Monthly Archives: April 2015

Earth Day and Orion Green

earth-day orion green

Wednesday is Earth Day’s 45th anniversary. It was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970 and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 192 countries. This year Earth Day Network hopes this is the year in which economic growth and sustainability join hands- turning to businesses to take the lead so that world leaders can follow by example.

orion green

So I thought it was appropriate to talk a little “Green” and Orion’s role in it. As a Maker and custom drapery hardware manufacturer, Orion appreciates and is invested in sustainability and the environmental movement.  We have been supporting Earth Island Institute and all its good work through our Orion Green program since 2008.

Earth-Island-Institute1Orion Green

What Does Earth Island Institute Do?

Earth island Institute is a non-profit organization and:

* Supports a worldwide network of 65 solutions-focused projects serving as an incubator for start-up environmental groups

*   Offers special initiatives in developing young environmental leaders

*   Supports both urban and rural community-based habitat restoration like Streets Alive! Streets Alive! Hopes to engage communities about the concepts and application of Sustainable principles. By using art as the platform for storytelling and communication, Streets Alive!  turns neglected urban landscapes and infrastructure into vibrant art pieces and community gathering spaces.

* Works to support networks of watershed groups to tell the story of restoration and conservation with groups like Re-Seed California. Through their Small Grants Program, Earth Island Institute has been able to support locally based restoration efforts. Small grassroots efforts to restore the coastal habitats of Southern California, which have been depleted by an astounding 98%, have been slowly working to bring our wetlands back from the brink of extinction.

Orion believes in Earth Island Institute’s vision. As a small business located in California, we feel that Earth Island Institute is a kindred spirit. Through Orion Green we hope to make a difference and improve the health of our planet. Working together with our trade partners and dealers, Orion chooses to support causes aimed towards the betterment of the environment, the people and animals living on the planet.

We try to make daily business choices to consume less, create awareness, preserve our natural resources and assist others to create a positive impact on our environment.

Orion Green is a simple program – Purchase & Donate >> Match >> Save the Planet’s Health.

How Does it Work?

1. Become a Partner of Orion Green by logging on to

2. As a partner of the Orion Green program $1.00 will be added to your invoices toward your donation to this program.

3. Orion will match your donation by $2.00 making a total donation of $3.00 per invoice contributed to the Earth Island Institute.

Your tax deductible contributions to Earth Island Institute will provide an acknowledgement letter and receipt by Feb 15 each year, for all donations over $10 made to Orion Green in the preceding calendar year.Orion Green bag

You’ll  will receive a tote bag “You are here” as a token of appreciation for the contribution made to the Orion Green program. Orion partners donating over $249 annually will have a special mention in the Annual report published by the Earth Island Institute and sent to each partner via email.

If you are interested in joining us in helping to save the planet, join today at Orion’s website. If you want more details or have questions, email us at

Happy Earth Day!






Iron Art Inspiration


Industry Garden Collection by Studio Job

We’re always on the lookout for iron art inspiration – we knew we had found it when we saw Studio Job’s new outdoor furniture for Seletti. We’ve admired and followed their work for several years and especially loved their wallpaper collection at Milan last year. This year they turned to garden furniture with The Industry Garden Furniture Collection inspired by motifs pulled from their archives (very much how their wallpaper collection came about). Signature motifs like butterflies and gas masks were used to reinterpret traditional garden furniture into hyper kitschy cast iron outdoor chairs and tables.

“The Industry theme is indeed an icon in our language,” said Studio Job. “It has been used in the most different ways.”

Industry Orion iron art

Cast iron garden furniture popular in the 18th century and looks very much the same today.  Iron garden furniture  evolved from the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s when crews of skilled artisans and entire production facilities produced chairs, settees, sofas, love seats and more on a mass scale for both indoor and outdoor use. Cast iron became popular in America for use in garden furniture in the 1830s and 1840s. Cast iron and wrought iron patio furniture was initially painted green, brown and grey, but moved to white during the 19th century; modern cast or wrought iron patio furniture is typically painted black.*


Antique Garden Bench

These early manufacturers relied heavily on Rocco Revival designs, featuring rustic and natural themes such as grape-and-leaf motifs, intricate piercework, flower-and-scroll crests, floral garlands, curled handholds and much more. Designers also incorporated Renaissance Revival and Neoclassical motifs such as columns and lyres, creating pieces that offered antique ornamentation and vintage style.  This style was quite appropriate, since this furniture was initially placed in cemeteries; the old-world influence continued into the late 1800s as the use moved towards the home. Studio Job has turned it on its ear, replacing the perforated swirling patterns used on the furniture’s  flat surfaces with garden related imagery like butterflies and flowers.

Cast Iron vs. Wrought Iron

Cast iron is one of the oldest ferrous metals used in construction and outdoor ornament. Its composition is primarily iron (Fe), carbon (C) and silicon (Si). Cast iron is the most traditional form, and it is easy to cast but can’t be forged or worked (wrought) mechanically in either a hot or cold form. Historically, cast iron has been made by heating iron ore in a blast furnace along with coke and limestone. This process deoxidizes the ore and drives out any impurities, producing molten iron. It is then poured into molds of a desired shape (garden furniture) and allowed to cool and crystallize. Today cast garden furniture is usually made out of aluminum instead of iron.

Today modern products made from wrought iron are actually made from mild steel, and are called wrought iron because they are still worked (wrought) by hand. While modern wrought iron still utilizes “iron” or “mild steel”, modern cast products typically involve aluminum, with “iron” or “mild steel” being reserved strictly for wrought products. Orion uses both the wrought iron and cast methods for our line of iron drapery hardware. Our poles, rods, rings and accessories are wrought and our finials  are cast.

wrought iron art

Orion iron art 266Vienna_7064

Orion iron art Burgundy Collection

Based in Antwerp and the Netherlands, Studio Job, a design duo founded over a decade ago by Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel, produces one-off pieces of sculptural furniture that share little with the reigning aesthetic of minimalism and spareness. Their cast bronze works—tables whose surfaces are models of inverted cathedrals, lamps shamed like the Eiffel Tower—are laser cut for minute detailing and exquisite surface texture. Often described as “neo-gothic,” Studio Job’s pieces are fanciful without being kitschy.





*Dictionary of Furniture by Charles Boyce (Owl Books; Henry Holt and Company; 1985


Orion 101: Traversing Systems

Our April webinar Orion 101: Traversing Systems has been posted. In this continuing series of complimentary webinars, we’ll share tips, tricks and product insights to our product lines and services.  Join us to learn more about specifying and selling traversing systems in our decorative hardware line. You can view it HERE: 

orion traversing systems