The Heirloom Companies Earns National Distinction
Apr 04, 2019 10:19AM
By Kathleen Maris
Photo: The two-tiered light fixture for the new United Community Bank in Spartanburg.
For nine years running, works that were designed and/or produced by The Heirloom Companies have been honored by the National Ornamental and Miscellaneous Metals Association (NOMMA) during its 2019 Ernest Wiemann Top Job Competition in Indianapolis, Ind. This year, the Heirloom Companies received one gold award in the Furniture & Accessory Fabrication—Nonforged category, two silver awards in the Interior Railings—Nonferrous and Ferrous (Forged) and Exterior Railings & Fences—Nonforged categories, and one bronze award in the Stairs Complete—Commercial category.
“We are humbled to be recognized for not only our skill but our team again this year,” said Ben Moseley, chief operations officer of The Heirloom Companies. “We are grateful to be continuously recognized for our craftsmanship and dedication to the industry. Our unique approach incorporates old-world techniques with the latest technology to deliver the best possible product to our clients and we are happy to have our efforts recognized.”
Through the Ernest Wiemann Top Jobs Competition, NOMMA awards member organizations for their excellence in design and products in 17 categories. Each category recognizes a gold, silver, and bronze winner, all announced at the annual METALfab Conference. Top Job entries are displayed throughout the conference and every member organization receives one vote per category.
Gold | Furniture & Accessory Fabrication—Nonforged
(Metal fabrication including custom castings and cold forged elements with less than five percent hand forgings)
The Heirloom Companies designed and developed a light fixture for the new United Community Bank in Spartanburg. Hanging in the main entrance of the bank, this two-tiered light fixture is 15 feet tall and eight feet wide and was made to coordinate with the main staircase located inside the bank lobby (click here to view).
Fabricated from steel and bronze, most parts were cut using a waterjet. The light bulbs are “Edison” type, which, when reflecting off the bronze, create a very warm glow. An especially interesting view of the fixture can be seen by standing directly underneath it, looking straight up. The bottom section serves to “picture frame” the upper section visually.
“At a time when everything is mass-produced, it is wonderful to work with a company that takes ownership in all they do at their Spartanburg County, S.C. facility,” said Kim Mode, president of United Community Bank’s Spartanburg and Cherokee County operations. “I believe that United Community Bank’s new United Community Plaza location will always be a special building for our company, due to the special details designed and constructed by The Heirloom Companies’s attentive staff.”
Silver | Interior Railings—Nonferrous and Ferrous (Forged)
(All railings containing custom hand forged elements)
This particular project showcased the abilities of The Heirloom Companies’s blacksmiths. The job came to Heirloom in the form of a “blank check.” The architects at Paul L. Johnson Interiors used words like “unique,” “elaborate,” and “show stopping” when describing what was wanted and gave Heirloom free reign when it came to design. With some minor changes, the first design submission was approved.
The panels in this railing are all 100 percent forged with no purchased elements (click here to view). The narrow size of the room constrained the Heirloom team in that there were very few vantage points to be able to get a complete unobstructed view of the entire rail, so they were careful not to over complicate the design. Both the architect and the homeowner were thrilled with the outcome.
Silver | Exterior Railings & Fences—Nonforged
(All railings and fences including custom castings and cold forged elements with less than five percent custom hand forgings)
The Heirloom Companies developed 20 panels of varying length and four gates to enclose a circular garden located behind St. Paul the Apostle Church in Spartanburg, S.C. The biggest challenge was breaking down the cast panels in order to create the curved effect that matched the stone ledge that all the panels sat on (click here to view).
In order to support the significant weight of the gates, a custom hinge system was fabricated. Adding to the design and weight of the gate is the custom cast bronze medallions in the center of each gate. Heirloom created the pattern for the medallion in-house and one cast weighed approximately 80 pounds.
Bronze | Stairs Complete—Commercial
(Majority of the stair is to be metal construction installed in a private residence)
Along with the custom light fixture, The Heirloom Companies developed the main staircase in the lobby of Spartanburg’s United Community Bank (click here to view). As the focal point of the bank, the railing hearkens back to the old “bank teller windows” that were in use in the early twentieth century.
The railing panels are three layers with bronze sandwiched in between an inside and outside layer of steel. The stringer portion of the stairs that supports the treads and risers was made from a 14-inch steel channel. Raised panels were fabricated to fit in the open side of the channel to create a vintage industrial look. The steel treads were clad in oak to match the newels and handrail. The intermediate newels located on the pitched section where hammered from solid two-inch square stock. Approximate installation and fabrication time was 400 hours.