Tour of Britain Sun Flower

On Friday the sixth stage of the Tour of Britain bike race kicked off in Bath. As many of you will know (the Wiggo sideburns are a dead giveaway) cycling is something that is very close to Andy’s heart – so no prizes for guessing who took full advantage of this wonderful photo opportunity!

Ironart’s Sun Flower was perfectly positioned as a backdrop as the peloton raced along Great Pulteney Street, zoomed past the sculpture on the Bathwick Hill roundabout, then headed off along Pulteney Road and out of Bath towards Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge. It was over in a flash, but it was a very beautiful moment.

 

 

 

 

The Zero Degrees Gate, Bristol

Ironart’s Martin Smith worked closely with our clients Woodhouse & Law in Bath to design, make and install this amazing ‘found objects’ gate at Zero Degrees in Bristol. This was a really exciting and interesting project which we executed within a very tight deadline.

Martin and our team pulled out all the stops to make this happen, sourcing all component parts from scrap yards, salvage yards and contacts we knew would be hoarding bits and pieces we could use!  The gate features Clifton Suspension Bridge, plenty of references to the Bristol Docks, engineering, Brunel, industry and hot air ballooning. We are absolutely chuffed to bits with the results – it look terrific. This completely unique and quirky gate is at the entrance to Zero Degrees micro-brewery and restaurant right in the centre of Bristol at 53 Colston Street Bristol BS1 5BA. We’re sure it will stop people in their tracks for many years to come!

Zero Degrees Ironart gate

Ironart in Antique Collecting magazine

Garden antiques expert James Rylands writes in detail about Coalbrookdale garden furniture in the July/August issue of Antique Collecting magazine – an interesting article that’s well worth a read if you can lay  your hands on a copy. The magazine is published by the Antique Collector’s Club www.antique-collecting.co.uk 01394 389 950 We were approached by the magazine to offer advice on the restoration of Coalbrookdale furniture and Ironart’s Martin Smith is quoted in the article.  James Rylands been involved in antiques from 1979 when he joined Sotheby’s. In 1986  he set up the Garden Statuary department in Sothebys Sussex. He is the co-author of a book on garden ornaments and the founder of Summers Place Auctions in West Sussex, which specialises in garden statuary.

For more information on the restoration of antique cast iron furniture, please take a look at the Restoration area on our website, where you’ll find a portfolio of commissions. If you have any questions or want some advice about restoration, please get in touch.

 

 

Medieval-style chandeliers

We have just received images from a client near Glastonbury who commissioned this lovely circular barn-style chandelier in a rusted finish. I’ve also included some images of the piece on the bench in the workshop while it was being assembled. The design was based on a previous project here at Ironart, but in this instance the chandelier was wired by the client’s electrician to accommodate candle stems and electric bulbs. These are bespoke items and can be made to any size, please contact us if you’d like some more info.

Team day trip to Wolverhampton!

On Thursday the entire team downed tools and headed off on a sunny day trip to Wolverhampton! Andy wanted to introduce the Ironart team to some of our suppliers, to give everyone an insight into different aspects of the architectural metalwork “supply chain” and how it all works.

First we visited Legg Brothers steel rolling mill and soaked up the atmosphere inside their vast workshop. An awe-inspiring series of complex industrial machinery and some seriously heavy-duty manpower in full rhythmical production. It was an impressive sight.

Next we headed over to the fascinating Aladdin’s cave that is Barr and Grosvenor casting foundry on Jenner Street, where we met with Dominic and Lynn Grosvenor and their team for a full tour of their casting workshop. Dominic is a passionate advocate of traditional casting techniques and it was an absolute pleasure to meet him and a real treat to see his team of craftsmen at work in this unique environment. They kindly topped off our visit with a delicious lunch for which we were really grateful.

Finally our day ended with a whistle-stop tour of Edward Howell Galvanizing plant in Wolverhampton courtesy of Jim Lindsay and Kevin Addiss, where we all gazed in wonder at their enormous warehouses full of acid dip-baths and vats of hot moulten zinc. They were hard at work dipping rack upon rack of metal palisade fence posts…we’ll never look at palisade fencing again without remembering this experience!

Thank you so much to our generous hosts for giving up their time and energy to enlighten us, we absolutely loved it!

