Working with an Artist Blacksmith


By Peter Parkinson



The last decade has seen a renaissance in the use of forged architectural metalwork, and a growing recognition of its significance in a wide variety of applications from the utilitarian and decorative, to pieces of site specific public art. New and expressive contemporary styles have emerged alongside the traditional, seeking to respond to the needs of contemporary architecture. These have found expression in a diversity of items from gates, screens, railings and balustrades, to sculpture, lighting, furniture and iron mongery.




Many architects have little experience of wrought metalwork as a medium, and very little has been published dealing with contemporary practice. As a result, designs and specifications are frequently so loose that they permit a low standard of interpretation and a poor standard of work to be produced. Put another way, they do not take full advantage of the skills and capabilities that the artist blacksmith can offer to design, detail, make, restore, and fix metalwork of a special character and quality.

These informational documents explain the role of the artist blacksmith, and discusses the design and specification of forged metalwork. The original transcript was published by BABA - the British Artist Blacksmith Association in an attempt to provide a resource for architects and designers desiring more information on forged metalwork. The ArtMetal Project has reformatted these transcripts and added links to additional information that will help you understand some of the technical terms identified within these documents.



The Role of the Artist Blacksmith

Commissioning an Artist Blacksmith

Metalworking Joint Details

Metals Overview

Metal Finishing



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Copyright 1995 BABA / ArtMetal

Author: Peter Parkinson
Heathfield House, Shortheath Common, Oakhanger, Bordon, Hampshire. GU359JT
Telephone & Fax 01420 477191

ArtMetal Editor/Curator:enrique
Last Updated:Tue, Nov 14, 1995