Thursday, October 27, 2011

When The Best Require The Finest

Potter Art Metal Studios is proud to present the metalwork
and lighting we created for the Regency Row Homes at
the Ritz Carlton in Dallas. With their stunning display of
elegance, the entrances to each of the four six million dollar
manor homes will provide a taste of the early 19th century
architecture for generations to come. 
Click here to view the entire blast.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pine Tree Wrought Iron Gate

Seems like everyone wants an organic design for their lake house these days.  Here is a design I drew up for a 7 acre property entrance.  If you look up close, you can see that the gates will split in the middle.  The lake house is surrounded by pine trees, hence the name, PineKnot.  The columns will be forged out to look like tall pine stumps, and the  gates themselves will look like shorter branches of the trees.  We will also forge out the pine needles and a few pine cones.  The entire design will be custom forged out in wrought iron.  We will also custom design and produce the matching electric lanterns which will hang on the tree stump limbs on either side of the gate.  The final look will  be quite whimsy and artistic; very unusual, which is what we were going for.  Can't wait to see it in metal.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Friday, October 21, 2011

Contemporary Display Shelves

Check out the custom metal/wood mix display shelving units we just fabricated for the Convention Center Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas.  Aren't they neat?  I think that Katie from Vivian | Nichols had such a great concept; they are interesting, clean, and very functional.  We made the units so that each shelf could be adjusted up or down, depending on what was placed on them.  Yet another great project for the Omni!

Custom made display shelving units for Omni Hotel Dallas.

Photo taken from the Dallas Omni website.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wrought Iron Tree Gates

Another one of my designs we forged out right here
at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, Tx.
A lot of our clients are looking for something unusual, but they have no idea where or how to get what they want.  I recently had a client who has been looking for someone to design and make a tree gate, but all she kept finding is metal shops where she'd be given a bunch of catalogs to look through and piece together what she wanted.  Almost all of the ironwork shops out there buy off the shelf materials and splice them together; this is why you can alway tell which metalwork comes right off the shelf.  We actually like to start from scratch and forge out what ever is necessary for the completion of a design, no matter how complicated.  The tree gate was actually sort of a funny story, because we just finished working on the tree gates pictured above, so she had something to look at and get inspired by right here in our showroom... on top of all the other pieces and textures we make and have in house that is.  The texture of the tree is very realistic, and hammered out by hand; makes for an impressive functional work of art.

Wrought Iron tree gate I designed for one of our clients.

We can design and forge out your custom wrought iron gates in any material, size and style.  We are located in Dallas, Texas and have clients all over the country, so installation is not a problem.  Potter Art Metal Studios is a fully functional design and custom metalwork fabricating studio.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Monday, October 17, 2011

Wrought Iron Table Designs

Ever seen a table base you liked but it was simply too small or of poor quality?  Think custom!  We can take the elements of the design which are to your liking and re-draw to suit your needs.  We can then make the piece out of wrought iron, brass, bronze, aluminium, nickel plate or what ever else you might want, and in the appropriate material sizes so that the piece is in proper proportion.  Remember, proportion can make or break your design, so lets get it right.
Here are a few ideas:

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


It's that time of the year again!  We just received our invitation for ROCKITECTURE 2011!

It's going to take place on October 26th, 6pm, at the iconic Filter Building at White Rock Lake with catered silent auction and hip tunes spun by DJ Lucy Wrubel.

The event is benefiting the Dallas Center For Architecture.  VIP's will be able to take in the sunset and toast White Rock's 100th birthday before the auction begins, regaled with tales of the lake's history told by Sally Rodriguez, author of the book, White Rock Lake - Images of America.

Thanks for the invite Brynn!
Should be really exciting!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Princi | Italia: Contemporary Ironwork

What do you think of when you hear Potter Art Metal Studios?  Most will say Old Wolrd custom metalwork.  It's a fact that we are known for the fancy and the elaborate, but we like to switch things up and get our hands into contemporary projects too.  At the end of the day, it's just metal, and the final look depends simply on what you do with it.  I happen to have an appreciation for all styles, and simply adore working on new things; it's fun to switch things up!

Our latest contemporary project? Princi | Italia (located at the NW corner Preston Road and Royal Lane in Dallas)

We worked on the iron doors, windows and the pergolas ...everything looks mighty good!  I think I'm going to stop by for a cup of coffee and a plate of something delicious tonight.

iron pergolas for Princi | Italia
custom contemporary iron doors
for Princi | Italia
custom iron doors, windows, and pergolas at Princi | Italia

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Now that's a large chandelier!

Sparks are flying, as always, at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, Texas.  We are finishing up an oversized wrought iron chandelier for Debbie Perry's, a local interior designer's residential project.  The unusual thing about this fixture is that it's a reverse-tier, which by the way is one of Richard Potter's favorite configurations.  Usually wrought iron chandeliers have a smaller tier on top and a larger one on the bottom; this one will give the room a softer feel.

