There’s something about boat hardware that stirs the emotions. Maybe it comes from when you first learn to row a boat.
The oarlocks themselves feel as though they are charging molecular metal power directly to one’s outstretched arms and bent back.
Their solid brass heft, their sculptural curvature cool to the touch, their assurance of ergonomic pleasure speaks to the young sailor like nothing else.
Later, as we move up to in vessel size, the oar-locks may be lost, but the emotional connection to these nautical expressions of “form follows function” only intensifies. Beautifully-crafted latches, levers, pulls, knobs, and handles all embody those soul-stirring connections of long ago when we first set out on the water.
The good news is that the soulfulness has not remained static. The undeclared war between the opponents of ornament and the proponents has lately come to some kind of truce. This, in turn, has allowed for a flowering of creative output in the luxury hardware market, as can be seen in these examples.
Holding open the hygiene door. The latest advice on how not to spread germs in close environments like boats sounds pretty reasonable: use your towel to open the door of the loo when leaving it. But this can be cumbersome, requiring the tossing of three point shots into the wastebasket while trying to exit before the door automatically shuts. Now you don’t have to go through all that with Rocky Mountain Hardware’s Verdura collection made with antimicrobial copper. http://www.rockymountainhardware.com/specialties/antimicrobial#sthash.3SkXtoiU.dpuf
Opening the cabinet of modernism. Interior designer Juan Montoya deserves a lot of credit for bringing art deco from kitsch to classic. His design for M/Y Lady Elizabeth, and his new line of pulls and latches for PE Guerin are no exception.
Opening through the holes. Artist/designer Pamela Anderson had trouble finding pulls she liked for her new, sleek kitchen. Finally, after much searching, she had a Eureka moment with her flush-fitting hardware, which she now manufactures in collaboration with her husband, an engineer. $95.00 from www.contemporarypull.com
Opening to the elements. As geometry informed Montoya’s Art Deco fittings, the nature-inflected curves of the prior Art Nouveau movement of 1890-1910 inspired these pulls. Cast in modern-looking stainless steel using the traditional lost wax process they run about $ 2,300 from www.martinpierce.com
Opening to the masterfully wrought. Designer Anagha Dandekar founded her hardware company in Sante Fe using master Indian blacksmiths to hand forge and later patina with a torch her line of recycled cast bronze pieces. $ 2700 for this this Cayman Royale at www.hardwarerenaissance.com/
Opening to a grand ball. Lalique crystals set off the enamel palm-frond motifs surrounding knobs from THG’s Masque de Femme collection. $ 7,183 www.thg.fr
THG fixture installations: Norwegian Queen (165m) Panthère, Bambou and Oceania – Designer Evan K Marshall
Solandge (85m) Beluga, Shao – Designed by Rodriquez Interiors
Quattroelle (86m) Lalique and Daum designs (not sure which ones) Designer Nuvolari & Lenard
Amevi (80m) Charleston – designer: Alberto Pinto