Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wrought Iron Techniques & Patterns

Wrought iron adds a dramatic touch to your landscape.

Wrought iron, defined simply, is iron which has been worked by a blacksmith. Wrought iron is often confused with mild steel, which is the modern day variety. True wrought iron has been worked by hand, not cast in molds as most steel is today. Wrought iron can be restored; however, the work should be performed by a professional. Some antique wrought iron may require paint removal, which an expert should also perform as some paint may contain lead.


You should work on wrought iron in stages. The first stage of the process involves creating the basic structure of the piece, or, in the case of restoration, reviving the original shape of the item. Forging involves heating a piece of iron until malleable and using a series of tools to flatten and stretch the metal into the desired shape. Some types of forging have been mechanized: Mechanized forging involves a machine operated hammer or pressure source which applies pressure to the iron. Forging creates the basic design of the piece and is followed by finishing work.


To create the elaborate shapes, bends and twists of wrought iron, the blacksmith performs finish work on the forged iron. Iron gates, fences and decorative objects often require extensive finish work to achieve a uniform and attractive aesthetic. Some wrought iron requires cutting to create the desired design. Experienced blacksmiths with advanced skills in finishing can create elaborate shapes and designs including nature-inspired patterns such as leaves, birds, insects and vines.


Wrought iron patterns are limited only by the imagination of the blacksmith or welder. Nearly any pattern are achieved through the processes of forging and finishing work. Traditional wrought iron designs include many botanical motifs. Rose vines and ivy patterns prove particularly favorite choices for fences and gates. The full lateral design is employed as a fence railing design and involves forming the fence into a scrolled shape as it culminates at the base of the stairs. Wrought iron finials, which are the toppers for fences posts, come in a variety of patterns, from abstract shapes to detailed designs such as perching birds.

Tags: been worked, create elaborate, create elaborate shapes, elaborate shapes, finish work