without the need for any type of sealant. By comparison the bronze unless sealed will tend to become more yellow over time.

As the Ergo handle is extremely fluid with deep recessed areas it lends itself to a sophisticated 2 tone finish. In the detail photo shown below different facets of the handles have been polished or sand blasted to create contrast and depth.

Ergo 2 tone bronze steel .jpg

Write here…

Compare the top sand blasted section of the steel wave to the same section of the bronze version.






Unique Metal Door Pulls - Influence of Medium and Luster

Our contemporary door handles, Morphic and Ergo are usually seen in a polished or satin or 2 tone finish. Each finish can give a different aesthetic to the same handle allowing the same handle to be employed in different areas to different effect.


These 2 modern collections of door handles can be cast either in bronze or in stainless steel and the appearance and mood is very different. When you add the textural layer from smooth, to satin to brushed you achieve even greater scope of use.

Consider the Ergo heroic pull as shown here.

Ergo bronze and steel.jpg

The Ergo pull shown on the left is cast 316 stainless steel while the image on the right is silicon bronze. Both were cast using the same mold and by means of the lost wax method of casting. Both metals are resistant to corrosion but the stainless steel is more easy to maintain without the need for any type of sealant. By comparison the bronze unless sealed will tend to become more yellow over time.

As the Ergo handle is extremely fluid with deep recessed areas it lends itself to a sophisticated 2 tone finish. In the detail photo shown below different facets of the handles have been polished or sand blasted to create contrast and depth.

Ergo 2 tone bronze steel .jpg

Write here…

Compare the top sand blasted section of the steel wave to the same section of the bronze version.

Ergo wave bronze and steel .jpg