Thursday, October 10, 2013

Tour our Facility online Now!

Click HERE to see the entire e-blast now.

Lakewood Advocate: Lights on at J.L.Long Middle School: Potter lights replaced throughout

Lights on at J. L. Long Middle School: Potter lights replaced throughout

In 2012, the parents at J. L. Long Middle School found out the light fixtures in the auditorium, which were built by Potter Art Metal Studios when the school opened in 1933, were to be taken down and replaced with off-the-shelf lighting. Needless to say, they weren’t too happy about it.
Of course, there wasn’t much Long principal Danielle Petters could do; the bond money allotment simply didn’t cover the cost of restoring or replacing the old lights with new Potter metal works, explains PTA president Maria Hasbany. Although the building has historic designation, that only covered the outside of the building. So, the art deco fixtures on the outside of the building were repaired with bond money, but the 10 pendant lamps in the auditorium, as well as several in the hallways were out of luck.
Or maybe not.
“Once Ms. Petters made the parents aware that the lights were going to be replaced, they rallied together,” Hasbany explains. “The Potter family lives in East Dallas, so there were people who reached out to them directly. That’s when the Potter family and the bond people came together to figure something out.”
Long officials weren’t involved in that process at all, Hasbany says, but apparently the Potter family and Dallas ISD officials were able to “strike some kind of bargain,” and Richard Potter, who runs Potter Art Metal Studios these days, agreed to replace the lights in the auditorium. “The parents were ready to raise the money, if needed, but it never came down to that,” she says. “Somehow they worked it out.”
Now, the auditorium has 10 new lights, all of which are exact replicas of the originals.
“Not only did he (Richard Potter) make us new lights, but he made us exact replicas of the original lights,” Hasbany says. “He could have gone a much cheaper route, but he didn’t; he made exact duplicates.”
First Potter had to refurbish one of the old lights so he could make a mold of it in order to fashion the new fixtures. “It was a very expensive and complicated project,” Hasbany says.
On top of that he also replaced the lights in the side entrance hallways for a mere $4,000, Hasbany says.  Hasbany asked the Swiss Avenue Home Tour if they would donate a little cash for the project, and they obliged. “I took my little $4,000 to Mr. Potter and said, ‘This is all I have. Can you help me?’ and he said, ‘Yes.’,” Hasbany recalls. “Of course it was way more work than he anticipated, but he did it all.”
Now, the lights are finished and hanging in the hallway and auditorium, lighting the way for generations to come. Check out the slideshow below.

See the article and the slideshow by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

J.L. Long lighting restoration

We just received a wonderful email from the PTA President of J.L.Long Junior High School, Maria Hasbany, in regards to the Art Deco lighting restoration we completed recently.  I thought I'd share a piece of the great news.

Hello Buccaneer Families,

I hope everyone is getting settled into their new schedules and that we might see some cooler temperatures soon! As always, your PTA has been busy planning several upcoming events and we hope you were able to attend Mini-School and Family Supper last week. The 6th and 7th grade students will have their dances on Friday, September 27th and the 17th Annual Long Run will be held October 17th. As always, we encourage your participation in any way possible - chaperones, event set up, donations, hall monitors, trash pick up, beautification projects - you name it, we have something you can help with! Speaking of help, we have a few spots left on our Board: Fund Raising Co-Chair and Recycling Co-Chair ( a big thank you to Ann Renneker for taking on Volunteer Coordinator!). Please email for more information. 

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Swiss Avenue Historic District for their generous donation of $4000. This money was used to repair the Potter Art Metal chandeliers inside of the front doors that were not re-furbished during the recent Bond work. Mr. Potter personally visited the school and handled the restoration project which included re-creating many missing parts and replacing multiple pieces of specialized etched glass. It is so gratifying when our community works together to support our schools and our unique East Dallas architectural treasures!

I hope to see you on campus and at the Long Run in October. GO LONG! 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Preservation Dallas Intown Outing: Potter Art Metal Studios

Join Preservation Dallas for a tour and demonstration at Potter Art Metal Studios.  Their work can be found on the Preservation Achievement Award winning Woodrow Wilson High School in which Potter refurbished and replicated the historic metal lanterns which they originally fabricated over eighty-five years ago.

For four generations, over a span of 90 years, the Potter family has been the inspiration of the finest metal artisans in the Southwest.  Richard Potter Jr. carries on the legacy of extreme metalwork left to him by his grandfather Henry Potter, who opened the business in 1920 when his lantern-making hobby outgrew his backyard.  They have designed and produced hand-wrought artistic metal products in iron, bronze, brass and aluminum, which now grace thousands of homes and businesses throughout the United States.

Their ironwork can be seen throughout the city.  The Lakewood Clifford Hutsell and Charles Dilbeck houses are adorned with their ironwork and lanterns.  The beautiful fixtures at Fair Park were also made by the Potter family.  The enormous, beautiful art deco light fixtures in Downtown Dallas and the light fixtures at White Rock Lake are Potter originals, as well as the fixtures of just about every beautiful church in the area, including Christ the King and Highland Park Methodist... the list just goes on and on.

The studio has limited parking in front of the building, but parking is available along Memphis and Lupo streets.

Admission is free for members, $20 for non-members.  Reservations are required.  Please contact Preservation Dallas by email or at 214-821-3290 to RSVP.

WHEN: Tuesday August 27, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: Potter Art Metal Studios
                4827 Memphis Street
                Dallas, TX 75207

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

We made it into the Preservation Dallas 2013 Awards!

I was just on the phone with Irene Allender of Preservation Dallas, discussing a possible tour and a presentation at Potter Art Metal Studios.  Apparently Woodrow Wilson restoration had won an award and everyone just can't stop talking about the gorgeous lanterns we restored for the building; which, by the way, were originally made by Richard Potter's grandfather, Henry Potter so many years ago, so it was a close to our heart project.

By the way, the tour will be happening on August 27th; can't wait!

Below are the 2013 Preservation Achievement Award winners; I have highlighted our part in the award:)

Preservation Dallas 
2013 Preservation Achievement 
Award Winners

Commercial or InStiTutional Rehabilitation or Adaptive Use,

Dallas Coffin Company, now the NYLO Southside Hotel at 1325 South Lamar 

Following the devastating flood of 1908, Dallas Coffin Company founder and local civic leader, Joseph Parks, constructed this building in 1911 for manufacturing, warehousing, and showcasing a complete range of funeral supplies, including hearses. It was designed by prominent Dallas architects C.W. Bulger and Son. The building was purchased by Sears in the 1950s as an expansion for their adjacent Catalog Distribution Center, which has since been converted to residential use. The Coffin Company building sat vacant until Matthews Southwest Development came along with plans to convert the building into a new hotel taking advantage of federal historic tax credits for the rehabilitation.

