BathIRON 2018

Save the date! An absolute must for your 2018 diary…Thursday, 14th June to Sunday, 17th June when the NHIG’s first major event will take place in the World Heritage City of Bath…

BathIRON will be a unique event aimed at heritage professionals and craft practitioners from all over the world, as well as the general public, with the principal aim of celebrating and raising awareness of one of our neglected national treasures – the country’s wealth of Historic Ironwork.

BathIRON

Supported by the British Artist Blacksmiths Association (BABA) and the Institute of Conservation (ICON), BathIRON will consist of a rare opportunity to attend a two-day Historic Ironwork Conference, to be held at Bath’s Grade 1 listed Guildhall, and a four-day Festival of Ironwork in elegant Parade Gardens.

The NHIG is committed to the preservation of historic ironwork – championing and educating those who care for it, inspiring a new generation to develop traditional ironworking skills and raising awareness of its precarious position as a frequently overlooked aspect of our built heritage.

In keeping with its mission to safeguard the future of heritage ironwork, the NHIG will be staging this large-scale public forging event, providing a unique opportunity to witness Master Blacksmiths and their teams at work as a stunning new balustrade for the bandstand is forged live. Bespoke in design and befitting its historic surroundings, the balustrade will be made using traditional skills, creating a wonderful legacy for future generations.

If you would like to become involved in the event yourself or know of anyone else who might want to support BathIRON, do contact the NHIG direct on 07503 764712 or at info@nhig.org.uk.

For more information, go to BathIRON 2018

Help to forge Bath’s future heritage!

Ironart at Ypres 2016

Ypres in Flanders saw a fantastic turnout for its week long International Blacksmithing event last week. Bringing together blacksmiths and farriers from around the world to create a stunning new World War 1 Cenotaph for the 21st Century, the cenotaph will stand as a beacon of hope for future generations, commemorating all those who died, survived and were affected by the conflict 100 years ago.

Represented by Andy, Alan, Alan’s wife Helen and James, Ironart was proud to attend and take part in this unique event, travelling the return trip of 580 miles by camper van and bicycle, via the Channel Tunnel.

Andy told us:

“The set up at Ypres was incredibly impressive – over 20 nationalities were represented across the 170+ blacksmiths attending. Split into 25 teams under Master Blacksmiths, the forging stations ran really well with Alan, James and I joining different masters to produce the individually designed railing panels which will flank the 12-tonne centrepiece of the Cenotaph – a 7m high slab of steel featuring a single Flanders Field poppy surrounded by a field of 2,016 steel poppies – all handcrafted by blacksmiths and farriers from all over the world.”

Over the six day event, the town saw parades and events to commemorate the Great War and all those who suffered, including the laying of a wreath of poppies forged by children. Alongside the forging spectacle, ‘Transition’, an exhibition of contemporary forged metal design, was also on display. The international exhibition will tour the UK and mainland Europe finishing in London as part of the centenary Armistice celebrations in 2018.

“As always it was great to meet up with old friends and make new acquaintances; working in international teams really does inspire. It was also a great opportunity for us to spread the word about BathIRON 2017 a celebration of our nation’s heritage ironwork, which the NHIG (National Heritage Ironwork Group) is staging in June next year. A rare and exciting event, Bath’s Parade Gardens will host a Festival of Ironwork that will see the live creation of a brand new balustrade for the park’s bandstand. Alongside this, a two-day Historic Ironwork Conference at the Guildhall will focus on conservation and restoration of our nation’s heritage ironwork.”

“We thoroughly enjoyed Ypres 2016 – huge thanks and congratulations to BABA and the Belgian Guild of Blacksmiths (ASG) for organising. For the Ironart contingent, it gave James and myself a great opportunity to get our cycling gear on and take in some beautiful countryside on our 120-mile return leg from Calais to Ypres. Many thanks to Alan and Helen for driving…a road trip to remember!”

Alan checks over the precious cargo!

Alan checks over the precious cargo!

Ypres, here we come!

Ypres, here we come!

