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FOUND THEATRE: I designed this set of white bronze comedy/tragedy masks on patinated steel plates specifically to
represent the four cultures residing around the theatre: African, top; Cambodian, second; Hispanic, third; Caucasian, bottom.
The first three cultures represented here, have rich histories of mask making from which I was able to design original masks,
and cultural experts from these three groups were consulted to allay any inadvertent cultural indiscretion from these three
groups. Unfortunately the fourth group, the Caucasians, do not have a rich history of traditional mask making, and the Found
Theatre being rather unconventional, took my offhanded irreverent suggestion that we use the infamous ‘Smiley’ (and
‘Frowny’) Face. This actually did offend somebody who took the time to write a letter to the editor of a local newspaper!
Look in the RECOGNITION portfolio to view a closer, more detailed look at these comedy/trgedy face masks.
Consider purchasing a coin-sized medallion replica of any of these face masks through
looking in the SILVERSMITHING portfolio for the original matching grant fundraising program brochure that follows the
pictures of the medallions.
See the next image to view these plates on the sides of the theatre's entry.
Found Theatre's Entry
FOUND THEATRE: My signage on both sides of the theatre’s main entrance.
Rather than produce traditional Comedy/Tragedy theatrical masks, the late founder of The Found Theatre, Cynthia Galles,
asked me to produce original sets of comedy/tragedy masks that would reflect the four predominant cultures in the newly-built
theater’s neighborhood. I designed four pairs of face masks, look in the RECOGNITION portfolio, representing the African
American Community, the Cambodian Community, the Hispanic Community, and the Caucasian Community.
All the masks are 4.5” diameter sand castings in white bronze, fastened to two steel plates on which I applied a thick patina of
rust, and that were fastened to both sides of the main entry, Comedy on the left, and Tragedy on the right. These face masks
also embellish the exterior display case windows (not shown) on both sides of the Theatre.
See the previous image for a detail view of these plates.
Classic Handle Design
CLASSIC HANDLE DESIGNS: Inspirational for custom architectural hardware: A Duesenberg door handle, above; and
Cadillac, below; both with custom coachwork.
When customers want custom hardware made for their houses or businesses, it pays to look at sources other than standard
hardware catalogues for inspiration. Here are two door handles taken from some classic cars from the 1930s. Derivations of
these handles would look great “out-of-context” on a client’s house doors, or even window locks or drawer pulls.
On the other hand, there are car fanatics out there who may have such a penchant for one particular make of automobile that
they might want custom door hardware that reflects their favorite make. And made on a smaller scale, these could become
custom window hardware or drawer pulls.
Dick Hay's Doorbell Button
HAY’S LIT DOORBELL BUTTON: Copper and sterling, in daylight, left; and in the dark, right.
Replica Speaking Tubes
VICTORIAN ERA SPEAKING TUBE: My reproduction is shaped like the original one I was given to copy, above; compared to
a mounted (different brand) antique, below.
A client was restoring her 1903 Victorian. In the process of removing drywall from the walls that were once plastered, the
contractors uncovered rolled sheet metal tubes that ran from downstairs to the upstairs bedrooms. These were the remnants
of an early century ‘intercom.’ The holes on the ends of these tubes (that took right angle bends coming out of the wall) had
long been covered over. But at one time in the past, these holes had speaking tubes mounted into them. And so it was that
my client had me reproduce these speaking tubes so she could use the original system once more.
My reproduction speaking tube, top; is proportional to, and shaped like the brand I was given to copy (and failed to get a photo
of). Therefore, I am showing another brand of antique speaking tube for comparison, bottom; that is mounted on a wall in the
historic Marston House in San Diego, CA.
See the next image to find out how these work.
Victorian Speaking Tubes
VICTORIAN ERA SPEAKING TUBE: The cranks open/close a teapot whistle ‘door’ enabling a conversation with someone on
the other end in another room. My reproduction piece, left; an antique, right.
This front view of the speaking tubes shows the teapot whistle diaphragm ‘door’ at the base of the flared bell, that opens 90º
with a turn of the crank, and allows a person to blow a puff of air into the tube, which in turn summons somebody in the other
room by whistling through their teapot whistle diaphragm from the backside of their speaking tube.
That person comes to their speaking tube, and opens their teapot whistle door, thus opening the system at both ends through
which they can have a two-way conversation. Presumably when the door is closed on the other’s end, one cannot hear the
goings on in the other room.
See the profiles of these two speaking tubes in the previous image.