NYLO Hotels was selected as the operator for this building, capitalizing on the brand's first opportunity to offer an authentically historic environment for their guests furnished with locally found - and sometimes used - repurposed objects. Much of the historic interior had been removed on the lower floors and what did remain was incorporated into the hotel’s somewhat unconventional, edgy, lobby design. Remaining random sections of terrazzo flooring, broken plaster wall finishes, and the raw concrete structure were all retained as decorative interior elements. On the upper guestroom floors, which had previously been warehouse spaces, the guestroom design took advantage of the high concrete ceilings and worked the forest of concrete columns into the overall design. Historic windows were retained and restored. The original loading dock became the hotel entrance with a new porte cochere. Of special note was the restoration of the primary Lamar Street façade. During the 1950s, the building’s original front doors, windows, and rusticated brick detailing on this façade had been modified and ultimately covered with a “modern” black stone cladding. This cladding was removed during the rehabilitation and the openings and brick detailing repaired and restored to their original configuration. The missing water tower, clearly visible in historic photographs, was recreated and also serves as the building’s sign.

Through a smart analysis of sustainability design opportunities, the building is now poised to earn a LEED Gold level certification without adding any construction costs to the original budget.

From hearses and coffins to guestrooms, the old Dallas Coffin Company building has come a long way in its transformation to the NYLO South Side Hotel which provides a unique hotel experience and is one that shows a sensitive rehabilitation of a historic building can also be green.

Developer: Matthews Southwest
Architect: 5G Studio Collaborative
Interior Design 5G Studio Collaborative
Structural Engineer: Jaster-Quintanilla
Civil Engineer: JBI Partners, Inc.
MEP Engineer: Blum Consulting Engineers
Project Contractors: Azteca Enterprises
Sustainability/LEED Consultant: 5G Studio Collaborative

Dallas Power & Light Substation in Oak Cliff - 115 South Tyler Street

Since it was independently purchased by John McCall in the fall of 2007, the Dallas Power and Light Company’s west substation in Oak Cliff, has joined the ranks of more recognizable siblings.  Most are familiar with the Meyerson residence located in the north substation on the Katy Trail, and the non-profit spaces located in both the east substation in Deep Ellum and the substation in south Dallas.  The substations converted current fed from the central power plant in downtown Dallas, now Victory Plaza/American Airlines Center.

Growth in population and electrical demands inevitably led to the closure of the substation in the early 1950s.  Through a spectrum of uses by DP&L it eventually was relegated to document storage.  Most of the generators and compressors were removed and windows laminated with aluminum.  The building’s only upkeep became occasional painting over graffiti.

The first improvement John made was to remove all paint from any interior and exterior brick or cement surfaces.  Approximately 80% of the 1,100 plus window panes were cracked, broken or missing, and were replaced before the remaining aluminum was removed.  All the top hinged windows have been restored along with their sprocket and crank wheel assemblies to open and close the windows.  New climate control systems were installed for the 8,300 square foot building.  On the rooftop, most of the original elements remain intact including large, ceramic insulators to receive commercial size wiring, ten foot tall swiveling exhaust vents and 360 degree views of an ever changing Oak Cliff.  The insulators are also located up one side of the building.  This is where the exterior generators were located, in addition to the rail line tracks and turntable which accessed them for removal, maintenance and replacement.

The building currently houses a coffee roasting company, several cooperative office spaces and a third floor apartment.  The owner is offering a different model of preservation than most commercial projects pursue… self-financed and self-executed.  John McCall has turned a shell of a building into a warm, vibrant, and useful historic space worthy of receiving and award.

Property Owner: John McCall

Michael F. Dougherty House at 2919 Hibernia

This grand home, located in the State Thomas Historic District, was built in 1891 for Michael F. Dougherty, owner of Dougherty and Buckelew Roofing Company.  This Second Empire Victorian style home is the only one existing in Dallas.  While Victorian Houses in north Texas generally had high pitched hip or gable roofs, graveled flat roofs were Dougherty’s specialty, and showcased on his house.

When Eric Marye purchased the property the stately home had been divided into four modest apartments.  His theoretically simple plan of converting the fourplex into an office building would prove difficult.  Replacing the tree root laden foundation, sanding several layers of lead paint off the original siding, removing inappropriate additions, replacing decades of roofing layers, and restoring the front porch to wood were major exterior issues.  Reinstalling the original 10 foot tall pocket doors, rebuilding the grand staircase and replicating the second floor banister topped off the extensive work to the interior.  All work was performed maintaining Dallas Landmark Commission standards. This is a comprehensive preservation project which creatively maintains a residential structure in a now commercial district.”

Property Owner: Eric Marye
Architect: Hammers+Partners: Architecture, Inc.
Contractor: Mario Villegas
Landscape Architect: Armstrong Berger
Preservation Consultant: Jim Anderson Preservation and Design

Highland Park United Methodist Church Sanctuary – 3300 Mockingbird Lane 

The sanctuary for Highland Park United Methodist Church, designed by Dallas architect Mark Lemmon, was consecrated in 1927.  The interior was remodeled in 1972 without consideration of Lemmon’s neo-Gothic design. These modifications introduced strong horizontal architectural elements that conflicted with a neo-Gothic verticality intended by the original design. In the renovation work to the sanctuary these elements were removed.  New elements, such as the casework for a new pipe organ, were designed to be more in keeping with the building’s original design intent and reflect original details that remained from 1927.

The projecting chancel area from 1972 was retained, but reconfigured to allow for a larger choir.  The intricately carved altar and pulpit were restored by the original woodcarver. Lighting was redesigned to provide illumination of Lemmon’s ceiling, drawing the eye upward.  Horsehair acoustical panels were removed from the ceiling to expose the original wood decking and a new sound system was installed to remove a large cluster of speakers that hung from the crossing beams.  The stained glass windows bowed and in danger of collapse, were removed and shipped to the original glass studio in California for restoration.

This extensive project was completed over nine months without interrupting Sunday worship services.  Scaffolding and equipment used throughout the week were removed each Friday and the space cleaned for Sunday services.

For the church’s dedication to remove later inappropriate additions and working to preserve the neo-Gothic character of Mark Lemmon’s original design with new alterations the Highland Park United Methodist Church is most deserving of an achievement award.

