Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dallas Morning News: Wrought with possibilities

Check us out on page 4E of this Saturday's Dallas Morning News.  Click on the pic above to read (for the out of town souls who don't get the DMNews.)  Awesome article by Rita Cook.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Be Green: Restore your hidden treasures.

So many times we hear: "This looks like junk, do you think you can do something with it?", and it turns out that the junk was actually a hidden treasure.  We have taken many old, rusty, or patina and grime hidden pieces and turned them into something beautiful.  We are UL certified, so no need to worry; we can re-wire old fixtures too... like this one...
We knew exactly what gem was under that old fixture when we started working on it... and now so does everyone else; it's back to its original glory at the University Park courtroom chambers.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Gazebo Summer Fun

Summer is almost here...  I think we should take a minute and imagine ourselves sipping freshly squeezed iced lemonade while reading a great book in the peaceful shade of a beautiful gazebo.

This particular custom made gazebo has a solid copper roof and beautifully decorative ironwork surrounding it.  The table in the middle looks like a tree trunk, but in reality it is also made of repousse'd copper with wrought iron vines "growing" on it.  Another really impressive detail is the wrought iron vine fandelier, a beautiful chandelier with a fan concealed inside if it.  The candelabra sized electric candles give the summer parties a beautiful ambiance while providing an extra gust of wind on the hot summer nights.  

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Friday, May 21, 2010

Final Touches on the Wrought Iron Gates & Gas Lanterns

So exciting! We are finally doing the last touch-ups on the gate, and I have to say it looks spectacular.  It's 12' tall!  (If you click on the photo, you'll see a larger version of it where you can see men standing behind the right panel of the gate, for scale.)  The owner tells us that people constantly stop by his home, get out of the car, start taking photographs and ask who did it.  Talk about a complement!

We also made the fabulous gas lanterns on the face of the columns and on the house.  The bodies are made of heavy duty solid copper, with solid brass cast acanthus leaves and wrought iron brackets... We like to build beautiful things which will stick around for generations to come :)

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Celebrating over 25 years in White Rock

Read the White Rock Lake Weekly article by Shari Stern: 

Walking into Potter Art Metal Studios is like being transported to another country – Italy, Poland, maybe Germany. That’s because the craft dates back to the Old World. Graceful stairways, idyllic fountains, rustic lanterns, spectacular light fixtures, functional tables that are works of art, dramatic etageres, life-like animal sculptures, unique sconces, bird houses, pot racks and so much more in this treasure trove evoke pure awe. It is a melting pot of cultures, just like our city. When Alexander Potter stepped off the boat into America, he brought his knowledge of Old World hand metalworking with him, settled in East Dallas, and passed the craft along to his son, Henry. Neighbors of the pioneering artisan admired the lights he crafted for his porch, and wanted to purchase his lanterns. Not being a trophy wife, Mrs. Potter showed the product to a buyer at Sanger Brothers Department Store (precursor to Sanger Harris), who placed an order for 100 lanterns. The Potters had turned Henry’s hobby of making small wrought iron lanterns in his East Dallas garage into a thriving business. 
Today, Alexander’s great-grandson, Richard Potter, is president of the privately held company, celebrating 90 years in business this year. This family has the formula down. A fifth-generation Dallasite, Richard lives by White Rock, where, while biking around the lake, he enjoys seeing his studio’s art as part of the tranquil scenery. Potter chief artist and designer, Izabela Wojcik, who is originally from Poland, also lives by the lake, and is a graduate of Lake Highlands High School. 
Some of Potter’s pieces at White Rock Lake, many of which have been there for generations, include bridge and post lanterns, sconces for the Sunset House, and sconces for the Big Thicket, along with its chandeliers, which were created by Richard’s grandfather, and restored by Richard. Recently, the original lights on the bridge at Garland Road that Alexander built were not working because vines were growing inside them. So Richard kept after the City to trim the vines until the lights worked again. Potter does its own gas and electrical wiring.
Potter’s art graces some of the most recognizable Dallas homes, as well as high-end residential and commercial projects, including homes, municipal buildings and churches around the country. One of the oldest metal studios in the Southwest, Potter Art Metal Studios’ work can be seen at the historic Clifford Hutsell and Charles Dilbeck homes in Lakewood, Trammell Crow’s home, the Highland Park Library, the Town of Highland Park and Fair Park. Other projects include Highland Park United Methodist Church, the Hunt Oil building, Stoneleigh Hotel and Christ the King Catholic Church. Much of this d├ęcor, fashioned from steel, brass, bronze, copper and aluminum, will become heirlooms through the years.
Filling orders around the country, Potter sends a team of artisans to a location where they work as long as it takes to get the job done – sometimes a few weeks, with a recent project in Aspen, where they created and installed copper lighting, chandeliers and fireplace screens. For a job in San Francisco, a team first went to take measurements.
They came back and built an interior stair railing and exterior balcony and stair rails in the shop, then went back to install them. They had a Golden Gate Bridge view while working, which took most of the summer. Somebody’s got to do it!
“The metal artisans enjoy what they do. They like working with raw metal, copper, brass, glass and creating functional art. They are nit-picky on quality. I let them make their own decisions,” Richard said.
“I have enough trained artisans to oversee helpers.”
Of Potter’s 30 employees, one of whom has been with him for 15 years, most are from European countries, including Poland, Germany and Czechoslovakia.  

