The client had two words for what she wanted: “oceany” and “plant.” With those two words as my directive, I designed, executed, and installed a suite of bath fixtures as part of a client’s home renovation. I also created a unique paper towel holder for the kitchen (which you can read about HERE).
I forged steel bar and pipe into grassy stems, anemones, seaweed, and kelp using my 25-lb. Little Giant power hammer and two different sets of dies (drawing dies and art dies).
Custom work allowed for custom solutions: When there wasn’t room on a wall next to the sink for a horizontal hand towel bar, I made a ‘3-cluster anemone’ over which the hand towel can be draped.
Grassy stems and anemones were combined to make toilet paper holders, custom-sized for each particular bathroom.
The robe hooks are stylized kelp with anemones as the ‘hook’. Purposely installed at angles, the kelp appears to be undulating in ocean currents.
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Installation of the bath fixtures into marble and porcelain tile had its own set of challenges. I received guidance from Eric Holland who made the custom cabinetry and fine finish carpentry for the remodeled house.
Eric precisely described why mounting hardware should be standardized. “THIS is art,” Eric said, referring to a forged robe hook. Indicating where the hook mounts to the wall, “and THIS is production,” he said.
Eric then challenged me to produce a universal mounting plate for my fixtures. I accepted the challenge but cursed the whole way through the process. Point of pride: Note the absence of screws on the wall-mounted fixtures. It’s all in the mounting plates, and the fixtures appear to ‘float’ ever so slightly off of the wall.
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A total of 11 custom pieces were installed, including hand- and bath-towel bars, multiple robe hooks, and toilet paper holders. I sealed each steel fixture with a finishing wax to preserve the dark color of the forged metal.
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