Property Owner: Highland Park United Methodist Church
Architect: Selzer Associates
Structural Engineer: L. A. Fuess
MEP Engineers: ARJO Engineers
Acoustical: Kirkegaard
Contractor: Julian P. Barry
Window Restoration: Judson Studios

Luna’s Tortilla Factory at 1611 McKinney and now Meso Maya Restaurant

The Luna Tortilla Factory building was completed in 1938 in the Spanish Eclectic style for the Luna family in an area originally known as “Little Mexico,” Dallas’ earliest Hispanic neighborhood. The famous factory produced thousands of tortillas a day, as well as authentic tamales. After the factory closed in 2007, it was purchased by Firebird Restaurant Group with the goal of transforming the space into a new restaurant while preserving this important historical and cultural landmark.

Many features of the original building have been preserved; such as the floors, windows, walls, and front iron balconies. The architects researched and sourced materials to match the original finishes which was challenging. All of the features were carefully preserved during construction, which lengthened the work time and put a unique twist on the schedule for the project. The terrazzo floor in the main dining area was restored. The windows were restored or replaced where too far gone with wood frame windows from a salvage yard. A wall partition construction of decorative brick was relocated to become a fence to preserve as much of the building as possible. With the interior design the architects worked with the existing layout to create an inviting open space while maintaining the character that was once known on this historic corner. The former private courtyard space for the Luna family has been opened up for seating providing a unique urban outdoor space for the restaurant. The new Meso Maya sign was even built to resemble the old Luna’s Tortilla Factory sign and installed in the same location to preserve the feel of the historic corner.

The Luna's Tortilla Factory building has gone from making thousands of tortillas a day to serving them as part of delicious authentic Mexican food in a relaxing, yet upbeat unique historic environment. Meso Maya and La Ventana have livened up the block and now provide dining and entertainment options between The Perot Museum of Nature and Science and The Clyde Warren Park.

Developer: Firebird  Restaurant Group
Architects: Jones Baker Architects
Interiors: NCA Partners

Magnolia Gas Station – 902 Ross Avenue, now Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop 

Rather than demolish the old 1923 Magnolia Gas Station at the corner of Ross and Lamar at the edge of the historic West End in downtown Dallas, KCI Investments LLC undertook a complete renovation of the property after securing a multi-year lease. Even with approval for demolition of the building they decided it would have been a travesty to destroy this unique building in the West End and even with limited resources decided to rehabilitate it instead for a new Capriotti's Sandwich Shop.

To help preserve the history of this site a local historian was hired to research and document the history of this building. Great attention was given to the actual construction techniques of the original building as they were uncovered during renovation. In addition numerous artifacts from the original building and its predecessors on that site were saved and are on display in an in-store museum created especially for this purpose.

During the rehabilitation as much of the original materials were reused as possible. The paint on the exterior brick façade was removed to get down to the original brick color. The original covered service area was sensitively enclosed with glass walls to provide seating for the restaurant while maintaining the look of the original openings and brick corner column.

If it wasn't for the developers strong belief that it would have been wrong to demolish the building and ignore its historic importance, this unique building in the West End might have been lost forever. Their intention was simply to recognize a civic responsibility to preserve local history rather than sacrifice it in the name of efficiency or an immediate profit. Not only was the building sensitively rehabilitated for a new use by the developers, care was also taken to document the history of the building and preserve the artifacts found during construction.

Developer: KCI Investments LLC
Architects: Civitarese Morgan Architects
Contractor: Panterra Construction
Project Historian: Raymond Magyar

Woodrow Wilson High School – 100 South Glasgow Drive

Woodrow Wilson High School, designed by Mark Lemmon in the Elizabethan Style opened in 1928 in the eastern edge of the City of Dallas at that time. It was constructed as the most innovative and expensive high school in City at that time. Its liberal expanses of glass, elaborate cast stone, masonry detailing and cafeteria located on the top floor were all unique among Dallas schools of the time. In addition to its architectural heritage, the school also boasts a very long and nationally distinguished list of Dallas citizens and alumnae, including musicians, politicians, jurists, actors and athletes, among others.

Since a well-intentioned but poorly executed addition in 1978, Woodrow had been the recipient of very limited maintenance and bond-funded improvements; resulting in overcrowded conditions, unsympathetic alterations of the building’s interior, and advanced deterioration of many of the building’s important features.  Fortunately, school staff, alumnae and the community had kept close watch on the historic school to avoid the kinds of renovations and improvements that have proven disastrous to the historic character of schools in many parts of the country. In 2008, a bond program was passed that earmarked $14 million for a major addition and to correct many of the school’s most pressing needs, including preservation.

All of the wooden and metal windows were retained and restored to their original condition. Historic metal lanterns, originally fabricated by Potter Art Metal of East Dallas were refurbished or replicated in the same bronze and brass materials by the current Potter Art Metal (now operated by the grandson of the creator of the original fixtures). Where classrooms were rehabilitated, the character-defining woodwork was preserved and new acoustical ceilings were installed preserving the full height of the original windows. The auditorium was restored and the front hallway was modified to closely match its 1928 appearance.

In order to meet the growing needs of the school a major addition was constructed and added in such a way as to be consistent with the provisions of the Secretary of the Interiors Standards. The response was a thoughtful addition that connects each floor level via a transition element that clearly defines and separates the old and new. The new building utilizes today’s construction realities yet shares a material and color palette with the historic school.

Owner: Dallas Independent School District
Program Manager: Parsons
Architects: Brown Reynolds Watford Architects
Structural Engineer: Jaster Quintanilla
MEP Engineer: Basharkhah Engineering
Civil Engineer Pacheco Koch Civil Engineers
Landscape Architect: Caye Cook & Associates
Restoration Advisor: Norman Alston Architects

Sense of Place Award 
Historic preservation is more than restoring buildings and parks.  Historic Preservation involves a lot of research, historic documentation, writing, and creativity and this award goes to projects that artfully combined all of these things:

Stevens Park Pavilion 
Adjacent to the Stevens Park Golf Course in Oak Cliff, the Steven Park Pavilion was originally constructed in 1934 as part of the Works Project Administration improvement program.  The pavilion is part of the Dallas Parks and Recreation department.

Due to soil erosion along Coombs Creek, which edges the pavilion, the stone and mortar construction had fallen into a state of disrepair.  The foundation had been undermined, a crack traveled the length of the structure, a slab drop of over six inches and multiple through-wall cracks all pushed the stone arches close to failure.

The diminished distance to the creek did not allow a feasible foundation repair and the decision was made to methodically deconstruct the stone bearing walls for cataloguing and storage, and rebuild on a new foundation with additional distance from the creek.  Reconstruction involved removing, recording and storing all 4,867 original stones.  Original wood elements were salvaged and reassembled on the pavilion and a cedar shake roof replaced the inappropriate composition.  Inner wall reconstruction was modified to contain rebar and original stones reassembled using their exact original location.  After paint sample harvesting, analyzation and matching, the pavilion was returned to its original color scheme.  With the recent renovation of Stevens Park Golf Course, the complete park collection, including a stone bench, water fountain and latrine facilities, are all stand out.