Andy working on his team's panel

Andy working on his team’s panel

James and his teammates working on their tool-themed panel

James and his teammates working on their tool-themed panel

Andy with his team and finished panel

Andy with his team and finished panel

Alan with this forging team in French Catalan hats!

Alan with this forging team in French Catalan hats – supplied by members of the Association de Ferronnerie Catalane (http://www.association-ferronnerie-catalane.com)

The lads at the Cenotaph Poppy

The lads at the Cenotaph Poppy

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Ironart attends NHIG’s inaugural best practice seminar

Keeping up to date with best practice is a vital part of our ongoing training here at Ironart, so we were delighted to attend the NHIG’s first seminar on the Cleaning, Protection and Coating of Historic Ironwork at the Rural Crafts Centre in Hereford, a few weeks ago.

With around 50 delegates participating from as far afield as Scotland, London and the South Coast the seminar covered three key areas:

Current Cleaning Methods and their Effects, The Effects of Environment on Corrosion and Current Corrosion Control Methods and Historic and Contemporary coatings, their advantages and disadvantages /methods of application.

During the short presentations given, differing treatments were covered with each speaker outlining the relative pro’s and cons. Delegates were then given the opportunity to question, comment and debate on the subject areas covered during the day.

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Andy from Ironart who attended said:

“Getting together with fellow blacksmiths, specialist conservators, architects, the heritage trust and students in a forum like this provides a fantastic opportunity to listen to experts in the subject and then debate – quite vigorously as it turned out! –  the issues and methods involved in cleaning, protecting and coating heritage ironwork. Those who came along agreed that the seminar was a huge step forward in developing best practice advice and guidance for everyone in the field, including practitioners, specifiers and commissioners.”

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Notes were taken of the outcomes which will inform the content for future guidance and advice produced by the NHIG.

Andy said:

“As NHIG Secretary I’d like to thank Hereford & Ludlow College for hosting the event and to everyone who attended. Well done also to the NHIG team and speakers for making this such an informative and interesting inaugural event.”

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Over the next year or so the NHIG will be organising a series of seminars and master classes covering other areas of interest and concern regarding ironwork conservation. With the intention of promoting communication and understanding between  owners, specifiers and conservation professionals and also making available a resource base of information and technical advice on the care and preservation of our heritage ironwork. For updates and latest news, go to www.nhig.org.uk

Your invitation to Ironart this weekend

We are hosting two open days this coming bank holiday weekend here at Ironart and would love to see you.

Larkhall Open Studios 2015

On Saturday 2nd May from 10am – 3pm our workshops will be open as part of the Larkhall Festival weekend. 

Larkhall Open Studios 2015

We’re taking part in the Larkhall Open studios arts trail – an intriguing walking trail featuring the workshops and studios of 18 artists and groups in this area, please follow this link for a map of the trail. It’s completely free and we would love to see you.

 

 

 

 

 

Historic Ironwork – Open day and lecture

Then on Tuesday 5th May  we are opening the workshop doors for an educational event, Andy Thearle (owner of Ironart) will be giving a short, informative lecture entitled: “An introduction to Conservation, Care and Repair of Historic Ironwork.”  

Ironart CPD Event 5th May 2015

This event is also also free*, but booking is essential as space is limited in the workshop. There are two sessions. Choose from 10am- 12 noon or from 2pm-4pm. There is currently some space left in both sessions so please let us know if you’d like to come along. Call 01225 311273 or email ironart@ironart.co.uk

 

 

*(We’d like to encourage those who attend to make a £15 donation to our nominated charity-  the National Heritage Ironwork Group and can provide you with details about how to make a donation)

 

Historic Ironwork – open workshops & lecture

We are hosting an Open Workshops event on Tuesday 5th May 2015.

We will be hosting two sessions that day. 10am – 12noon or 2pm -4pm. Come and take a look around our forge, meet the team and find out more about our bespoke and restoration portfolio of work.

Andy Thearle will be giving a short lecture entitled “An Introduction to Conservation, Care and Repair of Historic Ironwork”. To book in please give us a call on 01225 311273 or email ironart@ironart.co.uk.

