Today, most so called 'wrought iron workers' are in fact using machine formed, cold twisted, mild steel bars which are mass produced over standard forms, then arc welded together. Typically these shops employ not blacksmiths, but welders and production fabricators. Most often the poor design, and frequent duplication, of the objects manufactured in them clearly reflects these problems.
Artisan - Blacksmith Darrell Markewitz of the Wareham Forge instead combines the skills of an ancient art with bold modern designs. Emphasis is placed on extensive use of hand forged techniques. Each custom design is just that - an original piece of art work, created for the individual customer, and never to be duplicated. With every object the overall visual impact and flow is the first consideration.
In creating custom designs for larger pieces, consideration is given to the potential budget available for the project. The normal process is to provide three or four different layouts, usually one slightly less, two at, and one slightly above the price target. Upon the selection of the final design, a contract is signed, deposit made, and the work scheduled.
The following are a series of rough designs for projects never undertaken. In some cases these were additional designs, pure art projects with no customer, or projects that, for one reason or another, never got beyond the consultation stage.
How does the design process work? How much does it cost? I have added a new section 'On Custom Designs' that details the process of creating an Original art metalwork.
The three pieces shown here are presented to show how the original design roughs are converted into finished objects. A better descriptions of them can be found on the 'Gallery' series.
I intentionally keep my design layouts loose. This is
primarily to allow for variations in the final shapes that
are part of my own hand forging process. (Some more
technical blacksmiths will manufacture to a 'production
blueprint' method - I personally don't like to work that
way.) I make it normal practice also not to publish my
final detailed drawings. I consider myself a fairly good
designer (at least within my chosen 'Rivendale' style).
To be able to duplicate an object from my loose layouts -
you would pretty much have to * be * me. All my original
designs remain my sole copyrighted material.
A complete overview of a single project, from inception through production to eventual installation, can be found for the 'Railling in Riverdale' project description.
The remainder of the designs shown below are 'unclaimed' at present...
These three designs were part of a project to create a set of security grills for the plate glass door and two side windows in a jewellery store. The artist does a lot of work inspired by Celtic art, the flowing curves reflect this. These designs are in fact the 'alternates' - the finished panels based on the design that was chosen (not show here) were installed at 'Brenda Roy Designs' in Alliston, Ont.
These are a set of designs for a project that was cancelled (replacement of a failed well used up the funds.) They are entry gates for a long drive leading into a rural home, the drive was 'double car' wide. There were existing mounting pillars, but because of the lack of soil cover on the site, I had concern about them shifting with the weight of the gates. The solution was to base the design on a long thin triangle that swept up and over the pillar to help centre the weight. Since the property had no boundary fence, the gates served to keep out vehicles only, and so could have light airy lines.
The Wareham Forge
(519) 923-9219 // email