Property Owner: City of Dallas Park & Recreation Department
Contractor: Phillips/May Corporation
Structural Engineer: Jaster-Quintanilla
Civil Engineer: Pacheco Koch
Landscape Architect: Studio Tincup

Residential Rehabilitation: 

The C.R. Berry House at 5414 Worth Street 
Built in 1920, the C.R. Berry house has had many owners and unfortunately fell in severe disrepair.  In 2010, the current owner purchased the house out of foreclosure.  Although he completed many projects at his previous home, this was his first attempt at a complete rehabilitation of an historic structure.  Due to the many years of neglect, the house required extensive work – roof replacement, foundation repair, electrical and plumbing upgrades, replacement of rotted siding, rebuilding of the front porch, kitchen installation, hall bath replacement as well as the addition of a master bathroom.  Additionally, previous roof leaks caused ceiling and floor damage which also needed repair.

The front porch was rebuilt with period appropriate columns and the bathroom was renovated, removing later additions to reflect materials used at the time the house was built, including an antique claw foot tub, wainscoting, and period appropriate black and white floor tiles.  Additional attention to detail includes handmade trim to replace rotted pieces on the east façade.  While the kitchen contains modern amenities, it retains the original pine floor and has a subway tile style backsplash.  What makes this project more impressive is the fact that the entire project, except for the installation of kitchen countertops, was completed by the homeowner himself and in a period of 14 months!  There were no designers, contractors, or laborers involved, just one homeowner dedicated to preserving a severely neglected single family structure in one of our city’s finest historic neighborhoods.  With his sensitive attention to materials and detail, particularly the exterior columns, his dedication to keeping with the character of the neighborhood, and the timeframe to complete construction Thomas Lawrence, Jr. is most deserving of an award.

Property Owner: Thomas Lawrence, Jr.

The Bishop Mouzon House at 3444 University Boulevard
With the renovations completed last year on the oldest existing home in University Park, the Bishop Mouzon House once again stands gleaming along Professor’s Row amongst its peers.  The residence, built in 1916 for the Dean of the Theology School and one of the original founding members of Southern Methodist University and Highland Park United Methodist Church (also an award recipient this evening), always had an immense presence.

The Greek Revival style house had been repurposed from bishop’s residence, to a fraternity house, to a sorority house and in 1962, the parents of this year’s Preservation Achievement Awards recipient converted the home back to a private residence.  In 2009, Philip and Melissa Wise purchased the house from them with the intention of returning it to former glory including modern appointments.  The home was stripped to the studs, evaluated for structural issues and inappropriate additions removed.  The reconstruction plans were implemented over two years and included a 5,000 square foot addition to the original 2,500 square foot house, including an underground garage to preserve the home’s remaining lot. The house has been penned one of Dallas 150 Significant Homes and we are proud to recognize it into its second century of life.

Property Owner: Melissa and Philip Wise
Project Architect: Domiteaux + Baggett Architects
Landscape architect: Armstrong Berger
Contractor: Provenance Properties

The Fred A. Jones Estate at 
In 1918, an era when Highland Park was marketed with views “stretching to the downtown skyline,” engineer, Fred A. Jones, built the highest quality 5,300 square foot English Craftsman style home for his family on Mockingbird Lane.  Mr. Jones was brought to the area by work on projects such as the Majestic Theatre and Dallas Municipal Building, and chose the lot directly across from the Dallas Country Club because of these views.

In 2003, the virtually intact house was purchased by a preservationist investor and the journey began to restore the house, as well as update it for market viability.  Maintaining the common spaces footprint of the house while adding great areas for today’s family style entertaining was complex due to the pride in the dwelling.  As part of the plan, the detached garage and second floor quarters were lifted from its foundation, rotated 180 degrees and moved to face Fairfield Street.  This enabled the addition, modeled after several key components in the house’s original make up, to be seamlessly joined with secluded backyard spaces preserved.

On the interior, care was taken to restore all carpentry, hardware and even crank-operated exterior shutters.  Keeping updates in theme, necessary mouldings were reproduced, period fixtures and hardware were used, and all materials and finishes reflect the era.  A down to the studs and joists interior disassembly, suitable readaptation of the second floor, finishing of the third floor attic space, and utilizing the expanded basement for a wine cellar and tasting room have all brought the house to standard while maintaining its historic elegance. To this day, the downtown skyline is still visible from this significant home.

Property Owner: Roger and Charlene Nanney
Contractor: Peter Livingston

Special Recognition Awards

Stewardship Award – Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts for the Turner House
Given to a person or organization who has worked diligently over a long period of time in the preservation of a historic site.

In 1908, the last major subdivision was platted in the original Oak Cliff town site and was named Winnetka Heights after an affluent Chicago suburb. In 1912, East Texas oilman J. P. Blake constructed a Modified Prairie four-square style house, now known as the Turner House, at a cost of $55,000. Blake enjoyed hosting musical events, lavish lawn parties and opulently entertained a young Oak Cliff until 1917. After  Blake, the property had several owners and served as a boarding house before the newly-formed Oak Cliff Lutheran Church purchased the house for their sanctuary in early 1948.

The Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts was formed in 1926 by nineteen women who sought to promote all aspects of art. The Society had several homes, including the Oak Cliff YMCA and a house given by long-time President, Adella Kelsey Turner. Her home served as the Society’s headquarters from 1938 until 1957, when the State of Texas purchased the property to build the new Interstate Highway 35E.  Proceeds from the sale were used to buy the former Blake House at 401 North Rosemont Avenue, and it was renamed the Turner House in 2002, to honor Mrs. Turner.

By 2000, only twelve members remained and, in an effort to increase membership, the Society opened its membership to men. James Prothro assembled a small group of Oak Cliff residents who began restructuring the Society. The Turner House was opened to the public in the summer of 2003 for event rentals, and it has hosted numerous weddings, anniversary and birthday parties, recitals, workshops, memorial services, holiday parties, scholarship ceremonies, tea parties and book clubs. The Society also hosts art exhibits and a popular Salon Series each spring.

Over the years, the Society has not only maintained the Turner House, but they have worked to return it to its original splendor. The numerous restoration projects include returning the hardwood floors to their original majesty, freshening the formal parlor, making both sets of pocket doors operational once again, and highlighting the elegance of the main staircase.