Ball Chain Acorn Finials
1920s ERA BALL CHAIN ACORN FINIALS: Original “Hubbell Removable” acorn finials are on the left chain; and two of my
reproductions are on the right chain. And on that right chain, one of my finished acorns, left; and one of my unfinished acorns
with a sprue, right.
See how they appear on the lamp for which they were made in the next image.
Acorn Finials on the Lamp
1920s ERA BALL CHAIN ACORN FINIALS: Both are my reproduction "Hubbell Removable" acorn finals on the lamp's ball
chains in the Historic Rancho Los Alamitos.
See details of these acorn finials in the previous image.
Craft's Era Hanging Light
ARTS & CRAFTS ERA HANGING LIGHT FIXTURES: I designed and custom built two hanging light fixtures contemporaneous
to the illustrations in the house's original blueprints.
I was called by the owners of a well-maintained, very original 1913 Crafts era bungalow house with lots of original premium
built-ins. Instead of the typical columns atop the ends of the half-walls separating the living room from the dining room, the
original blue-prints for this house showed light fixtures with hanging hardware from the overhead beam. But when the couple
moved into the house, they found the leaded-glass-on-wood-panel light fixtures up-side-down with copper liners, being used
as ‘flowerpots’ atop the half-walls right below where the lights had once hung. They couldn’t find any of the original hardware
associated with the original fixtures; but there was evidence that the lights had once been mounted above, like the blue-prints
They asked me to ‘reproduce’ hardware from the ‘featureless’ line drawings in the blue-prints, and to embellish the hardware
with period-appropriate detailing.
See the next four images regarding these light fixtures.
Craft's Era Hanging Light
ARTS & CRAFTS ERA HANGING LIGHT FIXTURES: As mounted from the overhead beam, and a detail of the electric source
box cover with the period correct cloth covered cord emerging, middle.
This detail image is the second of five images regarding these light fixtures.
Fixture's Upper Mounts
ARTS & CRAFTS ERA HANGING LIGHT FIXTURES: The detail of my overhead hardware mount.
This detail image is the third of five images regarding these light fixtures.
Fixture's Lower Mounts
ARTS & CRAFTS ERA HANGING LIGHT FIXTURES: The detail of my bottom hardware mount.
This detail image is the fourth of five images regarding these light fixtures.
Visual Detailing Source
ARTS & CRAFTS ERA HANGING LIGHT FIXTURES: The motif details of the original light fixtures was unknown (see the
previous four images regarding these light fixtures). So I mimicked detail ideas from their dining room's plentiful, original
Pacific Hardware Company's drawer pulls.
The ‘I See You’ Sentry
THE ‘I SEE YOU’ SENTRY: Was the result of the combination of two unrelated events. I had just discovered a public display
of fictitious sculptural metal animals made from old garden tools, and I felt inspired to 'loosen-up' and spontaneously create an
animal of my own with a bunch of old rusty found objects I had. The other was a gesture used by Robert De Niro in the movie
“Little Fockers” in which he takes his index and middle fingers and first points to his own eyes, then turns his hand around and
with the same gesture, points away from his eyes as if to say “I see you,” or “I’m watching you.” Hence the telescoping “I see
you” eyes on my animal, that’s perched up high to watch those who use our spa!
Replica of Oven Knob
STOVE KNOB: I reproduced this in white bronze because the original knob had broken, and was missing a piece that
mounted it to the stove's gas valve.
Casement Window Struts
STEEL-CASE WINDOW STRUT HARDWARE: Original broken pot metal mounting case, above; and my ‘reengineered’ bronze
reproduction case, below.
A couple moved into a 1930s era house with three-dozen steel-case windows that utilized these window strut units to hold the
windows open, or locked when they were closed. The original units were made of a strange mix of metals: Some bronze
castings, rectangular brass rods, pot metal cases and stamped-steel brackets, all plated to look like brass/bronze. After about
seventy years of use, most of the pot metal portions had long broken, the steel had lost its plating and was rusting, and many
of the rectangular rod struts were outright missing. Additionally, the units had been painted over with many coats of gold paint.
I reproduced the left and right units, making every part out of brass or bronze for all three-dozen units, while utilizing any of the
original brass and/or bronze parts that were not lost. In the long run, this was more cost effective than the owners trying to
find compatible replacement window hardware that would look contemporaneous to the era of the windows in the house.
38' Copper Stair Railing
COPPER STAIR RAILING: I hand-hammer textured six sections of solid copper rod totaling 38’ in length.
