Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Stair Railing Design: From Paper to Steel and Wood

Every now and then a fun design project lands in my lap. This one dropped by about a year ago from a colleague whose daughter and son-in-law were in the throes of building a custom home outside Las Vegas. They wanted a custom rail designed for their staircase and were unhappy with the designs submitted by the railing companies, so they decided to try it from an artist's perspective and asked me to come up with a plan. I remember spending the better part of one weekend working this out on trace paper "old school style" with French curves, a T-square, triangle, and a lot of eraser work. (A couple of glasses of cab helped the creative flow too, I must confess.) Along with the railing, I also designed the newel posts at the ends of the runs.

I have to admit it is pretty exciting to see an idea on paper materialize this way in real life. When someone likes your idea enough to bring it into the design of their home is pretty amazing. Design and art are tough gigs most of the time with a lot of rejection attached to ideas that are personal and close to the soul, but at times like this, it certainly is worth it all.