One of their biggest finds was the original fireplace surround in Winnetka Heights Hall, which had been covered and blocked by a raised stage. The fireplace’s original tile surround has now been exposed and the decorative metal hood returned. The Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts values both the house that serves as its home and the programs it offers and wants both to continue to be assets and resources for Oak Cliff and Dallas.

Neighborhood Achievement Award – State-Thomas Historic District
This award began as a way of recognizing and highlighting a neighborhood’s efforts to protect themselves from incompatible development and senseless destruction, and to preserve their unique streetscapes and the buildings within.

Perhaps no other historic district has successfully achieved this than this year’s Award winner, the State-Thomas Historic District. The neighborhood is a mixed-use residential and commercial district in historically North Dallas, near what was once a Freedman’s Town, and is inside Uptown today.  The historic district is made up of mostly frame houses in the Queen Anne, Italianate, and vernacular styles left from the first Thomas Brothers development of the 1880’s known as the Thomas Colby District.

The State-Thomas Historic District was established by the neighborhood group, the Friends of State-Thomas, as a tool to preserve what is today the largest remaining collection of Victorian houses in Dallas.

State-Thomas property owners organized in the mid- seventies to oppose plans for a thoroughfare that would have dissected the neighborhood, and demolished many homes.  Since that time, The Friends of State-Thomas have spent decades, representing thousands of volunteer hours, to honor their history, their unique character, and their investment, while encouraging sensitive development projects that respect the neighborhood and bring tax dollars for the city.

The Friends of State-Thomas have used many tools to foster the kind of neighborhood it is today, including historic designation, planned development, federal block grants, down-zoning, traffic studies, deed-restrictions, a Master Plan, the first City of Dallas TIF District, and publicity.
And as many of you know, there is no handbook on how to protect and enhance your neighborhood.  It requires not just an understanding but practically a masters degree in urban planning, architectural history, and in State-Thomas’s case, archeology.  The Friends of State-Thomas have also had to be experts in traffic planning, zoning, and the law; all within the confines of City Hall politics.

But what is most impressive about the Friends of State-Thomas is that it is the determination and will of a handful of people that have made State-Thomas the neighborhood that it is today.

Craftsmanship Award – Steve Clicque
This award recognizes a person whose careful planning and extraordinary craftsmanship honors the past for the benefit of the future.

Steve Clicque combines passion for photography with experience in renovating historic properties.  As a result, he is arguably one of the best architectural photographers in Dallas.

For years, Preservation Dallas has relied on Steve’s talents and generosity as he has volunteered hundreds of hours capturing the places dear to us.  His very particular technique has provided the highest quality images, video and documentation, archiving Dallas’ architectural history.

Steve was an accountant before he switched to a career in renovation. His accounting partnership purchased The Mohawk, a Spanish Colonial building on Swiss Avenue, in the early 1990s.  Noticing that the contractors seemed to find their jobs more rewarding than he did his, he began assisting with the building’s renovation – ultimately trading his interest in the accounting firm for ownership in the building.

The advent of affordable digital photography and videography enabled Steve to further document aspects of historic preservation.  He began shooting stills and videos of instruction in topics such as wooden window restoration, plumbing, and other “how to’s”.  Steve shot the training video for Dallas’s Landmark Commission. His videos have also enlivened two of Preservation Dallas’s awards events one on Frank Welch and the other on the preservation activism that saved 6019 Reiger from the bulldozers. One of his videos of a Peak’s Suburban Addition Historic District drug-house raid inspired President George H.W. Bush’s 1,000 Points of Light campaign.

Preservation frequently relies upon accurate representations to express the story of a building or place that has been saved through our collective efforts, or lost to the wrecking ball.  Steve’s impeccable eye and willingness to always help out earns him the 2013 Craftsmanship Award.

Spirit of Preservation Award – Mark Doty
This award is given to an individual or organization who brings forth the Spirit of Preservation to inspire and lead others in our community.

Mark Doty, a native of Abilene, Texas, graduated with a degree in Architecture from Texas Tech University. It was growing up in Abilene where Mark first learned to love a city’s past and believe in its preservation. He witnessed an old movie theater, train depot and hotel being restored and adaptively reused. This transformation had a profound effect on his thinking about not only architecture and historic preservation, but also how preservation could define a community and serve as a job creator.

After graduating from college in 1998, Mark moved to South Carolina to work for the South Carolina Department of Archives and History. He moved to Dallas in June 2003 to work for Marcel Quimby Architecture/Preservation, Inc. and, in 2006, he went to work for the City of Dallas as a Senior Planner in the Historic Preservation Division. Mark was appointed Historic Preservation Officer for the City of Dallas in September of 2010. The Historic Preservation Division oversees more than 143 individually designated landmarks and 21 historic districts which contain thousands of structures. Mark is responsible for helping people with the preservation of their historic buildings, including guiding applicants through the Landmark Commission review process, working with the Commission members, and overseeing the designation of structures and sites as City of Dallas landmarks.

Mark has also taken his passion for preservation and the history of Dallas to the literary world with his first book in 2012, Lost Dallas, which explores and documents historic buildings, neighborhoods, and places in Dallas that have been lost and sometimes forgotten. His second book, John F. Kennedy Sites in Dallas-Fort Worth, will be released in September documenting the buildings, neighborhoods, and places with a direct connection to President Kennedy's assassination.

Believing that the future of historic preservation lies with the younger generation, Mark worked with others to create a Young Professionals group for Preservation Dallas in 2011. This networking group helps to teach young professionals the value of historic preservation to Dallas and gives them a chance to meet throughout the year in unique historic spaces, usually while enjoying a cocktail or two. Mark has done much to grow the Young Professional group, which now totals over 100 members.

Mark Doty has been passionate about the preservation of Dallas’ historic places since he came to Dallas, believing that they add to the tapestry and provide interest and texture to our built environment. In his ten short years in Dallas, Mark has helped hundreds of people with the preservation of their historic properties, written two books on historic places in Dallas, and has helped to engage younger people in historic preservation and its benefits.

Gail Thoma Patterson Award – ARCHITEXAS
This award is named for one of Preservation Dallas’ most staunch preservationists and a dedicated Preservation Dallas board member who passed away unexpectedly. It recognizes an outstanding restoration project done to exacting standards.

This year the award is given to ARCHITEXAS for the body of restoration work they have completed in over 35 years of existence as an architecture firm working in Dallas and around the state.

