Doors that do more than open and close.

The doors to my studio are difficult to photograph as they are on the north side of the building. Tonight with the light bouncing off the drifted snow it presented a unique opportunity. I grabbed some great photos. These photos provided the inspiration for tonight's post.

We go through many doors each day in our travels. Most are unremarkable - anything but memorable. But they could be an opportunity to create a sense of leaving one world and entering another. They could set the stage for what lies on the other side.

When we built our studio and workshop I wanted the doors to be everything they possibly could be. They had to do many things. The doors needed to match and fit into the style of the building of course. They had to be durable and sturdy for this was a work area. They would suffer abuse on occasion. They had to speak of the work we did inside and create a sense of arrival. They needed to be memorable. The doors to my studio had to be anything but ordinary.

We decided they would be made from steel and sport a rusty patina. That would suit my style. I wanted them to be rounded and also bow outwards. While those features added a few degrees of complexity to the design I felt it well worth the effort. The studio door would feature a bonsai tree of welded steel and a custom made door pull. Hand made rivets (just for show) appear to hold everything together.

The massive shop doors echo many of the same design elements as the studio door with a couple of additions. A Celtic, braided steel border twists around the outside. In the middle a giant puzzle lock keeps things secure. Around the centerpiece are the words 'Let imagination loose' . It is no stretch of one's imaginaton to understand that when these giant doors swing open something very cool is going to come out.

The resulting doors work well and are far more than simply entrances to the building. They set the mood for all who come and tell the story of what happens inside. This is what doors should do.

-grampa dan