Saturday, June 30, 2007

Metal Work in the Garden

Metal work in the garden

Some of you may know that Christopher from the blog Tropical Embellishments has migrated east to the mainland and is currently in the throws of sculpting out his personal sanctuary + garden in the middle of a sublime forest in North Carolina

At the entrance to his slice of paradise he is contemplating the design of a metal gate .

Below are a couple of design ideas and some resources that may assist him in developing his own design.

When I design a metal screen or gate I occasionally use pre-manufactured forged wrought iron parts .
These hand crafted metal parts are fabricated in Italy and then are sent out to various metal shop suppliers across the world.

No matter what middle man metal shop or catalog that you order from, whether it be from
Ireland to France or the United States, all of the parts will coordinate with the exact same catalog number.
For this reason I purchased the MOTHER Book Catalog directly from the Italian forge shop. It is called Ferrum Amantibus .

If you do not want to spend the hundred dollars or so on the Master Book , then you can simply use the U.S. supplier catalogs . I also use the Jansen -
www.jansensupply .com when compiling my design.

Below is a handrail and stairway panel that was designed using the various Italian forged metal pieces.
You choose the individual components such as the curly cues, the leaves, the spirals, the straight stock , pickets, rail components, and balusters . You lay your design out on paper with the corresponding component number and create your piece.
This layout gives your ironsmith a blue print to follow when ordering and welding the piece together.

Carmel Valley Project hand rail.

There is also Hybrid metal design work - This hybrid uses partial pre- forged wrought iron metal peices along with totally original hand crafted black smithed elements.

The gate below was crafted by Bushere and Sons for a project of ours in Marin County.
The pine cones are completely hand wrought as well as some of the pickets. The outter frame is a stock metal element.

The driveway gate

And then there are those gates, railings and screens that we design that are completely crafted from scratch using no pre-fabricated metal peices.

Below is a photograph of a privacy screen that we designed in collaboration with a black smith in Lake Tahoe.
The sceen is about 1/2 way complete in the photo.
There are several more layers of copper and bronze sheet work as well and the trees were re-worked to look more like trees than fire place pookers.

The Squaw Valley Job.

Another very inexpensive way to craft your own metal gate is to use rebar or bend copper or round metal stock.

Below is a photogaph of a gate that I found on the internet. Sorry that I do not have a designer to credit the design to.
I think that it is quite attractive and fairly easy to craft if you have some basic metal crafting skills.

Below are a few photos of some of our other metal work in the garden :

A clean lined simple arbor - Napa Valley. - crafted by Sonoma Metal Works

In this photo the metal screen doesn’t have its back panel on yet, so you can still see threw it. - The adjacent side panel is complete but I don’t have a good photo of it.
The fire pit has a metal sculpture set into the flame spouts.
Crafted by Mountain Forge in Truckee California - The Squaw Valley Job

The Carmel Valley job-
Metal entry overhead arbor set ontop of Napa Valley Cast Stone columns,
Metal hand rails and stairway screens

In this photo the job is still under construction but I thought you would enjoy to see the metal
inset that was designed into the front entry planter box.

Aliano Iron work from Salinas California did all the metal fabrication on this job.
He is extremely talented and very pleasurable to work with.


Christopher C. NC said...

Thanks Michelle. Lots of good things to ponder. I like the pre-manufactured parts idea as weld ons to what I have in mind at the moment. I also need to check the local art scene. A local welder/sculpture was mentioned in a news paper article about incorporating art into the architecture before and while a house is being built, not as an after thought.

I also liked the planter box metal inset and the firepit metal work. I am not thinking along the lines of a traditional style gate at all. The stone columns may be tradtional though.

Dawn said...

OMG! These are beautiful projects! The metal archway and matching railing in the last photo is outstanding. What an artist! I'm very impressed.