ARCHITEXAS was founded in 1978 by Craig Melde and Gary Skotnicki building on their experience in the City of Dallas Planning and Urban Design Department, which introduced them to historic preservation.  Their early planning work included a master plan for the Dallas Farmers Market and preservation criteria for the West End Historic District.  Early restoration projects included the Arnold House (former home to the Historic Preservation League), the Inwood Theater, the White Swan building, and the Sammons Center.  In 1990 the firm became known for their excellent restoration of historic courthouses, after completing work on Hill County Courthouse in Hillsboro. It burned to the ground, leaving only the limestone façade on all four sides, yet ARCHITEXAS was able to restore the courthouse to its previous glory.  To date, they have done restoration work on eleven Texas courthouses!

Since 1996, ARCHITEXAS has contributed significantly to the restoration of Fair Park, including the Centennial Building and the 1936 Tower Building – which was the first full restoration project in the park.  ARCHITEXAS turned the Harlan Building in the Dallas Farmers Market into a mixed-used retail/residential development in 2002.  The project incorporated many LEED-based design guidelines, and the resulting project satisfied the requirements for the National Park Service, the Texas Historical Commission, the Dallas Landmark Commission, and the Dallas Farmers Market TIF District.

In 2005, ARCHITEXAS completed construction on the new bell tower for the 1902 Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe in the heart of the Dallas Arts District.  The tower was part of the original plans for the church, but was not built in 1902 due to funding problems.

ARCHITEXAS’ largest project to date has been the Joule Hotel on Main Street.  They were able to convert the historic Dallas National Bank Building to new uses while maintaining the preservation standards required for a certified rehabilitation tax credit.  The White Rock Boathouse was another project with the restoration of the 1921 filter and chemical building, which became a boat storage structure used by Dallas area rowing organizations as well as an event space. Their latest project is the Purse Building, built in 1905, which is slated to be restored and converted into a mixed used of residential and commercial spaces.

Dorothy Savage Award – Lindalyn Adams
Preservation Dallas’ highest award -- named for one of Preservation Dallas’ founders -- and presented to a person for a lifetime of substantial preservation work. Tonight’s winner is someone who deserves the honor in every way.

I first met Lindalyn Adams at a grant workshop offered by the Texas Historical Commission during the mid-1980s. As a baby preservationist, I was working on an architectural resources survey with a preservation group in Fort Worth – an admirable enough task – but Lindalyn’s plans blew me away. She was trying to raise funds to create an exhibit about John F. Kennedy and the assassination in the old Texas Schoolbook Depository, in an environment where there were strong misgivings about dealing with the assassination in any way. I was amazed and in awe of someone who would tackle such a job.

But, this was not Lindalyn’s first time at the dance. I don’t think you will be surprised if I tell you that she was a member of the Junior Historians in high school or wore a Victorian-style gown at her wedding.  You will even appreciate that, in 1963, she began organizing Fourth of July pageants featuring events in American history starring the children in her extended family.

Lindalyn was good at multi-tasking, and she took the opportunity to make her work for one organization provide a benefit for another. As a leader in the Women’s Auxiliary of the Dallas County Medical Society, Lindalyn led an effort to collect early medical instruments for the doctor’s office at what is now Dallas Heritage Village and secured the donation of the Aldredge House on Swiss Avenue as the Medical Auxiliary headquarters. She also directly participated in the establishment of Dallas Heritage Village, assisting with the preservation and move of the Millermore mansion, the city’s first house museum, to the park.

During the mid-1970s, Lindalyn led both the Dallas County Heritage Foundation, the parent organization for Dallas Heritage Village, and the Dallas County Historical Commission, where she worked to place historical markers for buildings and sites around the county. During this time, the old Texas School Book Depository Building came onto her radar screen – and I don’t need to tell you what happened next because The Sixth Floor Museum is our honoree tonight, and you will hear more about that story in a moment. So, the only thing I’ll say is that that it took more than a decade of hard work to accomplish with lots of pushback from people who didn’t think it needed to be done.

For most people, accomplishing that might have been enough – followed by a decision to sit back and spend time with the grandkids. But Lindalyn Adams continued her historical efforts, working with the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority to get the trolley running, heading up the 1996 celebration of Dallas County’s sesquicentennial, and serving on the board of the Old Red Foundation which completed the preservation of the Old Red Courthouse and its use as a museum.

It has truly been a lifetime of service to history and preservation, and – on the 50th anniversary of one of the most difficult times in Dallas – I can think of no one better to honor for her willingness to do the right thing, no matter the thorny nature of the situation at hand, than our Dorothy Savage Award winner, Lindalyn Adams.

written by:  Izabela Wojcik
Your personal ornamental metalwork and lighting designer

at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, TX.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Meanwhile at Potter Art Metal Studios...

the projects are exciting, as always...
so... there's one thing to do... I'm going to give you a personal tour of our latest!

Here you see the middle tier of a
three tier chandelier I
recently designed for a client.

This is a pair of sliding gates I designed for a Texas Ranch.

And this is a chandelier for a private residence.
The Designers showed us what they wanted
and we made it, but Better :)

written by:  Izabela Wojcik
Your personal ornamental metalwork and lighting designer

at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, TX.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Whimsy Dragonfly Walk Gates - It's all about the organic look!

I have always loved designing organic pieces of ornamental metalwork and lighting, especially of the whimsy variety; just because it's so much fun! when my White Rock Elementary School Teacher, alongside her landscape designer Alison M. Betz, waltzed in through our doors asking for two little organic style walk gates, I was over the moon!  (for all the reasons mentioned above, and more)
I have not seen her in sooo many years, yet she recognized me right away... I was shocked!  It was one of the most memorable moments ever!

We looked through our books and she pointed to a design she really liked.  I took the components she was absolutely in love with and designed exactly what she was looking for.  In the creation of the design, I had to keep in mind that her two adorable powder puffs (she has two beautiful Bichon Frisé girls) could't practice at their escape artist ways, so I added plenty of scrolls toward the bottoms of the gates.  The bushes will actually grow taller and cable wire will be stretched between the two gates so that the pups can't escape.   We then decided that a dragonfly would be a perfect addition to the wrought iron gate design, and she asked if the wings could be made of glass.  I also added a cute little bug wondering around one of the stems.

And voilà!  A whimsy design full of organic wonder was born!

written by:  Izabela Wojcik
Your personal ornamental metalwork and lighting designer
at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, TX.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An XClussive Garage to Die For!

I've seen some pretty impressive homes with quite the impressive garages attached to them, but Lamond Jack of XClussiveGarage certainly takes custom luxury garage design to the next level!  On top of his gigantic, ultra elaborate garages, he's currently working on two parking spaces in Brooklyn NY.

