Walkabout Crafts Logowww.walkaboutcrafts.com
Walkabout Crafts - The online gift shop for buying and selling arts and crafts

home  |  buy  |  sell  |  gift shop  |  craft topics  |  free gifts  |  contact


Home > Craft Topics > Craft Introductions > Wrought Ironwork

The Craft of Wrought Ironwork

Blacksmithing CoursesIntroduction to Blacksmithing

The great precision of the blacksmiths, with their profound understanding of puddled iron, created a wealth of durable, intricate art over the centuries. Today wrought ironwork is made more accessible through the use of less expensive mild steel.

Origins of Wrought Ironwork

Wrought ironwork is an ancient craft which flourished as far back as the Roman occupation of Britain. In medieval times local blacksmiths were skilled, producing all sorts of wrought ironwork from pots and pans to jewellery and snuff boxes.

The blacksmiths work over the centuries was partly determined by periods of war and peace - in times of war the blacksmith was diverted from religious, domestic and agricultural works to the need to forge weapons. The late 19th century saw a revival of interest in the craft and some beautiful examples of wrought ironwork date from this time.

Today, the craftsperson normally uses mild steel, which is less costly than traditional puddled iron. But the term wrought ironwork is nevertheless used to describe items worked (not forged) in mild steel. The art of wrought ironwork lies in the use of heat to work the metal into your chosen shapes and to then form a bond between the appropriate surfaces.

Basic techniques of Wrought Ironwork

The basic techniques of wrought ironwork - sawing, filing, drilling, shaping and bonding the metal - are straightforward to learn.
The craftsperson begins by making a full scale drawing of the design to serve as an accurate guide while the work is in progress.
The metal parts needed to make up the design are cut to accurate lengths. This is done either by hand using a hacksaw or with a special machine.
Using heat, the metal parts are now worked into chosen shapes and then bonded together - this is usually referred to as forge work. The metal is shaped in a furnace or fire which should be fuelled by coal or coke. There is a range of tools, many of which have remained unchanged for centuries, used in combination with hammers and chisels to achieve the right effects.
There are also two, more modern, techniques for welding metal. The gas method, known as oxyacetylene welding, uses a flame produced from oxygen and acetylene. The other method, known as arc welding, uses an electric current to weld the surfaces.
Once the metal parts are shaped and welded together, the piece may be given a decorative finish. Simple methods of finishing a work include using hammer and tongs to form the metal ends into neat square or round points. Skilled practitioners of wrought ironwork can produce extremely intricate work at this stage, from leaf and flower motifs - acanthus leaves and roses, for example - to scrolls.
Wrought ironwork can be dangerous - please do not attempt unless you are properly supervised or trained.

  FREE Craft Templates, Projects & Plans

  Art & Craft Supplies

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contributions to this page are more than welcome - please send us your inclusions for approval. 
You may copy this article and place it on your own website, as long as you do not change it and include this resource box including the live link to Walkaboutcrafts.com Copyright © Walkabout Crafts
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you would like to make a donation towards the upkeep of this web site then that would be greatly appreciated. Please click below to make a donation.

Spread the Word...

We are a non funded, non profit organisation and we need your help. To help us promote 'Walkabout Crafts'; Please recommend us to your friends or if you have a web site / social network page please add our link (selection of banner and text links can be found at http://www.walkaboutcrafts.com/banners.htm ), or if your feeling really generous please send a donation.

If you have suggestions of how we can improve our service, please let us know. We love to hear from you!


Gift Shop
Walkabout Crafts - Gift Shop
Find the perfect gift; Exquisite hand made gifts, art, crafts and souvenirs...
Craft Topics
Walkabout Crafts - Craft Topics
Sell Crafts online, Craft Courses, Events, Projects and business advice...
Free Gifts
Walkabout Crafts - Free Gifts
Colouring pages, recipes, Celtic fonts, music, competitions, downloads...

home  |  about us  |  buy  |  sell  |  gift shop  |  craft topics  |  free gifts  |  contact

.

counter statistics

. . .

Walkabout Crafts is a non funded, non profit web site. 100% of all sales go directly to the members. Please support us by telling your friends about us - thank you. Copyright © Walkabout Crafts All rights reserved. Telephone: +44 (0) 773 328 4443