Joel, the third generation blacksmith is a master at his art, known for his speciality in making stairs.
Yann and I sought out several staircase makers and their sources, we weren't impressed for one reason or another. We were introduced to Joel through Francois, Rene's father. Joel and Francois have known each other since childhood. Good friends, same work ethics and ultra talented.
Joel came to Cassis, saw the situation firsthand: Small space, beams that make a long staircase impossible, a spiral staircase that would take up to much room, basically a puzzle to he was gamed to solve.
Measurements, calculations, drawings... and sorting through ideas. We agreed we wanted it as transparent as possible, yet comfortable to go up and down.
Today we drove to his workshop to see the plan, talk when and how much.
All is good.
Joel is in high demand, so it pays to know his best friend. The soonest he can begin is at the end of July.
In the meantime, Rene will start on another project we have.
Talk about many irons in the fire; that is how it rolls here.
Joel's workshop is like a gallery/museum/cool place.
The equipment, the heavy leather aprons, the fireplace, the sound of hammering, the muscles...
Yeah I was drooling.
Art is art no matter the form, or the material. Watching someone create is such a pleasure, such a gift.
Nothing industrial, prefabricated, or one size fits all.
Artisans create: That which is meant to last, that which made by hand with passion, precision, their knowledgable imagination it is a labor of love and love is not cheap, nor meant to be thrown away.
Joel showing us a step that will be similar to ours.
The pattern is drawn with chalk on the iron slabs.
Is this a cool?
I wanted the anvil, the arbor press, the blacksmith striker (yes the young guy why not?), the finery forge, the hammers, the leather apron...
The seven elemental metals -- gold, copper, silver, lead, tin, iron, and mercury, the metals of antiquity.
A guard rail Joel made.
I would rather have that chimney hood than a Chanel bag.
The stairs from the middle room to the bedroom will look like this.
The stairs from the kitchen to the middle room will turn near the top.
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