This sounds like absolutely not a big deal, right?  Well, the two parking spaces inside the Brooklyn condominium building are going to get quite the treatment!  Venetian plaster, limestone stamped overlay on concrete, crown moldings, artwork on the walls, our beautiful lanterns, and the list just keeps going...  My job? Designing the ornamental metal partition which will protect the contents of the parking spaces, plus two gates, behind which Lamond's client will safely park his exotic cars.

Great news!  Lamond loved my design, but the gates still have to be approved by the condominium board... we're all keeping our fingers, toes, legs and eyes crossed!  I'm really excited about the entire idea!  Plus, Lamond put a huge smile on my face when he wrote "...If they don't then we will submit it to other clients.  I would hate to see a Wojcik design not be produced! too beautiful!"

Here is the before:

Here is a taste of what will happen happen in the space:

And hopefully, soon, I will post the actual space!

Before you go, I've got some eye candy for you by XClussive Garage:

written by:  Izabela Wojcik
Your personal ornamental metalwork and lighting designer
at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, TX.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ornamental metalwork, on the lighter side

Lifting a wrought iron fixture of this  size
by using only two fingers would have been
absolutely impossible.
What does one do if a room requires a three-tier, 10' chandelier, but the ceiling simply won't support the weight of a heavy wrought iron piece?

Ever considered aluminum?

"Of course not, Coca-Cola cans are made of aluminum, and I don't want a Cola can hanging off my ceiling"

Fair enough, but lets give aluminum a second look.  It's super light, relatively speaking, and we have the capability to make it look exactly like a  wrought iron.  Better?

"Really?  How?"

By the way we manipulate the metal and the finish, of course.  Aluminum is actually more expensive then steel, and a lot harder to work with, but it can be manipulated to look just like steel and the finish is the cherry on the top.

Below is a photo of two chandeliers; one is made of wrought iron and the other one is aluminum.  Can you tell which one is made of what material?  Here's a hint... the larger one... oh wait, that was a bit more then just a hint, wasn't it?  As you can see, the chandelier bares absolutely no resemblance to a Cola can.

By the way, aluminum is also an excellent choice for outdoor furniture.  We can create lightweight pieces which are easy to move around, and even better... they won't ever rust!  Why? Because aluminum does not rust.  We have even custom designed and made huge aluminum gates, especially for historical areas, where the columns can't be removed and rebuilt.

Still can't quite believe that the chandelier in question is made out of aluminum?
Here is a photo of it before we put the finish on the fixture.

Before I go, let me also show you how you can go form a very simple design to a more fancy one; the simple design being the lantern I'm holding in the first photo, and the fancier one being the last phto on this page.  A lot of times a home may need fancy fixtures in the front of the property, but the back can be simplified; this keeps the fixtures consistant, but at the same time saves you money.

Hope to see you soon...
Your personal ornamental metalwork and lighting designer
at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, TX.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The simple Mediterranean look

When Susan Newell, a custom home builder who does it all, called us to match the existing railing on a lovely Mediterranean home by architect Frank Ryburn; we were thrilled.  Susan added to the home and needed some exterior balconies and stair railings.  We, of course, love a challenge, and matched the railings exactly!  Here's a photo of the railings which we matched to on Susan's Houzz page.

Beautiful exterior railing by the pool

I found this photo by Sutton Suzuki Architects on; they were working on a pool at the same San Francisco home we worked on as well and happened to get a great shot of our custom designed and forged wrought iron railing.

Traditional Pool by Mill Valley Architect Sutton Suzuki Architects. Metalwork by Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, TX.

written by Izabela Wojcik
Your personal ornamental metalwork and lighting designer at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, TX.

Love finding our metalwork on

I love
Houzz happens to be one of my all time favorite places online.  I love it so much that I actually invited Liza Houzman over to our studio when she was in town.  (Didn't work out so well for me because I ended up sick in bed with the flu, but heyyy... at least everyone else at the studio got to say hello.)

In any case, I was surfing Houzz the other day and happened across this gorgeous photo by Harold Leidner, a Dallas landscape architect, which shows off his wonderful landscape architecture, and also happened to catch the drive gate and exterior lanterns I designed for the property and which we custom forged for our client.

I clicked on it, and all these other fabulous photos started popping up... so, I thought I'd share them with you.

Mediterranean Landscape by Dallas Landscape Architect Harold Leidner Landscape Architects.  Custom ornamental metalwork and lighting by Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas.  The interior designer on the project was Kelli Otey.

Here is a photo which captured the copper and wrought iron gas lanterns I custom designed for the Mediterranean style estate.

We also designed and forged this exterior wrought iron chandelier.

And this shot shows a peak of the beautiful tail lanterns which we matched to the rest of the exterior lighting.

Of course we made a whole lot more for the home, but it sure was fun to see bits and pieces here and there on Harold's Houzz page.

written by Izabela Wojcik
Your personal ornamental metalwork and lighting designer at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, TX.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hi-End Custom Metalwork on a Budget

If you have an appreciation for hi-end custom metalwork and lighting, but are on a budget, don't get discouraged... good things can happen to those who are willing to sit down and discuss things with their designer.  I have been designing custom metalwork and lighting for over seven years, which makes me kind of an expert on what to do in order to end up with a pretty piece of metalwork at a lower price.  In our business, it all comes down to the time it takes to custom forge a piece.  It doesn't really matter how large it is, or how small... sometimes the smallest and simplest looking piece takes far longer to make then something which is larger and more elaborate looking.  The key thing in designing on a budget is flexibility.  Just by changing a type of scroll end on a stair railing, or using a different material for a lantern body, or simply by doing a different finish, money can be saved.  So next time you've got the perfect piece in mind, which turns out to be out of your budget, have a talk with your designer, tell them what your budget actually is and give them the opportunity to figure out if your goal is attainable after all.

This wrought iron pendant is a perfect example of custom design on a budget.  You could have brought me an idea for a round fixture with side panels rised to arches and this fixture would have cost twice as much as it did.  Custom round glass is expensive to start with, and shaping it costs even more, not to mention that we would have to put even more work into rounding the metalwork which the glass would be set into.  This 28" tall and 15" wide pendant ended up costing $2150, and included solid brass leaves and finials and a lovely German Antique glass.  It's a fixture which will look great for generations to come, just like all of the fixtures we have been building for almost a 100 years; nice, heavy, well built pieces, designed and forged to your specifications.  There's a real difference in the way our pieces look and feel when compared with other metalwork on the market.  As Benjamin Franklin pointed out, "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten."  There are lots of nightmare stories we hear from time to time, so I'd like to also point out that we actually stand behind our products and won't drop the ball on you.

So lets get creative... Hope to see you soon!

