Light up the room with our new bronze candlesticks

Over the years we have shared with our clients and those who enjoy our blog just how much Martin is inspired by nature and where he goes to find that inspiration.  This may include hiking trips to local canyons or exotic spots such as our recent trip to Spain or a visit to more  formal gardens such as those at the Huntington Library in San Marino or the Botanic Gardens in Santa Barbara.  We are always equipped with our camera to snap photos of birds and other creatures and their habitats as well as beautiful flowers and foliage.  These visits and corresponding photographs serve as inspiration for future hardware and art projects.  For example, this photo of a budding succulent taken on a day trip to the Huntington Library (and hangs on the wall in our home)

Huntington Gardens photo by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles, CA  90016

Huntington Gardens
photo by Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles, CA 90016

 

served as inspiration for Martin’s latest project–a pair of beautiful candlesticks.

Martin Pierce  Los Angeles, CA  90016

Martin Pierce
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Delicate in appearance only, these candlesticks are cast in solid bronze and measure 14″ high and 6″ wide at the base. They accommodate a “chime” or processional candle with a .5″ diameter.  This unusual size can be purchased from specialty shops like General Wax in North Hollywood, California. The candlestick shows the succulent just before it flowers with the flower stem serving as the “stem” of the sculpture.  The concept was largely based on a succulent similar to those in the Echeveria family of succulents, specifically the ‘Black Prince’.   You can read more about this plant here.

This candlestick was originally designed for our home and we then gifted a pair to our close friends on their wedding day.  We are hoping to use the design to create a larger candle arrangement that will feature a larger central succulent surrounded by small buds and the center piece would use a more standard sized candle.   Here are a couple more looks at this exquisite candlestick.

Solid bronze candlesticks from Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles, CA  90016

Solid bronze candlesticks from Martin Pierce hardware Los Angeles, CA 90016

Solid bronze candlesticks with tapers from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca  90016

Solid bronze candlesticks with tapers from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles Ca 90016

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers, please visit our showroom located at :

5433 W. Washington Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90016

Tel: 323 939 5929

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Martin Pierce on TODL.com

Logo

 

Hospitality and residential designers, along with architects, landscape designers and others involved in the interior design industry are familiar with TODL.com (Trade Only Design Library).  This site is designed exclusively for design professionals and provides the opportunity to research thousands of products from the comfort of the home or office.

We are pleased to participate as a supplier of bespoke architectural hardware products for all todl.com members.  Our page features over 200 of our custom hardware products that represent many of our unique collections.  Included is dimension and price information. We are excited to see that our lizard entryway pull was recently featured on the todl.com  weekly online residential page.

Lizard door hardware collection available on TODL.com Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles, CA  90016

Lizard door hardware collection available on TODL.com
Martin Pierce Hardware
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Please contact us if you are interested in the Lizard collection or any of our other custom hardware collections.  They can be viewed on our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers, please visit our showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90016

Tel: 323 939 5929

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Update on our booth at the 2015 HD Expo

The countdown begins for our 4th annual trip to Las Vegas to exhibit at the 2015 HD Expo.  We always enjoy this show and look forward to reconnecting with many of you.

As we have done in the past, we are pleased to be awarding the first ten visitors to our booth a piece of custom hardware.  This year the lucky recipients will receive one of our exquisite orchid knobs so be sure and stop by early!

Silver plated orchid knob from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Silver plated orchid knob from Martin Pierce Hardware
Los Angeles CA 90016

We will be debuting several new items.   We are excited to share our first venture into lighting with two new wall sconces; our dragon egg wall sconce and a new floral sconce. They will be cast in both bronze and steel and we are planning to use LED lights in both fixtures.  We will also be showing  a 32” cylindrical handle which will be lit with an LED light, also shown in bronze as well as steel.

As the countdown continues we will be sharing more exciting products, along with our location in the Exhibitor’s Hall.

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

Designers, please stop by our showroom located at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90016

Telephone: 323 939 5929

 

 

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Inspiration from the Chelsea Garden Show

For one week every May the RHS Chelsea Garden Show is the place to see and be seen for garden enthusiasts.  This year the event is scheduled for May 19-23 2015.  While no longer the largest garden show in the UK, it is considered by some to still be the most prestigious.

