Thursday, 26 May 2011

When is a door not a door?

The initial research for the doors had been done by Kirby and we had decided as a group that there would be a double set of doors into the study at 3ft wide and a single door into the living room which was going to be a dummy (i.e. not required to work).  However both of these decisions proved impractical as the double doors needed to be wider and if the living room door were a dummy none of us would have been able to get in and out of the set!  Plans were revised to two sets of double doors at 4ft wide both of which would work.  Feedback from Colin also meant that we needed to look at the design details again to further Baroque them up making them seem to be taller and altogether grander.  

 After a fruitful hour in the library looking at pictures of original period doors I decided to keep the panelling of the original door designs but inlay fabric into them surrounding it with gold mouldings and sweeping gold handles.  The architraving would also be enhanced with matching gold mouldings.

Making the doors was another team effort.  Callum made them (with help from Nicola Tibbles) as miniature flats 2ft x 8ft and double skinned the study doors which were to be seen both sides but single skinned the living room doors.

These were then offered up to the hole and positions for the hinges were marked.  The hinges were sunk into both the door and the frame by chiselling out a rebate with a hammer and chisel.  These were not too pretty however this would be covered at a later stage by the architraving.   Callum then painted the doors with two coats of Mahogany wood stain before handing them to me for the twiddly bits!
We bought ovalo mouldings from Wickes and painted them gold.  This proved to be the hardest part of the doors!  After several unsuccessful coats of gold paint left a weak coverage Henry Jones suggested painting a base coat of red followed by the gold coat to give a better depth of colour - this was much more successful.
I cut the fabric from a table runner (found by Sarah Laker) into two panels, a smaller one of 2ft and a larger one of almost 4ft.  The panels were designed to suggest that the doors continued upwards with another panel.  They were fixed to the doors with spray mount.  I precut the mouldings to size and glued these around the edges of the fabric with a glue gun.  
  The first set of doors were laid out by eye but this was an unreliable guide and I had to reposition a panel as it was not square. For the second set of doors I used precut blocks of MDF as an edging guide for the mouldings and a set square!  The study doors were easier as there was no fabric and we painted the interior of the moulded panel with a further coat of stain to add detail.  This sounds like a deliberate descision but it was made due to the fact the fabric ran out - I would ensure the availablility of further fabric in any future designs.
Once finished Callum rehung the doors with the help of Robert Button ensuring the bottom was packed off the floor with a piece of timber to allow for opening and closing.
The finished Living Room doors surrounded by moulded architraving

The Study doors during fiming clearly showing the darker panel detail.

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