The sketches are then coloured in with watercolour and discussed with the client. After the client gives the thumbs-up, we create a CAD work drawing, which we print to full scale.
This is the blueprint we used on the shop floor to forge the solid iron parts according to plan. All the forged parts are then put together in the forge and joined using the old techniques. As soon as everything is in place, the item can be transported to a specialised company, where the wrought iron will be stripped of its mill scale and undergo the necessary anti-corrosion treatment. After the treatment, we like to add the finishing coat (paint) by hand. When hand-painted, the highlights in the ironwork are more visible and enhanced. The ironwork can now be delivered and installed on the client’s premises.
That is why it is so important to understand the material used to produce old ironwork and the techniques used by traditional craftsmen. Current building practice relies heavily on steel and countless alloys, such as stainless steel and aluminium, compared with the past when wrought iron and cast iron were widely used.
When crafting something from wrought iron, the metal resembles bread dough or candy taffy, whereas steel and iron are liquid. As a result, there are significant differences in terms of composition and structure. Old wrought iron has a layered and fibrous structure with slag, in addition to a low carbon content between 0.02% and 0.07%. Steel has a homogeneous structure. You need specialist knowledge and experience to disassemble the joined forgings, treat them with care (we choose a new finish based on colour research) and re-join them, in accordance with the original technique. During the restoration process, any missing or excessively damaged parts are re-manufactured from wrought iron.
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