If you follow this blog then you are already aware of the inspiration Martin finds in flowers and other foliage for his custom hardware designs.  In fact, the hardware piece that started it all, our Hedgerow collection, was fashioned after the trees and shrubs that reminded Martin of his childhood in England.

Hedgerow Collection from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA  90016

Hedgerow Collection from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles CA 90016

Do you see any similarities between our hardware and the “real” thing?

Dogwood blooms at the Chelsea Garden Show 2014

Dogwood blooms at the Chelsea Garden Show 2014

Daisy pull from Flora collection

Daisy pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles California

Daisy pull from Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles California 90016

The Topiarist Garden from the Chelsea Garden Show

The Topiarist Garden from the Chelsea Garden Show

Sycamore leaf pull from Flora collection of architectural hardware by Martin Pierce Hardware.

sycamore leaf pull available at Martin Pierce Hardware

sycamore leaf pull available at Martin Pierce Hardware Los Angeles, CA  90016

What garden shows will you be attending this year?

To view our entire collection of custom hardware please visit our site at http://www.martin pierce.com.

Designers please stop by our showroom at:

5433 W. Washington Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90016

Telephone: 323 939 5929

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A quick update on green living

Bamboo Pull in patina  bronze by Martin Pierce Hardware

Bamboo Pull in patina bronze by Martin Pierce Hardware

Whether you are a professional seeking LEED certification on a current project or a homeowner looking to live a “greener” life in your home, there are several simple and easy methods to employ that take little effort but have a big overall impact.

  • Replace light bulbs.  This is not news and if you live in California you are already aware of the differences in light bulbs.  But replacing those old incandescent bulbs with the more energy efficient CFL’s  and LED’s, that use up to 80% less energy than the incandescents, will make a difference in both your energy savings and your pocketbook.
  • It is important to utilize as much natural light as possible in the design of any building. This is not only aesthetically pleasing but will help reduce the need for electricity, heating and other forms of energy
  • Use self-replenishing natural items such as bamboo for flooring, cabinetry and even personal household items like bath towels and bed linens.
  • Live plants improve air quality and add a touch of life to any room
  • Solar and battery operated lighting for both the interior and exterior is a great energy saver.
  • Buy locally.  This not only supports local business in your community but saves energy by reducing the amount of fuel needed for transportation and reduced the amount of pollutants emitted during transportation.

We make every attempt to keep our manufacturing process as “green” as possible with careful attention paid to the disposal of paints and other waste, recycling etc.

The old mantra of repurpose, recycle and reuse is still a simple rule to live by.  And you can look forward to celebrating the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2015.

To view our entire collection of architectural hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

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Enjoy a virtual tropical vacation with our nature inspired door hardware

                                    Tropical Patio by New York Architects & Building Designers Ike Kligerman Barkley
While many of you across the U.S. and Canada are digging yourselves out of yet another winter storm we are continuing to bask in unseasonably warm weather here in Southern California.  I don’t share this to make you feel bad but, rather, to introduce you to some of our custom hardware collections that will have you dreaming of blue skies and warmer climates.

Few places on earth have the variety of foliage and flowers as Hawaii.  The islands are alive with colorful hibiscus, the state flower, leafy green ferns, elegant orchids, fragrant plumeria and exotic protea.  We designed our orchid pull in silver plate that offers the ultimate in luxury for a client’s island home.

The height of elegance, Martin Pierce's silver plated orchid stem pull.  Notice all the grooved areas. Martin Pierce Hardware

The height of elegance, Martin Pierce’s silver plated orchid stem pull. 
Martin Pierce Hardware

Along with amazing beaches and the unbelievable landscape, the islands are also alive with tropical birds and other native animals that have sparked fun and mysterious folk-lore tales.  Along with the orchid pull, we designed a whimsical version of a Hawaiian bird to be installed on the same property.

Hawaiian bird knob from the Hawaiian custom hardware collection of Martin Pierce hardware

Hawaiian bird knob from the Hawaiian custom hardware collection of Martin Pierce hardware

To compliment this truly bespoke collection our Animal grouping features lizards, geckos, frogs and other tropical creatures that all signify warmer weather ahead.

To begin your virtual tropical vacation you can view our entire collection of architectural hardware at http://www.martinpierce.com.

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The amazing future of 3D printers and how we use them

We recently attended the 3D Printer World Expo held at the Marriott convention center in. Burbank California, which was very interesting and enlightening.