The finishing touches on this fixture include custom cast brass leaves which will follow the curves of the perimeter scrolls on which matching brass bobeches will be placed.  Twenty four electrified candles will crown the fixture.  I can't wait to see it all done!

The interior designers visiting our showroom have had nothing but positive comments on the chandelier, and a few have told us that they'd love to have oversized fixtures like this one for their commercial projects such as a hotel one is working on.  We have worked on several hotels, but I think it woud awesome to do it again, especially since we have had nothing but positive experiences in the past.

We adore interesting projects!

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Thursday, September 22, 2011

All the detail in the gates...

The lanterns are finally hanging on either side of the gates we forged a while ago for one of our clients!  We designed and custom made both, of course.  Our client wanted them to be totally, naturally, rusted... which was an interesting process in itself.
Here is the final look, but what I really wanted to show off is all the detail we put into the gates before we rusted them; so beautiful.

Gates designed and forged by Potter Art Metal Studios.

Gas lanterns; copper and brass mix.

What's so special about Potter Art Metal Studios?  It's all in the details.  Take a look at just about anything out there and then take a second glance.  See the difference?  We love the beauty of metal and what can be done with it... the way it feels to the touch and how the brain processes the textures and colors.  Plus, if you don't do it right, why do it at all?  The wonderful, hand worked pieces are slowly disappearing, being taken over by pre-fabricated pieces which hurt my eyes... it's such a shame!

Lantern detail

Gate detail: rusting process starting

Gate detail: rusting process continues
written by: Izabela Wojcik

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Mind of Leo Dowell

I asked Leo Dowell to snap a few photos for me of the lanterns we custom made for him in the surroundings of the home he designed, because I'm simply in love with his fairy tale like architectural details he creates.  I have to say that the wait was worth every minute!  As soon as I looked at the photos attached to my e-mail, a large smile appeared on my face and my heart warmed with feelings of happiness!

Leo creates these fabulous French Country Estates as authentic as possible, but his little extra touches are what makes the homes that much more special.  Take a look at the adorable hand painted wooden shutters, don't they look like they came straight out of a fairy tale?  That's exactly what I'm talking about!

The lanterns we bult for the front doors needed an extra special bracket, since the gas line had to come out of the top of the lanterns and attach way above it and to the side, as you can see in the photo above.  Yet instead of dropping pendants  from those locations, Leo came up with a way to still have beautifully mounted bracket lanterns; no detail is too small in Leo's world!  He thinks like us in that way, and that's one of the many reasons why we love him so much.

Now, if there's one custom made copper and wrought iron lantern you must see, it's this one!  Leo designed it and we fabricated it with delight!  Isn't it the most adorable design you have ever seen? Next time I'm in Charlotte, (NC) I'll be sure to visit him and hopefully see some of his work personally!

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Friday, August 12, 2011

Dropped by the Ritz today...

Most of our job sites are very far from our showroom and shop, but it just so happens that the Ritz is super close.  Today Richard and I dropped by to see how things are coming along.  Everyone at the Ritz is thrilled with the four entrances we made for the Residences, and that's the way we like it!
And to think it all started with an idea by Kyle Crews, a design inspiration by Richard Drummond Davis, and a few extra thoughts from the entire Crescent Real Estate and their Tower Residences Sales Team, including Travis, who kept everyone on track and everything moving along beautifully; ha!  It was so much fun... I had a blast designing the pieces and turning them into reality.  Our Potter Art Metal Studios artisans did a fabulous job forging the wrought iron doors, creating the fabulous awnings, and bringing to life the lantern designs.  What an accomplishment!  Everyone should be really proud of themselves!
Thank you all for a job well done!
Izabela Wojcik
Potter Art Metal Studios

One of the four entrances we custom made the
doors, awnings and lanterns for the Ritz in Dallas.

Street view of the building; you can see all four entrances.

glass top decorative metal awning

closeup of one of the wrought iron door kick-plates

close-up of the wrought iron anthemion
with solid brass details.

One of the original Regency Style inspired
drawings I made for the Ritz.

And just in case you were wondering, this is how all 4 units looked like before... quite a difference:)

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Contemporary Table Base Design

Most people know Potter Art Metal Studios for the old world metalwork and lighting... that's what we are famous for! ...  but here's a little bit of secret info:  We do contemporary just as well!

I absolutely love it when a client walks into our showroom asking for something fabulously sleek!

The other day just a client like that waltzed in with a life size template and a photograph of a gorgeous black walnut piece he's using for a table top; he wanted a neat metal base to complement the wood; which automatically sparked the imagery of George Nakashima's work.  And the really cool part of the story?  My new best friend actually knew and worked with George!

