Crafting useful households items from wrought iron is primarily an art of the blacksmith. The metal must be worked at the right heat to ensure that it flexes properly and is created into the right shape without losing any strength. The methods and tools used by blacksmiths today in creating hand-wrought work retain much of the essence of the old. However there are tools available which make the modern smith able to craft shapes and structures beyond the reach of their antecedents and far more easily. On top of that are the wide variety in which stock pieces are available, which would have had to be fashioned laboriously from crude ingots by blacksmiths of times past. Iron has been used for ornamental work since classical times.
Despite the fact that iron is proverbial for rusting, the fact is wrought iron, with its impurities (mostly silicates) is remarkably resistant to rust and other forms of decay which can afflict ferrous metals. Much metalwork available today is likely to be either cast iron or, more commonly, mild steel. However there are some artisans still working with wrought iron. Using a combination of traditional blacksmithing skills with contemporary designs to create unique and beautiful creations, which would take pride of place in almost any home or office.
Wrought iron is ductile, which combined with its strength makes it suitable for countless applications around domestic or commercial properties, yet styled into beautiful form. Unlike many other common metals used in similar circumstances, wrought iron maintains its place due to the characteristic features it brings. Be it banisters, railings, gates, balustrades, furniture, ornaments, lighting fixtures and more, wrought iron makes the perfect material. Hampshire blacksmiths such as Cliff Madgwich will often only create items to order, meaning every commission is bespoke, designed from the ground up to the customers exact specifications. This makes wrought iron work far more personal, it is perfectly made to measure and in the hands of a master creates forms of incredibly beauty.
Click here to see Cliff Madgwich's work
using hot forged wrought iron.