Sunday, February 7, 2010

Metal Work And Gardening

I always like it when my love of gardening and my job come together. Metal just looks good in and around the garden whether it's gates, sculptures, trellises, or just knick knacks placed among the plants. I've had a couple lately that are not the norm of what you think of in regards to metal and gardens. It's hand rails and stair rails. One is needed and one is for effect.

The first was for the Meyer house in Georgetown. I first talked to George and Barbara in the fall but as I'm always a month or two behind I just finished it recently. The house was built in 1878 by one of two brothers that owned the lumber yard in town. There is an identical house across town that was owned by the other brother. The house is filled with era furniture that the Meyer's have bought through the years. Only the kitchen and a den have modern fittings and appliances. It was very interesting to look through it. The house has six exterior doors but the back door is the one leading to the garage and garden house.

Barbara loves to garden and I got a great tour of all her gardens. The land the house sits on takes up an entire city block in both directions so there are lots of gardens. The problem was getting down those back stairs to the garden house. Barbara is 80 years young and wouldn't hear of any one else doing her gardening for her, although she does get some help from time to time. I want to be just like her when I'm eighty.

She had one plant that I really liked but she couldn't remember the name. It has variegated leaves and pretty pink blooms. She said it had been in her gardens for over twenty years and it had spread through a lot of them. She said she would give me one in the spring.

Barbara looked through pictures of other handrails I have built and chose a selection that she thought would go with the old house. I didn't think so but it's not my house. I chose a roughly textured powder coat finish for a surer grip for her as the stairs are rather steep.

This is George by the finished railing.

You can see the rough texture on the shoe and added turn down here. The screw was painted black.

The next one is for a house in Berry Springs where the people were doing a remodel of the patio, pool and the flower beds in the back yard. The people that this was for are both graduates of UT. If they ever decide to sell, it will have to be for more UT fans though. They are also big on all things Texas and the hand rails really show it. They graduated in the early eighties and the longhorn cut outs are of the longhorn symbol used at that time.

They also had me make four towel hooks out of the medallions that were on the bottom of the rails but bigger.

Although I still have to build barns, cattle pens, horse stalls and work on heavy machinery, I like doing the ornamental stuff best. When it has to do with gardens it just makes it that much better and hardly feels like work at all. It fulfills my inner urge to build things and when those thing are beautiful it's really fulfilling.

I'm doing a walk through gate for Hill Country Natives nursery right now. It goes in a rock wall with a lime stone arch over the opening made by rock artist Larry Hullems. Larry did a stunning job on the arch and I hope the gate, also done in arches, compliments it appropriately. I will post some pictures of it when I'm done and have it installed.


TexasDeb said...

Thank you for sharing your artistry (because that is what I see when I look at your work - an artist with wrought iron as his medium). Do you have a website with other images of your ornamental work (and maybe some prices?)...

Anonymous said...

Gosh, where were you when I was looking everywhere to find someone to make iron railings for my front porch steps? I finally had an ACC welding instructor make them. Laura

Pam/Digging said...

Those look great, Bob!

the gypsy chick said...

The Texas railing is beautiful. I came by your blog though the PW's website, and I am so happy to have discovered your it.

-Amy in San Antonio

The Curious Holts said...

Bob, I found your blog from your melon allergies on my blog. I LOVE your blog (how many times can I say blog?). You are truly a craftsman. I'm so, so, so very happy to see artisans still alive and kickin' and making some money. I'm gonna save some pennies and hire you too. I want something crazy and kooky. PS we used to live in GT at 1605 e. 15th ( I think 15th). I miss that house.

katina said...

I'm jealous. I wish I could make something as cool as you do all the time.

Also, there's a Sunshine Award that's been going around, and I'm giving one to you. :) You can see it at my blog.

Oh, and I was all super worried about the plumeria for a while--it would get a leaf, then it would turn black and fall off, though i think it's finally stopped dropping leaves, so I assume that means it's doing well.

Mitch said...

Kathy and I were talking about you Saturday. We want you and Larry to collaborate on an Iron and Limestone artwork that we could display with the Stream Garden wall as a backdrop. Our only requirement is that you create something that you both can be proud of.

ConsciousGardener said...

Hey Bob,
I'm going to have to remember you when working with clients...we need to have a chat about pricing and you have a portfolio? Hope to see you soon!

AMIT said...

Good post about this project.

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