Congratulations Paul Ashmore and Rowan Taylor

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Our very best wishes to Paul Ashmore and Rowan Taylor who both received awards at the National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG) awards ceremony last month. Both Paul and Rowan were on placement here at Ironart earlier in 2013 and have now graduated from the second and final year of the NHIG Heritage Blacksmiths Bursary programme. The training was the first of its kind in the UK and set up by the NHIG as part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Skills for the future programme.

The prizes awarded were ‘Best Blacksmith’ which went to Paul Ashmore, and for ‘Best Portfolio’ which went to Rowan Taylor.  For information on the National Heritage Ironwork Group please take a look at the website:



NADFAS Grant for blacksmith Cecilie Robinson

Exciting news! The NADFAS (National Association of the Decorative and Fine Art Societies) Grants Committee have awarded us a grant from the Patricia Fay Memorial Fund. This grant will be used to create a six month ‘Historic Metalwork Restoration’ training placement at Ironart for a talented young female blacksmith, Cecilie Robinson.

In 2013 Cecilie completed the Extended Diploma in Metalwork and Blacksmithing at The National School of Blacksmithing in Hereford, and was recognized with their ‘Best Student Award.’ Cecilie who lives in Larkhall, and grew up in Bath, was inspired to explore blacksmithing when she visited Master Blacksmith Don Barker’s Forge. Already a talented artist she was part way through a degree in Illustration at Camberwell College in London, before changing tack and pursuing a career in metalwork.

Cecilie, who has worked here during her college holidays during the past year to help us out when we’ve been really busy, will shadow the Ironart team on a series of restoration projects during her placement, learning techniques to repair heritage forged and cast ironwork as well as non-ferrous metals. She will also be visiting other workshops, foundries and museums during her time here, to underpin her training. We are really grateful to the NADFAS Grants Committee for this opportunity. Cecilie has a bright future in blacksmithing and will be a great ambassador for both NADFAS and the trade as a whole.

Cecilie Robinson - lead casting Cecilie Robinson

Meet Simon Bushell, journeyman blacksmith

We’re lucky enough to have Simon Bushell here for a short while. Simon has completed the Hereford College Design & Forgework Skills course, and has joined the Ironart team to help out on a few projects. This week he’s been making hinges and working on the new Ironart front gates.

Here’s a link to Simon’s blog – worth grabbing a cup of tea as it makes for an entertaining read, and another link to the page about his work.

Simon Bushell

Fireplace restoration

We recently restored a simple but lovely cast iron fireplace for a local customer.

Martin created a new steel grate which we sent off to be recast at the foundry we use in London. The foundry also supplied a new cast back plate. Martin reassembled the whole fireplace and it’s now back in situ. Job done!

Restoration of an original cast iron fireplace, Bath

Restoration of an original cast iron fireplace, Bath

sharp fire repair - new cast back

In the workshop today…18th July

Just a few snaps of the team hard at work in the intense heat we’ve been experiencing. Martin and Paul are pictured putting the finishing touches to the renewed leadwork detail on a pair of beautiful balconettes which we have been commissioned to restore for a listed property in Bath. Interestingly although they look very similar the two balconnettes are not identical – and one is older than the other.

Dom looking delighted to be doing his ‘maths homework’ on the handrail of a lovely decorative balustrade for a period property on the fringes of Bath.  James and Jason finishing off some simple panel railings while Jim is working on some hot forged scrolls for the same balustrade.


In the workshop today…6th June 2013

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Just snapped some pics of the guys at work… Jim has just finished making this really pretty French-style day bed for a local family who wanted something a bit different for their daughters bedroom. The bed will eventually have a painted finish. Dom is making up a lovely spear-finial garden gate and Dean is making […]

And for our next trick… a coconut shy!

Amidst a backdrop of large and time-consuming ironwork projects comes a completely curved ball in the shape of a commission for a coconut shy! The coconut shy is Ironart’s contribution to the forthcoming Larkhall Festival on 4th – 6th May 2013. Larkhall is a vibrant little community on the edge of Bath and if you’ve never been to take a look around we highly recommend that you come and visit.  The festival looks set to be a lot of fun, with exhibitions, concerts, talent contests, food tasting sessions, arts and craft workshops, a casino and a ‘Party in the Park’. Pictured here is our apprentice architectural metalworker James  Cuthbertson, with the Ironart coconut shy!

A coconut shy!

A coconut shy!