Friday, November 12, 2010

Carriage House - Bed and Breakfast

 I recently revisited a project I did some years ago.
It's so very beautiful.
Originally a large eastern Washington wheat farm, the property has been converted into a winery and bed and breakfast.
This is the equipment storage barn. In its past life it was a simple open faced gable roofed barn.

I enclosed it with panels to look like doors and we developed the entire center entry with stonework, arched opening, cupola, 9'  high oak doors opening into barrel storage facilities, Europeon chandelier, and arched glass doors on the back side.                                                                                                                           

         The door hardware is custom forged by my good friend Arnon Kartmazov at Bridgetown Forge  .

 We built an addition on one end of the building........

........and created a lovely B&B accomodation.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


                My wife Fern, and I, have named our home "Longreach".

The name has double meaning for us.
In the world of sailing, a reach is a powerful exhilarating sail where the boat often seems to rise out of the water and fly.
Also, this home has been a long time in coming into our lives, a long reach.

The fireplace original to the house had long ago failed. It had significant cracks and was leaning decidedly toward the neighbor's house. A year ago we decided to tear it down and build a new one. This project tripped an array of dominoes throughout the house that coincidentally needed attention. Its always amazing how much extra work is involved in creating an elegant, graceful, seemingly simple product.

The firebox interior is a herringbone of firebrick "splits". bricks that are half the thickness of regular bricks. They create a much finer look inside the firebox.

The fireplace itself is a modified Rumford design. The throat of the fireplace is much more streamlined and the back and sides are angled to reflect heat more efficiently. I found Jim Buckley of The Buckley Rumford Company  to be an astonishing resource in building this. I would highly recommend that before anyone designs a fireplace that they contact him first for technical advice.

The facade is five large 2' x 2' travertine tile cut to fit around the lintel. The lintel and bases are a dense hard dark green stone we found in the remnants yard at The Stone Center.  I hand drew the lettering in Autocad and asked Peter Andrusko to carve it for me. Peter is an amazing craftsman. He is a professional stone carver with a studio in Oregon City. He is very well known and thought of in the world of custom stone carving and big commercial projects. Among his many commissions, he has worked for Maya Lin.

The hearth is Carerra Marble scraps I cut into tiles and laid as a herringbone in a green marble border.

The antelope is "Stanley" he's been with me a long time. I "bagged him" in a pawn shop in Bend, Oregon.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kitchen Cabinetry

I generally don't get involved with kitchen cabinet production but this project called to me.

A client saw an antique European butchershop work cabinet in a magazine and was struck by its suitability and beauty as an island cabinet for his kitchen. He sent me these pictures of it, cut from a magazine.

The cabinet is nine feet long and four feet wide. The top is a central piece of honed Cararra marble flanked by two pieces of eastern maple butcher block six inches thick.

It is built of eastern ash.

My client wanted to indent one side so that people could sit at it while visiting with the cook. We both wanted it to look totally authentic. I constructed all doors and exterior panels with true mortice and tenon joinery that was pinned together with oak dowels visible in the corners of all doors and side panels.

The hinges are Europeon, each solid brass measuring six inches tall. Each leaf of the hinge is buried in the door frame or the face of the cabinet and secured with one small brass pin.

The cabinet door knob is a modified entry doorknob purchased from a local antique store. Decorative brass medallions decorate the centers of all the panels and are arrayed around the top. Two of them serve to cover the electric outlets.

Furthermore the owner had a cow's head cast in bronze to punctuate the end panels.

ne of the many benefits of my work is that I get to meet and collaborate with truly great craftspeople. Bobby Bigger is such a person. He did all of the lathe work creating the pilasters. His work is stunning. He is a national treasure.

Inside the interior is painted yellow ochre which is very traditional. It brightens up the interior and looks terrific.

The drawers are hung on modern undermount full extension hardware by Blume. I hand dovetailed the drawers.

The finish was done by Rosemont Design, another group of great crafts people.

This was such great fun to build.