Not a big project, but great to have the chance to work inside Bath’s beautiful Abbey repairing the foot of their historic lectern – here are some pics of Luke fitting new heavy-duty casters to the base. The inscription on the lectern reads…“Presented to the Bath Abbey Church on its restoration by Ann G Bligh as a memorial to her late beloved husband Richard Bligh who died Aug 19, 1869”
This historic gate, overthrow and side panels belong to the St Mary Tory chapel in Bradford on Avon and date back to the early 1800’s. This painstaking and detailed work was carried out by Ironart’s restoration specialist Martin Smith alongside Nadfas conservation intern Cecilie Robinson.
Earlier this week we finished reinstalling the gates which look wonderful next to all the refurbished stonework. These pictures tell the story of the whole project from start to finish.
An album of images showing a lovely forged ‘Poppy Panel’ made earlier this year by the Ironart team. This short section of decorative balustrading was inspired by Ironart’s impressive Meadow Gate project. It was designed to provide a division of space and focal point in a private courtyard garden in Clevedon (between Bristol and Weston Super Mare.)
We undertook the restoration of a cockerel weathervane at St Mary the Virgin Church in Mudford earlier this year for Sally Strachey Conservation.
Ironart’s Martin Smith, and NHIG blacksmith Paul Ashmore, are pictured removing the cockerel from the church tower earlier in 2013. Paul was on a placement with Ironart through the NHIG (National Heritage Ironwork Group) and worked on this project alongside Martin (also pictured here)
We’re currently working alongside Strachey Conservation to restore the weathervane from the spire of Holy Trinity Church in Cleeve, near Bristol. Our brief is to remove and completely restore the weather vane, which looks as if it has had extensive repairs with a variety of materials over it’s lifetime. Martin went on site with James from Strachey where they were met with the difficult task of removing it. The weathervane had been fixed very steadfastly into the top of a beam 4ft below the roof, with a 40ft drop below to the belfry!
Ironart’s restoration plans for the weathervane include removing any corrosion, joining the two halves together with a threaded bar. Martin will remodel the missing cardinal point from scratch using original puddled wrought iron sheet before rivetting it back on. The whole weathervane will be painted to minimise future rusting and the cardinal points will be finished in gold leaf. We’ll post some pics of the finished weathervane here on the blog once it’s done.
The weathervane at the Holy Trinity Church, Cleeve
We’ve just finished restoring the gates and railings at the Saxon Church in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. This little church is of national importance as one of the most complete Saxon buildings still in existence. The stonework was decaying beneath the railings which had been individually leaded in. The pictures show ‘before’ and ‘after’ images of the railings in situ at the church.
For all wrought iron ecclesiastical restoration and repairs, please pick up the phone or send us an email to discuss your project.
We have just finished restoring a highly unusual gilt weathervane. St George’s is the parish church of Easton in Gordano, in the deanery of Portishead. At the top of the church spire overlooking the Severn Bridge sits a majestic gilt dragon with a bright red mouth. Andy and the team here at Ironart were briefed to remove, refurbish and refit the dragon weathervane, with repairs also to the spire and the supply of new ‘Cardinal points’ (that’s the North, South, East and West letters below the weathervane).
The team here at Ironart were also asked to ensure the dragon was fixed securely in place with a locking mechanism to stop him being lifted off in the strong sea winds that buffet the church spire throughout the year.
We entrusted Frome-based expert gilder Krysta Brooks with the task of restoring the characterful dragon to his former glory – and she did a truly wonderful job as the pictures attest. (Krysta also restores giltwood furniture, frames and antiques and can be contacted on 01373 461413).
Ironart’s Jason Balchin recently started his metalwork restoration course at the National School of Blacksmithing in Hereford – the NHIGAward for Blacksmithing Conservation. The vision behind the programme is to bring together the skills of excellent blacksmithing practice and professional conservation practice to provide unique and specialist training. Andy was really keen to send a member of the Ironart team on the NHIG course to develop our expertise in this field. Examples of course modules will be:
History of Ironwork: Style, makers and heritage representative organisations.
Conservation Principles and Practise: Philosophy and ethics, approach and procedure
Environmental Issues: Working on Heritage sites, protection of work and environment
Jason Balchin - drifting out a punched hole
The course commenced in May 2011 and runs alongside the full time course. Jason will attend a series of five ‘release’ weeks throughout the year. So far he has completed two weeks out of the five. Jason’s latest assignment was to choose an historic piece of ironwork, photograph and document it, develop technical drawings to replicate the piece. Jason chose the screen to the Lady Chapel in St Stephen’s Church in Manvers Street, Bath. Last week saw him making tongs, hardening and tempering medium carbon steel chisels and punches, firewelding and chainmaking. He trained for three days under Paul Allen FWCB. In this picture he is drifting out a punched hole in the horizontal rail from a railing sample to make it bigger.
Jason commenced work here at Ironart in September 2008, and holds a B-Tech First Diploma in Art & Design from Somerset College of Art & Design. Prior to that he achieved a National B-Tech in Restoration and Blacksmithing from Herefordshire College. Jason is a skilled blacksmith who produces accurate and accomplished metalwork, we wish him every success with his course and look forward to sharing his newfound knowledge and skills.
Today Jason has been repairing an ecclesiastical cross for Minerva Stone. Extra material had to be added to the length of the cross to create a boltable lap joint.
Jason chose to use a traditional scarf fireweld to add the extra section. Working on the coke forge both pieces were heated to a state where the surface of the materials is liquid, at which point he fused them together.