Your personal custom ornamental metalwork and and lighting designer at Potter Art Metal Studios in Dallas, Tx.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Another Visit from the El Centro Interior Design Students

Our now annual visit from the El Centro Interior Design Class was a blast as always.
We got lots of very intelligent questions from the students, they were amazed at the level of artistry at Potter Art Metal Studios, and the class left with smiles on their faces and comments such as: "This was our best field trip of the year, thank you!" ...and who can ask for more then that?  They especially enjoyed the huge tree gate we are currently working on.
A few days later the most adorable card came from the entire class, with a "Thanks a latte" Starbucks gift card... I just about died... isn't it sweet?  I love our precious students, and even worked with one on a project already!
A big thank you to Anita Watson of El Centro for organizing yet another fabulous trip!

Thursday, April 18, 2013


It's that time of the year again!

The invitation to ROCKITECTURE 2013 is beautiful, as always, and we have decided yet again to donate a hand-made piece for the silent auction in support of our wonderful Architecture Center.  Custom designed by Izabela Wojcik of Potter Art Metal Studios, and hand forged by the artisans of Potter Art Metal Studios, this adorable wrought iron writing utensil stand will add whimsy to the desk of the winner of this one of a kind piece.   Design details: rose and leaf.   Donated by Richard Potter of Potter Art Metal Studios.

ROCKITECTURE 2013 is benefitting the Dallas Center for Architecture and guests will join some of the top designers, architects, builders, photographers, and just about anyone else who simply loves architecture.

An evening of great design in the stunning and recently restored Federal Building and Post Office, including Judge Sarah T. Hughes' historic courtroom, will be a hit for sure!  It will be a night of stylish cocktails, bites, tunes, and a silent auction especially curated for lovers of great design and architecture donated by us and other local and national designers, artists, and architects.

Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rustic Pine Cone and Needle Fireplace Screen

The things we can do with metal... it's just incredible.  I designed this custom, wrought iron, fireplace screen for one of my favorite clients; she's just so sweet.  I matched the screen to a pine cone and needle fandelier we hand forged for her a few years ago, and I am absolutely in love with it!
The pine cones, the needles, the texture on the stems... it all just looks so real, and everything is scrolled in such an artistic way; it's exactly what I had in my mind when I drew it.  Our metalworkers simply rock!

If you are looking for ornamental metalwork for a cabin, a lodge, or just your lake house, a design like this one would fit right in.  We custom design and make fireplace screens and tools, table bases, railings, chandeliers and fandeliers, vent-a-hood covers, and just about anything else you can think in metal.  Drop on by our Dallas showroom, and I'll be happy to design something just for you.  We are located right next to the Dallas Design District, so you shouldn't have any trouble finding us.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Monday, March 25, 2013

Rustic Pine Cone and Needle Wrought Iron Door Grille

One of our all time favorite builders, Ricky Parker, who does a lot of very well built homes around Henderson, TX., sent over a fabulous design duo - Jerri Spivey and Kristal McNew- for a very special project.

The design goal was to echo the rustic beauty of The Piney Woods of East Texas in the amazing detail of the metal work, while still allowing for a generous view of nature itself through the glass.

J and K Designs is made up of the design team, Jerri Spivey and Kristal McNew.  Together, they offer superb interior design services ranging from the blueprint stage through the final decor.

About a year before, we had built a gorgeous three tier pine cone and needle wrought iron chandelier, which happened to also be a fandelier for one of Ricky's clients;  Jerri and Kristal just so happened to have a similar idea for their current client's home.  This time, the pine cones and needles would serve in adorning two pairs of exterior doors.  We went back and forth on how much of the grille should be open to view the beautiful scenery around the home and finally settled on a design very similar to what the girls had pictured.

Every single piece of metal on the grilles is hand forged, every pine cone is put together from several layers of metal, and everything including the textures is hammered in right here at our Dallas shop, where Potter Art Metal has resided for almost a century.  Even the grille hinges are custom designed to fit the look we were going for.

I honestly don't think that the photos do these door grilles justice, and Jerri and Kristal seem to agree: "Photos just don't do them justice-they are beyond fabulous!  You are so talented, and it was a pleasure working with you on this project." (Thanks girls!  I loved working with you as well!)
As always with our work, you really have to experience the fine hand worked detail first hand.  We take our metalwork very seriously (smily face.)

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Western Style Vent-A-Hood in Copper

I just got back from my ski trip; Whistler was beautiful! ...but back to my story...
The first thing I did was run to the back to see the progress being made on an awesome copper hood we're working on for designer Neal Stewart... and let me tell you! Progress has been made!  It looks fabulous!!!

It's a six sided hood, which will hang over a fire pit inside a bunk house, where real live cowboys will do what ever real live cowboys do.

We repousse'd a leaping bronco with a cowboy holding on for his dear life into each of the sides, as well as given the copper plenty of cool textures.  The wrought iron straps are also hand hammered and adorned with hundreds of hammer heads.  And check out that chimney!

It's about 80% done, and I can't wait to show off the pics when it's all done!

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Spectacular Dining Table by David Gappa

You have got to check out this contemporary style table we custom built for glass artist, David Gappa!
David Designed this one-of-a-kind brushed steel dining table for a private residence.  "Gappa's vision was to create a timeless and experiential fine art glass masterpiece that also has prominent usefulness in the home.  He calls it ELYSIUM."  ...and he created just that!

With various hues of blues, greens and hyacinths, the handblown rondels are floating on a bed of crushed glass inside the table frame.  The entire display of gorgeous glasswork is backlit by LEDs.   The entire table is a 4' wide by 8' long piece of functional art.

Congratulations David! It's simply breathtaking!

Check out how David and his artisans make their artwork:

Glass work by David Gappa of Vetro Glassblowing.  Steel work by Potter Art Metal Studios.  LED illumination by LED Cool Lights.  Photography by Lorraine Haan-Stewart of Spiral Photography.

written by: Izabela Wojcik

Friday, January 11, 2013

Beautiful Wrought Iron Hinges

custom made wrought iron hinge strap for a wine room, made by Potter Art Metal Studios of Dallas, TX. Designed by Izabela Wojcik.

I know I posted this wine room door before, but I just had a chat with one of our clients about hinges, and went digging for this photo to show off our craftsmanship.  Since I have not looked at it in quite a while, I received a new burst of impressed and thought I should really share the closeup of this beautiful 3-D wine room hinge with all of my wonderful blog readers!  As you can see, hinge straps are not restricted to just flat pieces of metal, and in the world of custom metalwork anything is possible.  I love thinking out of the box!
Neat bit of info: This wine room door was created for the oldest winery in North America.  We hand forged the entire piece right here in Dallas, Texas, and had it shipped and installed on an island in Canada.

written by: Izabela Wojcik