Door And Window Furniture

Early on in my work as a blacksmith I developed a particular interest in forging door and window fittings. Commissioning work from a craft maker need not always be about buying expensive, one-off, ‘feature’ pieces. I believe firmly that any expertise, skill and attention I put into the work I produce should give pleasure in the course of a client’s day-to-day life to realise its value, and know that even functional items will offer great satisfaction if their design is appropriate for and complimentary to their setting. Subtle hand-made details in the most utilitarian objects add immeasurably to the overall aesthetic of a property, with the advantage that an owner is able to appreciate their quality all the time, seeing, using and handling them every day.

Although often a relatively small part of a new-build or restoration project, inattention to the details of door and window fittings can have as much impact on the overall success of the finished space as more immediately obvious oversights. The finest-quality doors and windows are de-valued by disappointing handles, catches, bolts or hinges.

Conservation work and the renovation of historic or listed buildings is often incompatible with modern manufacturing processes, so it can be difficult to source ready-made hardware to replicate the design and quality of lost or damaged originals. Taking a lead from any surviving examples, architects’ drawings or old photographs, I can reproduce missing fittings using the same techniques that would have been employed by the original maker; so that the replicas are in keeping not only with the style and finish intended from the start, but also with the weight and texture the first users would have experienced. Or, if there are no primary sources to draw inspiration from, I can design and make new fittings appropriate to the vernacular style or period of the property, or adapt motifs from existing features to compliment what is already there.

And if using old skills and tools is essential in the true recreation of original designs for restoration projects, the traditions of the craft do not restrict me to following only traditional designs. There is no reason why these techniques cannot be applied to the most contemporary forms, and nothing to stop quite original ideas being realised by time-honoured means. Any new-build or conversion project can benefit from custom-made fittings reflecting a client’s particular tastes and interests, or making reference to a building’s former use or aspirations. Quality in things you use and appreciate every day is something you are able to enjoy time and again.