The generous size, plus the beautiful shape and details of the slab got me super excited and my brain was flooded with ideas.  After creating a few quick drawings, I decided that I liked the idea of the traditional butterfly joints, which Geroge Nakashima was known for.  So, instead of using wood, we would create the sleek shapes from smooth steel, with nice sharp edges, and then plug the butterfly joints right in, which would allow for a sharp space between the pieces of metal.  Maybe I'll even drop that top horizontal piece into the bottom one just a little bit... (just thought of it while writing this.)  Anyhow, I have a nice rubbed patina in mind for the overall finish, and a smooth black patina for the joints.  Love it!

I sent the designs over for approval... I do hope he picks my favorite!

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wow! Building Big Drive Gates...

Can you do big gates?  A client asked me the other day.
Of course we can!
This made me think of the European style slider gates we did across the street from the The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas.

European style slider gate design by Potter Art Metal Studios
I opened the file on my computer and went down memory lane...

See the little spears on top of the gates?  Now look at what
I'm holding... not so little after all...

The giant wrought iron gates and fence were custom designed and hand forged with nothing but love.  I love the metal columns too... most of the time you'll see stone ones, but wrought iron is so unusual.  All of the spears, rosettes, acanthus leaves, double hammered banding, and other details, like the flames of the urns, were cast in brass and polished.  We are super proud of them. 
Can we build large gates? Check!
So today I'm designing a brand new, beautiful, grand gate for the client...

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pretty in French: Lanterns & Gate

Since we drove out to a client's house in Tyler, Texas, we decided to stop at his neighbor's home and snap a few photos of the gates and lanterns we custom made for them a while ago.  ...And what perfect timing, now that all the bushes and such have grown in and everything looks so pretty.

French style custom wrought iron drive gates; Tyler Tx.

French style custom gas lanterns; copper and brass.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

The Sparks Are Flying at Potter Art Metal Studios

wrought iron panels for custom arch-top doors

I was just checking up on a table base we are currently building when I saw the neatest sparks display; I grabbed the IPhone and quickly snapped a photo.  Thought I'd share it with you guys... it made me happy.
The wrought iron panels will be placed inside custom made arch-top doors.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

French Impressions by Betty Lou Phillips

We just got a letter from Julie Peterson at Gibbs Smith; apparently Betty Lou Phillips has done it again!  We are in her new book: French Impressions.  Can't wait to see it!

And just in case you don't know about Betty; she is the sweetest person ever!  She's a renowned best-selling and award winning author and a fabulous interior designer who is totally into France and everything French, and she has a great appreciation for Spanish design as well.  Her books are a must in every interior designer's library!

This was such a surprise!  Thank you Betty!  ...from the bottom of our hearts!

Izabela Wojcik and Richard Potter

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Regency Style Lanterns

The lanterns are finished and looking great!  The over 4' tall solid brass and wrought iron beauties will be replacing the current light fixtures soon!  Yes!, we are rockin' and rollin' on the Regency Row Homes in The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton neighborhood.  The sparks are flying, as the doors and glass-top awnings are taking shape too!

The kick-plate panel decoration has been hand forged now also, which I am very excited about... it came together even prettier then on the drawing I had penciled in for our artisans!  I can't wait to see it on the doors.  Hopefully I will be posting finished photos soon.  I know that I have been slacking a bit on the posts, but I've just been super busy.  I'll try to be a little bit better in the future:)

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Friday, June 17, 2011

We have the best looking clients, don't we?

If the names sound familiar, it's probably because you have sat in one of their fabulous restaurants (Steel, Cru, Ferre, or Victory Tavern) while enjoying a delicious meal and a glass of wine.  And now they're doing it again!  Patrick and Catherine Colombo are about to open a new Italian Restaurant in Preston Royal!

The former Popolos space is currently getting a total makeover, and from what I can see on the plans, it's going to be awesome!  A modern twist on a Tuscan farmhouse-style restaurant is just what the doctor ordered.  I am especially excited about the European style outside patio; Dallas soo needs to get in gear about that!  There is nothing better then sitting outside, under an old oak tree and enjoying a cup of what ever is your thing... and that's exactly the feel of (the name is still a secret; I can't spill it for a little bit longer), as it will be called.

By the way, you remember chef Kevin Ascolese from Salve, Mi Piaci, and Ferre in the West Village, don't you?  Well, he'll be the official chef of the new restaurant!  Exciting!  I certainly hope to be one of the first to taste something fabulous from the menu as soon as the doors open toward the end of August!

Above: Catherine and Patrick Colombo posing beautifully on their main stair.  The wrought iron railing, seen in the photograph above, was such a pleasure to build for them, and Catherine wrote me the most adorable little note on Facebook: "Izabela, it was amazing watching you, Richard the metal workers take this concept and materialize it so beautifully. I'll never forget the day you all installed it, I thought for sure someone was going to get crushed! You all ROCK!"  Her main railing was so graceful, with its beautiful flowing lines, and at the same time just huuuge, to say the least.  It certainly was a spectacle to see the guys installing it all; I don't know if anyone out there has a better crew of metal artisans who can also turn into He-Men the very next day!