I was primarily responsible for designing and making a six-segment hand-hammer-textured, solid copper rod exterior stair
railing totaling thirty-eight feet in length. The other three segments (nineteen feet of railing) are on the left side of the porch,
mirroring the right side shown here.
See the next two images regarding this house's stair railings.
Stair Rail's Custom Finials
COPPER STAIR RAILING: A detail of the hammered rods, and the end and side views of the bronze finials.
Here you see how the round copper rod nests in, and is riveted to a U-shaped channel of brown powder coated wrought iron,
which is the same length as the rod. You can also see the method of mounting the rail to the top of the wall. I made sure all
the mountings were secured with round headed, slotted screws, which are what would have been used had these railings
been installed in the 1930s when the house was built.
This is the second of three images regarding this house's stair railings.
Visual Source for Finials
COPPER STAIR RAILING: The rod finials, right; were designed to mimic the bottom of the column finials that are a prominent
feature on the façade of the house, left.
This finial motif on the bottom of both columns on the façade of the house is a prominent feature clearly seen when ascending
the staircase. It seemed fitting to mimic this finial design on the railing ends (right), which would clearly indicate the railings
were ‘custom-made’ for this house. Hopefully visitors will someday believe the railings are original to the house after the
railings turn green from aging and exposure to the salt air.
See the previous two images regarding this house's stair railings.
Repro Plumbing Manifold
BATHTUB MANIFOLD: I copied this unavailable side-tap water manifold in bronze.
This client was restoring her Victorian era bathroom, and wanted one of the over-length Victorian era claw-foot tubs that had
the faucet and drain in the middle of the side. The client, who was extraordinarily resourceful, found all ‘new-old-stock’
hardware for this tub except this one ‘hot/cold side-tap water manifold,’ which has not been available for a century. I copied a
borrowed original unit in wax, and had it cast in bronze. She then had it machined.
Hite's Doorbell Button
HITE’S LIT DOORBELL BUTTON: Copper, brass and a bezel-set carnelian button in daylight, left; and in the dark, right.
The Hites wanted a lit, personalized doorbell button for their house. This one is actually three separate box-like sections made
of copper and brass. Note that the forms are fabricated with checkerboard sheets on the sides. The picture on the right is
how it appears at night. A bezel-set cabochon carnelian is the button.
Original Lion's Feet
LION’S FEET: Made of composite wood, the top side and bottom of the 'better' foot in 'as found' condition, left; and top side
and bottom of the poorer-conditioned foot with the voids filled so it can be molded, right.
The historic Rancho Los Alamitos had a tippy floor lamp that only had two of its five original lion’s feet under the edge of the
lamp’s round base. These feet were made of some sort of compression-molded glued wood-composite, faux finished to look
like bronze with gold accents. These feet could not stand the everyday abuse from the weight of the lamp, and based on the
way each foot was allowed to swivel because of being mounted with a single countersunk wood screw, I do not believe these
feet were original to the lamp. But this adaptation occurred while the Bixby family owned the ranch (and lamp), and therefore,
the feet on the lamp’s base were considered historically significant, and needed replacement. Of the two only remaining feet,
the one on the right had just fallen off because the back/bottom with the screw hole had totally ‘blown’ out (no doubt that this
was the fate of the other three missing feet). I filled the voids and sharpened the claw tips on this poorer-conditioned foot on
the right with white epoxy so that it could be molded. The better-conditioned foot on the left, I left untouched for posterity.
See the next two images regarding this lamp's feet.
Repro Lion's Feet
LION’S FEET: The bottom, the edge and the top side of my reproduction feet cast in bronze and patinated.
This picture shows three views of my five cast bronze replacements. There was one other alteration I made to the
reproductions: I added two nail points to the top of each foot, so that when the feet were tightened to the floor lamp base with
their single wood screw, the nails would bite into the bottom of the lamp’s round, wood base and then the feet would no longer
be allowed to swivel and loosen (which was part of what likely led to the original feet’s demise).
I faux finished them to the same finish as the originals.
This is the second of three images regarding this lamp's feet.
Lion's Feet on Lamp
LION’S FEET: My five cast lion’s feet, gold leafed, and mounted on the lamp's base. The two original feet were kept for
See the previous two images regarding this lamp's feet.
Classic Handle Design
CLASSIC HANDLE DESIGN: An out-of-context inspiration for architectural hardware.
