Recently, we completed building and installing custom, hand-forged, interior railings for a private estate in Southampton, N.Y. Proposed by the famed, Oliver Cope Architect design firm, the ironwork incorporates traditional features within a contemporary design scheme, making it a truly one of a kind creation.
One of the most exciting and bold design trends that we are seeing is the use of texture patterned metals. These pieces are being applied in both architectural and ornamental work. Such examples include decorative panels, kitchen range hoods, railing panels, and table tops. Just about any project can be elevated by using the right metal with the right texture and finish. These pieces impart a hand crafted sensibility and interesting detail to both interior and exterior metalwork. But how are these textures made? As custom metalworkers, we have the ability to build our own custom tooling which allows for endless design possibilities. Below, is a video of the texturing process done within our studio once such tools are made.
Once the design process is complete and the drawings have been approved by the client, the fabrication process can begin in our studio.
The first step is creating a cut list of the metal stock that will be used in the construction of the pergola. Once the pieces are cut and shaped, they are laid out according to the shop drawings and checked to ensure that all dimensions are correct.
When fabricating a project where there will be more than 1 of a piece, we will create a jig that can speed up the process. A jig is a large brace that keeps a welding project stable in the face of pressure, heat, motion, and force. A quality jig will streamline welding work by keeping parts together in a vice grip. This ensures uniformity throughout the construction.
The pieces are then prepped, and tack welded. Before fully welding the trusses together, they will once more have the dimensions checked for accuracy.
After the welding is complete, and depending on the level of required finish, the welds will be ground and sanded to a specific standard set by our shop.
Shown here, is one of two decorative ginkgo trusses complete and ready to be painted. This pergola will be finished with a flame spray zinc metallizer to prevent rust, and then powder coated in the client’s color of choice. This combination creates a finish that will last for decades.
Here is the completed top of the pergola mocked up at our shop to be receive final approval before it’s sent to be metalized and painted. Once we receive the powder coated pieces, our last step will be installation by our talented crew. Please keep an eye out for Building a Custom Pergola PT. III; the installation process.
What goes into creating a one of a kind custom design?
As a group of skilled artisans, we love using our artistic skills to create unique metalwork. When we received a request to build a custom decorative pergola, our designer Rachel, went right to work developing a design that would fit the client's tastes while at the same time addressing the many technical issues involved. This is a multi-step process which involves meeting with prospective clients, surveying the work site, conceptualizing and creating design sketches for approval, and finally, the creation of accurate shop drawings used for fabrication.