At present Martin is sculpting and creating the old fashioned way:

  • Sketch by hand an idea showing it from 3 perspectives or elevations.
  • Draw over each elevation on a 1″x 1″ square grid
  • Toy chest drawing by Martin Pierce Hardware

    Toy chest drawing by Martin Pierce Hardware

  • Use a sheet of tracing paper to make a grid that is twice as big as the first grid i.e. 2″ x 2″ squares to make our initial sketch twice as big by free hand drawing the same lines on the bigger grid  and so on for all the grid sections. We will continue this process for all 3 perspectives.
  • We then take the tracing paper elevations or perspectives and trace them onto a block of wax or wood
  • Finally we begin to shape the piece with cutting tools, basically bandsaws, chisels etc.

As far as I can tell, this “old-fashioned” grid concept is at the heart of 3D printing and 3D scanning. We have all seen enough movies or games where we see a human head mapped out on a rotating grid and then the model gains life with skin and muscle being digitally added. So it was fun and enlightening to see some of these model making and scanning machines in action.

Gil Bruvel had some really interesting sculptures on display:

Gil Bruvel sculpture titled Oracle

Gil Bruvel sculpture titled Oracle

Gil Bruvel sculpture titled  River photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

Gil Bruvel sculpture titled
River
photo by Martin Pierce Hardware

What ideas did we take away and what lessons were learnt?

COST and LEARNING CURVE
The 3d scene is becoming more affordable.  The base price of a 3D printer, for example the creatorbot-3d machine,  is priced at $1,845 and will print a piece in polycarbonate or nylon that is 12″w x 12″d x 18″h.  Not bad but you will also need to be able to “build” the stl file that “runs” the printer or issues the instructions or code that determines how it moves and releases jets of polycarbonate to create  the shape of the piece you want to make. To be good at this you will need to learn a program like zbrush or maya or  Sketch up. The first 2 programs run anywhere from $699 to $2000 plus but Sketch up is free.
If, like me, you find an on-line tutorial difficult there is a 40 hour course for $1500 available.  BUT whether these costs add up will depend on how you can use what is printed.

PATTERN MAKING
If you are starting from scratch and do not have drawing and sculpting skills then yes, 3D printing and modeling are good options. However, for us the learning curve is too long and the output too slow when compared to old fashioned carving and modeling. When Martin has a new concept he is able to draw it very quickly from at least 3 perspectives. He can make a rough model in modeling foam to see if the actual piece in reality is still attractive and at that point can make changes. By comparison, if he created a 3D file it would take him a long time to create the file as his keyboard and mouse skills are slow, it would also take as much as 12 hours to print the piece.  If he then wanted to change it he would have to go back to his digital file and work at his snail pace to make the changes and then spend again up to 12 hours printing it. This process may have to be repeated several times.

MAKING A FINISHED PRODUCT
There are some 3D printers that can print metal using essentially fine metal flakes that are mixed in a polymer so the end result is at best a metal hybrid.  Not an option for Martin as we cast our bronze door handles in SOLID silicon bronze and likewise our contemporary door handles using SOLID 316 stainless steel. Both metals are dense, not porous, and have great durability.  They stand on their own as metals and do not need to be plated.  316 Stainless steel is also one of the most corrosive resistant metals around.  We value the inherent beauty of solid bronze and solid steel and both give us the mediums we need to create beautifully crafted heirloom hardware.

HOW WE USE THE TECHNOLOGY
We are currently using this technology to scan simple shapes like our new Dragon egg.   Martin turned it on a lathe to create a solid egg shape in wood approximately 14″ long by 6″ in diameter. To hollow out the wooden egg would have taken Martin 2 to 3 days so we chose to work with a  3D scanning company who scanned the egg and then created an stl file in which they made the egg hollow with a thin wall dimension of .125″ . We then worked with a 3D printing company who printed the new hollow egg in a polycarbonate material. This saved us a lot of time and we will use this process again to create blank patterns. The egg has since been carved with what we hope others will agree, is fine artistry, and will be cast in solid .125″ steel.  It will be our first venture into custom wall lighting and we are excited to debut it for he hospitality designers and architects who attend the upcoming 2015 HD Expo in Las Vegas.

To view our entire collection of stainless steel and bronze hardware, please visit our site at http://www.martinpierce.com.

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