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I Forge Iron

Gate and Railings

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I'm looking to create a gate and railing for between the house and shop and I am looking for examples and idea's. I certainly would not try to copy anyone else's design but it helps my creative flow to be inundated by what others have done.

Thanks in advanced. Larry

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Thanks Valentin, those are some amazingly great looking gates and stair railings. So far the idea I'm getting from looking at your's and the one's on Glasser's site is that I'm not ready for doing that kind of work or I'll at least have to try something where the components are not designed to be identical. I'm not good enough yet to get consistent results from the pieces I make.

So maybe a gate and railings where each piece is supposed to look different from each other......................

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Milano maestro del ferro battuto Alessandro Mazzucotelli

Palazzo Castiglioni

Casa Campanini

Casa Galimberti

Casa Battaini

Casa Guazzoni

either done by or heavily influenced by Mazzucotelli (Ive found definitive attribution sometimes difficult)

Anvil Interview with Stephen Bondi

It's going to be work that has validity today as contemporary expression. Samuel Yellin's work has validity today, but I think it is in a more historical vein. Everybody who has seen Mazzucotelli's work -- those who are interested in doing more contemporary work -- has just been stunned by his work. The vocabulary, the forms and the compositions that the man was doing 90 years ago are what we are trying to establish as a reality today.


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Hi Larry,

I always find a good place to start is to have a look around your immediate area to find any relevant local examples of metalwork- period etc? Is there any existing metalwork that you could expand upon? Is there something in the locale, a motif that you could use? Does your house have a name? Is there predominant architectural feature you could use somehow (arches, etc)? All of these things, and more, the list is endless that you could think about during the design process. Then you can have these in mind whilst researching different gate designs so you can maybe take elements from some that tie into a theme, for lack of a better word.
Hope this helps.

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thank you all for your idea's and examples, that will keep me busy for a while to look through it all and see what I think I might be able to handle. So far the Gate on Hollis's website looks like something for me to strive for. Many of the others involve skills that I haven't developed enough yet.

Colleen, thanks for your suggestions. The area I live in, the majority of gates / fencing / railings are all cold formed and welded. Our home is a pre-fab "manufactured home" so has no name, no historic background. Though we are in a fairly sunny, dry climate and the fruit industry is one of, if not the largest in the nation. So that's certainly a thought.

I'll be working this week to get my new anvil ready to use, then create a sturdy work table so I can chalk out and lay out my design as I go.

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Yeah, finding a regional architectural style to base railings, etc. on is a little problematical in the Yakima area. It's mostly ranch, farm or Victorian.

Living in a pre-fab kind of says Victorian-NOT but welded galvy pipe "ranch" isn't so aesthetic either. Unless of course you HAVE a cattle guard in your driveway? The Folks did at their place in Okanagan.

On the other hand, my folks live in E. Wenatchee now so Thomas's idea of reconning your trailer hitch might be workable for me after all. :rolleyes:

We have a similar architectural situation here. There isn't a regional architectural style outside maybe frontier cabin. Lots of people building with log and some neo-victorians so there is some potential but nothing jumps out at you as "Alaskan."

Without a regional style a person needs to find a theme and build on it. This is how it was done millenia ago and those styles have become standards.

Around here a person might use a wrought stick or pole theme, Tall grass and birds is popular, as are bear, moose, caribou, etc.

You could pick a local plant theme though tumble weeds are probably a pretty advanced project. Applets and Cottlets maybe? (Sorry, couldn't resist)

Another source of inspiration is the people living there. I have a future commission for a wrought spinning wheel and I'm thinking she'd like an iron wind chime loom too.

Does the missus have a hobby you could adapt elements from? Knitting or crochet needles for example.

You could make fencing, gates, etc. from forge practice projects. Place them in order of skill level.

Lots of things that'll lend themselves to decorative elements; so many in fact it can be overwhelmingly hard to choose.

I've been there for sure.


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If u ask me it's easyer to make a raling/gate or what ever with repetitive forms than something without repetitive forms ... u just need to make the ...scroll dies and the forms will come but if u want to make every elemnt unique ...that expect to work more

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You could make fencing, gates, etc. from forge practice projects. Place them in order of skill level.

I like that idea Frosty, I certainly have enough project pieces that haven't turned out well enough to actually use for anything else!

I could do the applets and cotlets and from what I remember what those are like, it would be hard to tell the difference between the steel ones and the real ones!
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Looks like you are free to make your mark on the neighbourhood! Who knows, neighbours might get jealous and commission you to make some metalwork for them too. I know a guy who made a rail for one house, and then a year later had done something for almost every house on the same street!

I second what Valentin said, repetitive forms can be easier with the help of jigs. Trying to get unique assymetrical designs to fit is often time consuming and very frustrating!

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