“We work with so many different kinds of people. We created the six-foot-tall bell tower, crafting copper finials on four corners, on the Cathedral of Guadalupe downtown on Ross and Pearl, where my grandfather got married.” Potter continued, “I’ve carried on working for churches in which my grandfather built the original altars.”
Potter said the business’ mission is to continue to design the finest in metalwork and functional art – “jewelry for the home.”
Potter, who flew helicopters right up until he crashed one, attended St. Marks School of Texas, before graduating from Highland Park High School. He earned a business degree from SMU.
He grew up in his grandfather’s, then his father’s shop, creating his first metal art when 11-years-old. He lost his grandfather while in his early 20s. Potter’s 21-year-old triplets work in the studio during the summer. His daughter, who graduated from Bishop Lynch High School, is at the University of Colorado. One son goes to Texas Tech and the other attends Richland College.                “I know I’m fortunate to work at what I enjoy, and to have people around me who love their work, too. I have a great team of talented, loyal artisans who bring unique backgrounds and finely-honed skills to our creations.”
Potter Art Metal Studios is located at 4827 Memphis Street, Dallas, Texas 75207.  The showroom and studio are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit or call 214-821-1419.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Live Local!

Cool! We're on LIVE LOCAL!  Ashley, thank you for pointing that out; super sweet of you.

Click here to see us in the Lakewood Advocate Mag

Potter Art Metal Studios, longtime neighborhood designers and fabricators of ornamental metalwork and lighting, is celebrating 90 years of custom creations. Not familiar? You’ve probably unknowingly seen some of Potter’s work on high-end residential and commercial projects, including the famous Clifford Hutsell and Charles Dilbeck houses in Lakewood, as well as the Hunt Oil Building Downtown, the Stoneleigh Hotel and Highland Park United Methodist Church. The studio’s heritage dates back to the 1920s, when Henry Cornwell Potter turned his hobby of making small wrought iron lanterns in his East Dallas garage into a thriving business. In 1924 Henry established his commercial studio on Henderson, where the business flourished for 80-plus years. (Drivers heading north on Central Expressway toward Henderson can still view the faded Potter sign on the former exterior.) After outgrowing this space, the shop moved to its current 12,000-square-foot operation at 4827 Memphis near Inwood in 2007. Richard Potter, Henry’s grandson and current owner, continues his grandfather’s legacy, and often involves his 20-year-old triplets during the summer months in hopes that they may one day carry the family torch. For information, call 214.821.1419 or visit

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wrought Iron Gates

Finishing a pretty new pair of wrought iron drive gates.  We also did another matching pair of straight top gates for the same home, two pedestrian entry gates, and two small garden gates.  Plus I designed a really cool gazebo top that matches the lattice work on all the gates, plus has some really neat design-work around the bottom perimeter which was taken from the stonework design around the house; hope we get to do it... it would be a real challenge. 

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Friday, May 14, 2010

Park Cities People: IRON MEN by Georgia Fisher

Pick up a copy of Park Cities People today [May 14, 2010.]  Georgia Fisher wrote a wonderful article on Potter Art Metal Studios.  You can also click on the pic above to get a better view, and on some computers you'll get to click on it once more so that it will zoom in all the way.  Don't you just love the  Wrought Iron Fandelier photo?  It takes up the whole page! So Exciting!  Thank you Georgia for doing such a superb job.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Graceful Vine Chandelier

Grapevine chandelier designed by Izabela Wojcik.
Hand forged by Potter Art Metal Studios of Dallas. ©All Rights Reserved.

UPDATE: I just saw a chandelier by Isabella Wolfe a furniture company established by interior designer Nicole Fuller, which sooo reminded me of my organic designs, even though her version is super contemporary... which I also love to play around with.  It seems like everyone is getting on the organic shape wagon lately; it's really interesting how that happens.

(I must say goodbye to our wrought iron grapevine chandelier.  It was a blast having it hang over our showroom table, but now it's gone.  Hopefully the new one will be just as much fun to have around.  I'm currently designing a pine cone chandelier in its place; Okay, feeling better already.)

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Wrought Iron Console Table

The guys are currently working on a very lovely wrought iron console table; it's almost complete.  Just a little idea; hope you like it.  Meanwhile, our showroom vine chandelier was purchased by a client recently and has been taken off; it's so empty without it... I have to hurry up and design that pine cone chandelier in its place.

written by: Izabela Wojcik