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Regency Row Homes at the Ritz-Carlton

Kyle Crews contacted us recently about making new awnings, doors, and lanterns for the front entrances of the Regency Row Homes at the Ritz-Carlton in Dallas.  And if I may say so myself, designing everything was truly a fun experience; we had a large group of minds sitting around our showroom table throwing out ideas for the project.  Our group even included architect Richard Drummond Davis, with whom I had the pleasure of working in the past of course.  After several hours of discussions, drawings and re-drawings, we finally decided on the designs and they are beautiful!  I can't wait to see everything up... we already started on all of the pieces.  Here is a sneak peak at the table lay-out of work in progress; a wrought iron door panel detail Richard designed.  I hope you like it.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Copper Table Top

One of our clients had a little mishap with her copper table top; it was completely destroyed.  She brought the table over so that we could take a look at it and decide if something could be done to rescue the piece.  We think restoration is a wonderful way of saving older pieces of metalwork and our clients are always pleasantly surprised when they see the finished work.  After they have lived with the now damaged by time pieces, I suppose it's hard to imagine the potential, yet each time they leave our shop with smiles on their faces.  It's also fun to change the feel of your home by giving your pieces a completely different finish; it's like shopping for new accessories at a fraction of the price. We gave this table top a new modeled patina look.

© antique finish copper table top by Potter Art Metal

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Front Entrance Step Rails

Yet another happy couple!  We custom designed and hand forged these little entry rails for one of our recent clients.  They loved the velvety feel of our brass hand rail, which we ended up putting on top of their railing, as opposed to sticking with wrought iron all around... brass just feels so nice to the touch.  We didn't want to leave the brass bright however, so we created that lived in feel by adding an antique finish with our dark patinas.  We also gave the railings other little brass details throughout.  The new pieces will provide extra safety and a warm welcome to this home for generations to come.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Monday, April 11, 2011

Do Storefronts Have To Be Bulky?

Of course not!

Here is a nice, custom designed, storefront we made for the Crú restaurant in Houston.  One of our guys snappend a quick cell phone photo for me after they installed it; I'll put up a nicer photo as soon as I get it.  Crú is opening soon in Houston's popular River Oaks neighborhood in the new West Ave development at Westheimer @ Kirby.  Can't wait to see it all finished!

We made the windows as well as the doors; one lovely package.  I think the sleek wrought iron pieces make the storefront look so much nicer then the old fashioned 80s and 90s style bulky aluminum parts, don't you think?  Everything looks so nice and airy.  We're going to start on a restaurant here in Dallas pretty soon too... I'll get some nice pics of that one for sure!

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Contemporary Wrought Iron Doors

As long as we're on the subject of contemporary, here are some nice, easy on the eye, simple lines.  We made a pair of these front doors for a client of ours in Dallas, Texas.  The house is gorgeous and I love the simple dark against light palette which is carried throughout the entire home.  Sometimes simplicity is just what the designer ordered.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pine Cone Tree Stair Rail: I have the photos

© All Rights Reserved
One of our clients lives amongst the piney woods and wanted to bring the outside into her home.  I designed this pine cone tree railing especially for her.  

The newell post looks like a tree trunk with the tree roots "growing" around the bottom stair tread.  Each pine cone, needle, and tree branch texture is wrought iron; hand forged of course.

The detail in this design is impecable; to the left is a photo of a section of the railing about two third's way finished.  As you can see, every single layer is made piece by piece and then welded together to make a pine cone or needle.  Each pine cone has its own personality; some are closed, some open, some are larger, some smaller.  This section was made so that we could show the client all the little details we were proposing; we ended up not using almost all of them in the actual railing.

I  love it when we get a client who is thinking outside of the norm; it's so much fun to come up with unusual metalwork designs.  Based on this design, we also ended up making a tree-like chandelier, as well as a three-tiered, 10' tall fandelier.  It's amazing how one thing inspires you to push the design further and dream up a brand new concept which is then fulfilled in wrought iron, brass, copper or aluminum.

© All Rights Reserved

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

View From The Window

Lately I have been asked by a few interior designers if we can make windows... Of course we can!  As long as it's designed in metal, we can custom forge anything your heart desires.  I like the feeling of the window below; it takes up the entire kitchen wall, creating a fresh feeling of being outdoors.

Wrought iron window-wall for a Dallas, Texas private residence.

If you feel like dropping by, we are actually right in the middle of making an entire store front for a restaurant in Houston, Texas.  The project includes the windows as well as the doors.

written by: Izabela Wojcik