This is actually a finial on a wrought iron fence, turned horizontally. But out-of-context, it is an inspiration for door handles, or
on a smaller scale, this could become a window lock lever, or a drawer pull.
Reproduction House Digits
SEARS CATALOG HOUSE NUMBERS: The finished Sear's reproduction address numbers on my bench after finishing.
The client was having his house repainted. The original steel numbers were so completely rusted that they fell off in pieces.
He wanted me to reproduce the exact typography of the originals, so that his contractor could tack them up in the original
silhouettes left from years of painting over them. The first three digits were for his apartment above his garage, and the rest
were for his house (as seen in the next image).
Repro Digits on the House
SEARS CATALOG HOUSE NUMBERS: My Sear's reproduction address numbers on the house years later.
I’d have spaced them properly and in a straight line, but remember these were hung by the contractor in the same silhouettes
as the original numbers. Many years of being exposed to the salt air has created a green patina, but because they were
mounted with steel screws, the screws are rusting in the same salt atmosphere.
See the previous image to see all the numbers when new.
Barber Chair's Hardware
BARBER’S CHAIR HEADREST BRACKET: The damaged original bracket, above; and my reproduction bracket, below.
Door's Copper Panels
UPPER DOOR COPPER FAÇADE: For the top of the front doors, I designed a copper drop panel ‘reflection’ of the A-frame
window above it.
See a detail of this panel in the next image.
Copper Panel Detail
UPPER DOOR COPPER FAÇADE: A detail of how I outlined the borders of this door's panels (see the previous image) with
small round-headed brass nails.
Repro Sandoz Rabbit
ARTS & CRAFTS ERA RABBIT: My reproduction of an Ed. M. Sandoz sculpture cast in bronze and patinated, left; and the
original sculpture, right.
See a detail of Sandoz's signature in the next image.
Detail of Sandoz Signature
ARTS & CRAFTS ERA RABBIT: From the original sculpture (see the previous image), I carefully detailed the artist’s signature
'Ed. M. Sandoz' on the reproduction sculpture shown above.
Craft's Era Bronze Fireback
ARTS & CRAFTS ERA FIREBACK: I cast this fireback in red bronze and hand-hammered all the background texture.
A client who had a really original Arts and Crafts era home wanted to have a custom-made fireback in his fireplace. This
fireback is a five-eighths inch thick casting of red bronze and has an Arts and Crafts era theme of pinecones and needles.
Back a century ago, the ‘high tech’ accessory to any ‘efficient’ fireplace required having a fireback standing vertically behind
the stack of burning logs to ‘reflect’ heat (otherwise lost to the rear of the firebox) back into the room. Judging from the fact
that firebacks did not continue in vogue is probably an indication that they were not really effective. But a fire back is a lot
more attractive behind the burning logs than the firebricks! Originally, this casting had a raw cast background texture similar to
a piece of sandpaper. But the client wanted the background to be a rich consistent textural surface of round ball-peened
divots typical of authentic Arts and Crafts hammer detailing. Some 300,000 hammer blows later, it was done.
See a detail of this fireback in the next image.
Fine Hammer Texturing
ARTS & CRAFTS ERA FIRE BACK: A detail of my hand-hammered textural patterns on the fireback.
This detail of the fireback (see the previous image) shows the consistency of the background hammering, and the borderline’s
perpendicular linear blows on the surface. Note the 45º ‘mitered’ appearance from carefully placed hammer blows in the
corner, and the barely visible chamfered border edge, which were both created with the same linear-headed hammer. Not
shown is the outside edge, which was also hammer-textured like the front of the border.
Doorbell Button With Logo
SIRACUSA’S DOORBELL BUTTON: Aluminum and brass, this client wanted a personalized doorbell button using his S-curve
sign logo as the button. This is as it looked when it was newly installed.
See the next image of this button fourteen years later.
Siracusa's Doorbell Button
SIRACUSA’S DOORBELL BUTTON: As it looks with fourteen years of patina from its proximity to the ocean's salt air.
See the previous image to view this button when it was new.
Neon Address Signage
1330 NEON ADDRESS SIGN: I designed and fabricated this neon sign, shown here in daylight, with the tubes off.
I wanted a distinctive address number ‘sign’ for my house. I imitated design elements from a typical bungalow house gable
vent for the top of the sign. I embellished the sign’s back with more Arts and Crafts motifs, namely the repetitive copper
squares and screw heads.
See the next three images regarding this neon sign.
