Rock Star Door and Friends

La Puerta Originals creates a custom wine cellar door with hand-forged grape leaf grillwork, a custom entry gate with a grilled dog peep window and an interior door with transom

Phew!  I’m back!  I haven’t posted in quite a while!  I got kind of waylaid with posts about goings-on, tours, etc., and I want to get back to featuring what has been coming out of the shop.  I picked three pieces and stuck to it, even though I kept seeing things I wanted to add.  The hope is that the entries aren’t so long, and are more frequent (I know, I keep trying…).

The lucky three this time are two doors and a gate.  These are my favorite pieces to come out in a long time.   Pretty much everything that comes out of the shop is fabulous, but sometimes there are pieces that I would love to have in my home.  Each of these pieces celebrate the wood with which they are made, their finishes only enhancing the wood.  And all of them were under the radar.  Sometimes I track pieces through the whole process, anxious and impatient to see how they will turn out.  Other times, I don’t even notice the piece as I snap away in the wood shop, etc., and then one day, there it is – like magic!  That was the case with all three.  I really had to search hard through my raw pictures to find the pics I took while the pieces were making their way through the various shops.

This first one was one of those, WOW moments I love so much.  I wandered into the finish shop to get my work from Miguel, and there was this door!  Richard had just finished putting the handle hardware on.  It was made with this antique Mexican door, which you see, front and back, below.

It ended up that I had taken a number of photos of it on its journey from wood shop to finish shop, but hadn’t paid much attention.  Below, you see it on Leonel’s bench, with the template of the top curve sitting on it.  The edges are cut in to fit it inside the frame that will flesh out the door.

And then we have it with the antique door fit into the frame that is made from reclaimed Douglas fir.

I think that here he was preparing to cut the peep shutter into the door.

The peep is cut, and framed in reclaimed Douglas fir.

When I saw it leaning against the wall in the finish shop four days later, I thought it a modest little door, with yummy wood finishes.  It didn’t give a hint of what it would become.

I don’t go into the metal shop a lot because I don’t want to bother them when they are working with torches and hammers, sparks flying, so I completely missed the creation of the grillwork.  You put it all together, the sum of those parts, it is amazing.  Here I have the picture Miguel took in the sun on the dock, and the picture I took when it was just inside the roll-up door.  I think Miguel’s picture really highlights the 3-D-edness of the grillwork, while the photo I took has less glare and shows the wood finishes a little better.  As always, you can click on the photo to see it in more detail.

By this time, the door has been in a couple of magazines, on a couple of magazines’ Facebook pages, and shared quite a bit.  Our media buyer responded, “I LOVE that!”, when I copied her on a submission.  I was thinking about it last night, and I decided that this is Rock Star Door.  People say, “Wow!”, they desire it, want it, take pictures of it.  There seems to be something about wine cellar doors in general that people find intriguing.  They are some of our best sellers.  We have used these photos by Eric Swanson in some of our advertising with great response – people just love the door.

We have done similar ones for bedroom and bath doors, front entries, and yes, of course, for other wine cellars.  I did an entire blog entry on wine cellar doors several years ago, and probably have enough material since then to do another.  Here are a couple of detail photos so that you can see more of the wood finishes, that fabulous grillwork, and some of the hardware.

Mm! mm! mm!  As I said in a previous entry, We (heart) wood!

Our next piece is a gate.  It was made from antique double doors that the clients brought to us.

I saw it in Scott’s area and asked Christina  about it and she said that one of the two doors was going to be a gate, but that the clients hadn’t decided which side to use.  As I was taking detail pictures of the wood, I decided that, of course they would have to use the side that had the green paint in it!  Which is exactly what they did.  Phew!  I mean, look at that!  Delectable!

An antique beam, seen front and back below, was chosen from the yard to be the header of the gate.

I searched and searched, but could not find any photos of it in the shops, so, we jump straight to the finished product.  We get to see an interesting progression that I only worked out as I collected different versions of finished product images in preparation for this blog entry.  I puzzled over them, and finally figured out the timeline.  In the first finished product photo, you can see that the header is in its unfinished state, with the beam merely trimmed to fit.

I am not sure if the raw beam was intentional, if they were progress photos, or if it was a miscommunication, but the next time the pictures came to me, the beam was finished to match.

When the pictures came through again, I had to poke around the photo to figure out that the gate had been tin-topped.  This is a fabulous little detail that not only looks great, but is also functional, protecting the wood from the elements.

And then, the clients were kind enough to send us install pictures.  They said they still had to “scribe the trim pieces around the jambs”, but it is finished enough to present to you here, the front of the gate being shown at the beginning of this section, and the back here below.

I loved the ending of their email, “And best of all, my dog Charlie is thrilled to finally be able to check out what is happening outside thanks to the grill at his eye level, so he thanks you as well”.  How great is that?  We have done a number of modifications for peoples’ pets, from doggie doors to dog houses, to dog beds, but, this is the first thank you we have received.

And finally we have a transomed set of interior doors.  They were made with this pair of antique Mexican doors, shown front and back below, and the unique antique grillwork below that.

I only have one photo of it on the bench, which was disappointing because I was hoping to find a photo of the kind of rick-racky overlay being installed.

And then I also had this pic of Scott sanding the back of the doors.  Why, I am not sure, but it was amusing to see the guys surreptitiously watching him.

A couple of days later, while roaming the yard, I took this pic outside the metal shop

and then, poked my head in the metal shop the following week and it was part of the transom in progress.

I kept taking pictures of the finished doors and none of the pictures seemed to do it justice.  I love that they kept the red number on the front, and enhanced the finish of the rest of the front with a slight wash of the same red.  The back of the door has one of the mottled finishes that look great in person, but just does not photograph well.  They look kind of splotchy, which is not how they appear in real life.  But, all I can do is show you a bunch of different pictures and hope that the amalgam will portray how really stellar these doors are.

And with that, I am off to choose three pieces for the next blog entry.  Hope to see you then!

No two pieces are the same.

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