Fifteen for Owen

Man!  There is nothing like fall in New Mexico!  The air is so crisp and invigorating!  The mountains turn from green to gold and the smell of roasting chiles is in the air.  We almost get ourselves into a state of hyperventilation, snorting the air out the window as we drive past the chile roasters on Cerrillos.  I immediately want to run home and make a big pot of Green Chile Chicken Noodle Soup.  I love checking out the ground under the roasters – the seeds and skins dense as a layer of sand.

And of course, when you make green chile, you have to make some red chile, the leavings of which are so beautiful.

But!  As the title of this posting suggests, this is not about chile, this is about Owen and a couple of doors.  As I mentioned in my last post, I have been anxiously awaiting the completion of a particular pintle-hinged door, and that day has finally arrived!  Way back in June I posted pictures of the beginnings of this door.  I saw the frame of the arched door, which is the exterior door for a family room, and had to go back to ask Owen, who was producing the door, the purpose of the knobby protrusion in the frame.  He explained that it was a pintle-hinged door and the hinge needs a flat surface to operate.  That pivot point was carved out by hand into the thick wooden frame.

And the body of the door was made with mortise and tenon joinery.

It was agony to watch the painstaking creation of this door.  One day I would see it on the table,

the next in the giant clamp frame,

or on the table with clamps, clamps, clamps (I love seeing things in the clamping stage, like the complex circle of clamps used to glue the mesquite veneer to the table in one of my earliest posts, and other photos that I have yet to post, but will).

My  mind boggled at the math and calculations that had to be made.  There was an overlay of the arching piece that was created separately and fit into place like a puzzle piece.  Some days it would be on the table, other days standing off on its own, like a piece of sculpture or a giant piece of Chinese calligraphy.

In August as it came closer to completion, Owen worked scrupulously on the mechanical workings of the door.

And then one day I came in and it was actually in the finish shop, getting a nice warm honey finish.

It seemed unbelievable that it was actually almost done.  But I had gotten my hopes up too soon because then I had to wait, and wait, and wait until the hardware was installed and then wait a little more until glass was installed.  But the time has finally come and the door is complete!

The companion piece, the front entry, is also done.  They were created in tandem, but I seemed to get more photos of the creation of the arched door, probably because it was so much more complicated and spent much more time on the bench.  But here is that door on the work bench,

and then after it was completed and the finish applied, it was on display in the shipping area, with our high tech system of identifying areas for touch-up:  masking tape and sticky notes.

So it is over for now, they are soon to be shipped, and now I will wait, and wait and wait to see if maybe we get some photos of it after it is installed.  And of course, if we do, you know I will post the pictures here!

I asked Owen if it would be okay if I mentioned him in the blog posting and showed him working and he said yes, and even shared his pictures from his iPhone, some of which I used have used here.  He is off onto another project, another fabulous creation.  I will, of course, be watching and photographing, but for now, he gets his fifteen minutes of fame for this project, after months and months of meticulous work.  Couldn’t happen to a nicer, more talented guy.



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