Details of 1330 Digits
1330 NEON ADDRESS SIGN: Some detail photos while the sign was on my workbench: Front view detail of my hand-
fabricated digits; the lower front view of same; and the end view showing the numbers atop the corrugated glass panel.
I applied my custom-made Art Deco numbers to an antique plate of thick chicken wire, corrugated glass and backlit it with two
colors of neon tubes (blue, green, green and blue) that pumped with different gases, yielded four different colors when lit.
This is the second of four images regarding this neon sign.
Lit Neon Sign at Dusk
1330 NEON ADDRESS SIGN: My neon address sign with the tubes lit at dusk.
The lower ‘tail’ is actually a design element to disguise the power line source that came from a porch light that was below the
top of, and next to the door.
This is the third of four images regarding this neon sign.
1330 Neon Sign After Dark
1330 NEON ADDRESS SIGN: My neon sign appears at night.
See the previous three images regarding this neon sign.
Treadle Sewing Machine
TREADLE SEWING MACHINE LEGS: Due to improper packing, these fragile cast iron pair of legs were broken into eleven
separate pieces, with two short pieces missing, left. I fabricated the two missing parts, had a copper strike plated on all eleven
pieces, brazed them back together, then had them powder-coated black, right.
Custom Table Hardware
KWAN’S TABLE DESIGN: I designed and made the bronze hardware marble corner units, above; and the side units, below,
for Kwan's specially built wood tables of his design.
James Kwan of Kwan Design designed a wood table that was basically a rectangular open frame with legs. These
components were screwed into the top edge of the frame (concealing the entire screw portion), and then the tabletop sat on
top of these units. The pegs on top of each unit went into a corresponding hole drilled into the bottom of the tabletop that kept
the tabletop from shifting. So the finished tabletop appeared to be sitting on top of each marble (within its circular bezel), only.
The top two pieces shown were used on the corners of the table, and the lower pieces were used along the sides, between
Door With 550 Rosettes
DOOR WITH APPROXIMATELY 550 ROSETTES: I reproduced more than 300 of these in bronze.
This wonderful front door is on a Spanish style 1930’s home. Of the approximately 550 hollow-backed stamped rosettes that
graced its surface, about fifty-five percent of them were missing; presumably lost in the garden through the years. I altered
the backside of the three designs of the hollow-stamped rosettes so that they could be molded, and reproductions cast.
See a detail of these rosettes in the next image.
Samples of the Rosettes
DOOR WITH APPROXIMATELY 550 ROSETTES: I reproduced over half of these 3 designs on the door.
I copper plated these bronze rosette castings so that they would patina to the same color as those already on the door (see
the previous image). However, I patinated these particular samples to green (beyond those given to the homeowner), for my
Repro Window Cranks
POT METAL WINDOW CRANKS: My white bronze reproduction crank, middle; with two typically broken original cranks.
These low-quality pot metal window cranks, with articulated knobs, are from the 1950s. They are for steel-case windows that
are in the attic of a building at the Historic Rancho Los Alamitos. Through the years, the roughly two-dozen pot metal window
cranks have been breaking with all the stress of operating windows that have become increasingly ‘stubborn’ to open and
close with age. I reproduced them in white bronze (middle), which will gradually obtain a darker patina and that will stand the
stress. The originals are in typically broken condition below, and above is a glued together unit with the knob removed for
molding both parts individually. All the original cranks (broken or not) have been retired, and are now stored for posterity.
Repro a Clock's 3, 9 & 11
GRANDFATHER CLOCK DIGITS: My replacement numerals for the missing digits 3, 9 and 11.
A clock repair shop needed to reproduce some missing digits for an antique clock they were restoring. I pierced these out
from brass sheet. Note the slight curvature of the numbers to match the radius of the clock face. These are about three-
quarters inch tall.
Copper Curtain Valences
COPPER CURTAIN VALENCES: I designed these valences to go into a Craftsman House.
See the next image to view a detail of these valences.
Detail of Copper Valence
COPPER CURTAIN VALENCES: This is a detail of the engraved lines, and the riveted brass squares at each end.
See the previous image for a full view of these valences.
Gunstock Brass Plates
CALHOUN’S GUNSTOCK PARTS: Custom fitted brass plates.
Patio Furniture Foot Pads
PATIO FURNITURE: I cast and mounted non-ferrous bronze footpads to the patio furniture at the Historic Rancho Los
Alamitos to prevent rust stains on the flagstone like the remaining stain, upper right.