Space of the Week: The Hardware-Maker’s Headquarters

For the past seventeen years hardware designer Carl Martinez has used this Chinatown studio as a workshop, showroom, and occasional place to crash. His custom-made hardware is on view in glass cases lining the walls. The loft bed was constructed by the previous tenant, but Carl made the curtains from painter’s canvas bought in a hardware store and installed them for separation, and concealing storage space as well as a huge safe left over from the building’s past life as jewelers’ offices. Photo: Carl Martinez

One of Carl’s thirteen-inch cast-bronze mirrors, with a faceted-quartz-crystal post. Photo: Wendy Goodman

“The amazing brain coral was found in a junk shop in Easton, Pennsylvania (my second home), where it was being used as a doorstop! I think I paid $40 and carried it home. The nickel-plated oval piece was inspired by lingam stones and is resting on a NYC cobblestone found on the street.” (The latter was part of a five-sculpture show exhibited at Tiffany & Co. ten years ago.) Both now sit atop a display case of Carl’s powder-coated brass hardware on the left (available in all Color-aid colors), along with wood knobs and curtain hardware samples. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The glass pieces are knobs, pulls, curtain finials and tiebacks, all handblown by glassblowers in Brooklyn whom Carl commissioned over the years. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The massive safe sits locked tight in the middle of the 450-square-foot studio, a reminder that this area of Canal Street was once part of the old jewelry district. Photo: Wendy Goodman

The safe’s handles inspired Carl to make this metal door pull that can function as a doorknob. It is made of 24-karat-plated brass with a lacquered bronze base. Photo: Wendy Goodman

This brass andiron with a crystal sphere was fabricated for the collection a decade ago. Photo: Wendy Goodman

One of Carl’s most recent pieces is this bronze door pull of a cast branch with lacquered metal spheres in hues of gray. The lacquer can be done in any color.Photo: Carl Martinez

Space of the Week: The Hardware-Maker’s Headquarters