Please share this post with your friends and colleagues, we look forward to meeting you.

Ironart CPD Event 5th May 2015

Ironart CPD Event 5th May 2015

National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG)

On Monday Andy and Alice went along to the AGM of the National Heritage Ironwork Group which was held in London. The NHIG objectives are to advance public knowledge and understanding of traditional ironwork and ironworking crafts, in particular through education, research and promotion of high standards.

The NHIG was set up and lauched by a small group of dedicated professionals in 2010. In four years it has grown to a committee of 17 very enthusiastic blacksmiths and heritage professionals who have come together from all corners of the UK to forward the aims of the group. The NHIG has recently been granted charity status and is looking set for some strategic changes – exciting times are ahead. More news on this when we have it.

In the meantime, if you are a blacksmith, heritage professional or simply have an enthusiasm for the conservation of important ironwork please help us to guarantee the future and support the NHIG by becoming a member today at a cost of £50 – spread the word!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St James’s Square balcony restoration

Martin restored two really pretty Georgian balconettes a few weeks ago. These balconettes were situated on the back of a house in St James’s Square in the centre of Bath. I’ve posted the full project on our website – CLICK for a link to take you to that area of our site. We’ve also made a short film showing Martin in action lead casting in the Ironart workshops – so if you’d like to see how it was done… CLICK to take a look.

If you have a similar restoration project in mind and would like some advice, please pick up the phone and get in touch: 01225 311273

The lanterns at Christ Church, Julian Road, Bath

Christchurch Lantern restoration (2)

Ironart featured in the press this week when this pair of handsome lanterns were unveiled by the Bishop of Taunton, Peter Maurice, at Christ Church on Julian Road in Bath. Now Bath and The Bath Chronicle both picked up on the story because, once stripped of their paint, the lanterns were found to be peppered with bullet holes!

The team at Ironart had been commissioned by the trustees of Christ Church to restore the lanterns earlier in 2013 thanks to a generous legacy left by a Christ Church parishioner. The lanterns are of painted copper construction with traditionally made wrought iron brackets. Martin Smith who is head of restoration here at Ironart describes their style as ‘high gothic’ and dates them somewhere between 1860 – 1880. They were originally gas lanterns, and almost certainly base mounted, they had been modified from their use elsewhere to grace the front of the church. One of the lanterns has a series of bullet holes which could not have happened while they were hanging at the church due to their location on the copper crown – nobody seems to know where they came from! The ornate wrought iron brackets with which they were mounted had also been adapted, Martin believes they may have originally formed part of an overthrow-type structure. The only other similar gas lanterns Martin has seen were in Westminster, London.

Martin worked on the full restoration of these historic lanterns with National Heritage Ironwork (NHIG) student Paul Ashmore who was on a placement at Ironart for several months over the summer.  Paul and Martin paintstakingly disassembled the lanterns and made a full assessment on it’s condition and the method of repair, before restoring them to their former glory. Please follow THIS LINK to a full gallery of images of this restoration project.

If you have any questions about this or other similar projects, or have a lantern yourself and would like to discuss it’s repair – please get in touch.

Christchurch Lantern restoration (1) Christchurch Lantern restoration (3)

 

 

Jason finishes his NHIG course

Jason has finished his National Heritage Ironwork Group One-year course (Advanced Skills of Ironwork Restoration) with flying colours.

The NHIG organising team arranged a day at Hampton Court for all the students which was an opportunity to award prizes and celebrate their achievements. Jason took his family up to London for the event and received a special award from Dave Field his course assessor for “Progress in Conservation in Heritage Iron work”.

Chris Topp NHIG Chairman, course tutors and placement sponsors were also present at the event, as well as friends and family of all the students. Everyone went on a tour of the gardens at Hampton Court Palace and the famous Tijou screens during the afternoon.

Jason is over the moon about his award (as was six-year old Olly who was very proud of his dad).  Jason said, ” It was a fantastic experience and a great way to bring closure to a year of hard work.”