Ironworking in Paradise

Updated: Dec 31, 2019

If you've never been to Hawaii... GO. The landscape was absolutely inspiring, and you're apt to meet some interesting folks. After spending time at the Nimitz Design Center, I got a railing commission for a condo in downtown Honolulu. The owners had seen my sculptural work and asked for an original work of art. For me, it couldn't get any better. The next day I was sitting under a traveller's palm, mesmerized by the waves rolling onto shore. I decided to base my design on those two elements, and grabbed my sketchbook.

I moved quickly from sketching into Adobe Illustrator. I found a maker space in Kalihi, where there were just enough ironworking tools to get me by, and oh... a 4x8 CNC Mill. Of course I was going to find a way to use that! I uploaded my ai. file and milled the vectors onto plywood at full scale. It worked slicker than hell for creating a template.

Then the fun began. Like I said, there were limited ironworking tools, but it was a blast getting back to basics. I bent every piece with nothing but a hammer and two pieces of railroad track measuring one foot in length. No heat was used in the making of this railing; the stock was 3/8 round and 1/4x2 flat.

At this stage in the game I took it to One Stop Titanium in Pearl City for a paint job. Notice that the rail is built in three sections for easy transportation. We used an epoxy finish, high gloss. The final paint color was bamboo to match the condo's interior. Enjoy the final pics, and thanks for reading.

Quinn Morrissette is an American artisan based in Portsmouth, NH, USA, specializing in sculpture, bespoke furniture, and architectural installations. To view his work visit

Quinn Morrissette Studio
1 Raynes Ave
Portsmouth, NH 03801
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