Friday, February 1, 2013

Wrought Iron, A Historical Art

For most of our natural history, human beings have made products with iron. Iron's strong natural properties and malleability gave us the jump from the bronze age to the iron age, and began the runaway advancement of societies all around the world.

Up until the 1860s, Iron was the most popularly used material for manufacturing machines and fine art pieces. Iron hit its peak of production in the mid 19th Century, when it was being manufactured in the highest amounts ever seen, being used in the new iron ships that had replaced wooden ships. After this point, a modern process for refining raw iron into a higher-carbon content steel. After the advent of steel, wrought iron pieces became mostly "for show," or used in handmade wrought iron furniture and wrought iron doors and such.

Meaning "worked iron" wrought iron is exactly that. It is raw iron that is worked and bent into the shapes desired by the iron worker. Nowadays, this nearly-forgotten craft is regaining its popularity as an alternative to prefabricated, machined steel items. Wrought iron pieces have much more character that manufactured steel products. The nature of wrought iron itself is fibrous and textured, which means that no two pieces are exactly alike, whether that be wrought iron railings or furniture.

San Miguel Iron Works makes handcrafted wrought iron pieces in the same fashion that the masters used just 150 years ago. Doors, balconings, railings. lanterns, sconces, gates, and more can be found in San Miguel's attractive showroom. These custom pieces inspire remembrances of a time before assembly lines and overly purified metals, these wrought iron products have a charecter and a sou to them that is hard to find anymore.