Beyond my general policy of aiming to deliver according to the spirit of a given commission I have a list of attributes with which I aim to inform my work in these areas. In no particular order; durability, good aesthetic, solidity, integrity, functionality and safety;
Durability. Ironwork outside is under constant assault from the elements. In all my external ironwork its’ longevity is considered at every stage – in design, in material, in process and in the application of finish. In the design I try and ensure that there are no invitations to corrosion in the form of unprotected secret places; in material I use non ferrous materials where ever necessary (copper, bronze and lead mainly) as well as stainless steel where appropriate; in process I ensure that all surfaces are treated prior to assembly rather than putting it all together and then doing the surface treatments; and in finish I go for the best practice – in my opinion usually blasted and hot zinc sprayed – see FAQS article for detail and reasoning on this subject.
Aesthetic. While this can obviously be a subjective matter I aim to collaborate with the client and other participants in the commission, to ensure that the end result is as good as, or better than, the initial proposal.
Solidity. Good mechanical anchorages, not reliant upon resins or materials that can fade or weaken over time, seem pretty important to me. Ironwork can and should be designed to last a long time; it should not fall over, wobble or come loose in 50 years time for want of thought in the design and planning stages.
Integrity. By this I mean the integrity of method. I am not a fan of part fabrication/part forgework as an approach; in the majority of situations it should, in my humble opinion, either be one thing or the other.
Functionality. I aim to finish with everyone satisfied that it, whatever it may be, does what it is supposed to do.
Safety. We live in a very safety conscious environment these days and this has to be respected as an important factor in all stages of a commission. Much ironwork in this category has to do with safety in the first place, in which instances safety also becomes as much about functionality as anything else.
Below – a few pictures from the back catalogue to brighten up the page… Much more details are to be found in the Commissions Gallery.