 

 

 

The ‘Sun Flower’ Sculpture, Bathwick Hill

Andy and the team were up at the crack of dawn on Saturday 14th June to set up the spectacular ‘Sun Flower’ sculpture on the roundabout at the bottom of Bathwick Hill in the centre of Bath. The pictures we’ve blogged below tell the story of the sculpture installation. This is the culmination of months of hard work and preparation and we are all incredibly excited about it. We have been working closely with Bath and North East Somerset Council Parks & Grounds department to ensure this exciting new 4.7m high structure is on display for the 50th Anniversary of ‘Britain in Bloom’ in July. Striking pieces of public art always ignite a public reaction and with any luck this will get everyone talking…which is exactly the response we want. Join the debate on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @Ironart_of_Bath

Ironart Bathwick Hill Sunflower Sculpture 2014

The Sun Flower was conceived by Andy and hand made by the team here in Larkhall. Informed by his love of the natural world, geometry, and engineering, the design continues his exploration of forms and processes used in his everyday work as an architectural ironworker. “I had a completely open brief for this sculpture which wasn’t conceived as a literal manifestation of a sun flower but as an ‘’homage to the sun’, that universal force radiating its energy to us all. It represents life and growth, the fire we work with, an opportunity to fuse traditional skills with contemporary design”(Andy Thearle, Ironart of Bath)

Please spread the word……It’s FOR SALE! It’s anticipated that it will be in situ for 12 months. Ironart and BathNES Council are looking for a company or individual to secure it for the future within the City. The sculpture carries a price tag of £20,000 + vat, but is offered at £15,000 + vat by Ironart to secure it as a piece of public art for the city. Interested parties should contact the Ironart team on 01225 311 273.

More (really techie) information about the Sun Flower sculpture!

The Ironart Sun Flower stands 4.7m high x 4.5m at its widest point and weighs approximately 750kg. It was made in mild steel which has been galvanized. It stems from a 450mm base which is attached to 1800kg of underground ballast to stop it keeling over! The supporting legs are 70 x 20m rectangular sections which were cold rolled with ends that were tapered and scrolled in the forge. The legs are secured to the foundation metalwork by 2 no. M16 bolts per leg. The flame details are a combination of 50 x 10mm and 50 x 20mm sections which have been cold rolled then hand-shaped, with hot forged ends. The petals are constructed from 34mm heavy wall tube which were rolled, mitred and welded. Leg/flower connections have been made with 50 x 13mm metal collars with 3 no. M10 bolt fixings. Absolutely everything was done in the Ironart Larkhall workshop by our skilled team of artist blacksmiths with the exception of the cold rolled 70 x 20mm legs which we outsourced due to their size.
The legs are finished in a combination of Bronze Green and metallic paints from the Ardenbrite range. The stripes are in Light gold and Copper. The flower petals in Green Gold, the flames in Sovereign Gold.
The tricky installation was carried out by a team of five people, using a purpose-built 4.5m high gantry bolted to the foundations, with a block and tackle combined with good old fashioned man power and ingenuity!

 

 

 

Trial assembly of the Sun Flower sculpture…

Many hands on deck this morning as Andy put the Sun Flower sculpture together for the first time. The whole team here in the workshop were involved, with some head-scratching and problem solving along the way. The sculpture looks incredible and will look even more striking once painted. All feeling very excited about this project, which will be the second piece of public art that we’ve had on display on the Bathwick Hill roundabout. The sculpture is for sale and we are looking for someone to fund it’s permanent installation elsewhere in the City in 2015. Please contact us on 01225 311723 if you would like more details about this.

Replica glazed fanlight

Our restoration specialist Martin Smith and NADFAS apprentice Cecilie Robinson made this beautiful replica glazed fanlight a few weeks ago for a Georgian terraced house on Prior Park Buildings in Bath. Martin matched his design to a photograph he had been given of an existing glazed lantern from the terrace. If your house used to have a glazed fanlight above the door and you would like us to match to a historic design, we’ll happily give you some advice and a no-obligation quote so please get in touch. Please note we also restore and repair historic metalwork items like this.

 

 

An elegant garden gazebo

A few weeks ago we made and installed this simple, elegant garden gazebo structure in a private garden in Farmborough near Bath. This unique and unusual structure was designed to support four trees and form the focal point for a terrace in front of the house.

The intention is that the immature trees will be trained to follow the curves of each corner so that the entire piece will form an arbour, covered in foliage over time. The gazebo has been left unpainted in it’s galvanized finish, which will weather from silver to a matt grey patina. Martin and Andy made up a small scale model for the client to approve prior to making the finished piece (pictured). If you thinking about commissioning a bespoke garden structure and need some advice, we’d love to help so please get in touch 01225 311 273.

ModelArbour gazebo Farmborough Bath (7)Arbour gazebo Farmborough Bath (6) Arbour gazebo Farmborough Bath (5)Arbour gazebo Farmborough Bath (1)Arbour gazebo Farmborough Bath (4)Arbour gazebo Farmborough Bath (3)  

Some unusual balustrading

Here are some recent pics of some balustrading we made and installed on a contemporary house in Saltford near Bristol last year. The house was being completely renovated and needed something in keeping for the front steps. Andy wasn’t the least bit constrained by the architecture of this interesting house, and his inspiration for this design was taken from a Scandinavian style wooden interior balustrade. Highly unusual and highly effective!