Restoration, reproduction and reinterpretation of forged pieces

Iron, the metal par excellence.

Iron remains unmoved by the passage of time. Hard and resistant, it withstands the inclemencies of nature with vigor.

It is a material with many possibilities thanks to its chemical properties, it is able to pass from the liquid state to the solid state and maintain its initial molecular composition. This means it can adapt and mold itself to any shape.

Through the temperature it becomes malleable and allows us to deform its mass at our will and once it cools it remains rigid, stable.

In its solid state it has many qualities that make it so special, it is resistant to friction, torsion, pressure, impact, depending on its chemical composition it will allow one treatment or another.

Another of its great attributes is that it can be completely recycled to give it a new shape or reused starting from its format to give it a new use.

 

Forged railing with a dragon’s head, reproduction of a Gaudí design.

At that time it was a precious material and difficult to obtain, which is why it was also reused.

An example of this is the lizard grilles that can be seen in manor houses, in some you can see the holes of the rails of the cart wheels that had taken advantage of the material to transform it and give him a new us.

Supplement to the base and bolt of an original period quarter.
Detail of the bolt

Restoration of forged parts

This aspect of iron means that over time the This aspect of iron means that over time blacksmiths and smiths have had to reproduce and replace the broken, deteriorated or missing elements of the work of their predecessors.

Know the forging techniques of each era.

Some of the techniques, despite having been passed down through the generations, have been lost due to the technicalization of the trade and the increase in new technologies with the mechanization, serialization and automation of manufacturing procedures.

Many of them have ceased to be used due to the new forms and construction systems, more optimal and faster, therefore more profitable leaving the traditional, expensive and complex methods in oblivion

This is where we today’s artisans defend our position. Through research and the knowledge learned along the way, we claim it as the ideal profile for the restoration, replacement or reinterpretation of our forge heritage.

Many times due to the lack of finding the indicated professional, they are unfortunate, many times influenced by the economic cost of a reproduction faithful to the original methods. However, from our point of view we believe that a consensus can always be reached between quality and price, optimizing procedures with the appropriate respect and sensitivity to recover with good judgment this heritage of the territorial forge.

Forgers are not restorers of works, we are the ones who can reproduce them.

Iron throughout history

How can we know how old the iron is, if we can’t subject it to tests to be able to date it.

Historians, through research and the search for the historical context of what surrounds it, we can limit the era. The experienced blacksmith can provide interesting aspects by observing the techniques used, the methodologies or work execution systems. Together historian and forger limit the date of the object.

The Catalan Romanesque 11th-12th century is an example. Iron is a rare and precious element, difficult to obtain.

Therefore it will be understood as a symbol of wealth and power, preceding the hermitages, chapels, farmhouses and fortresses.

It is not until more advanced periods such as the Catalan Gothic S.XIII – S.XV, that the forges have become technical and can produce this desired material in greater quantity and quality, although it remains within the reach of some few

We find notable examples in churches, monasteries and abbeys, such as cathedrals and their funerary environments. Where they show off their bars of firm bars that look rough and clumsy but of surprising quality in their hot-welded welds.

However, it is not until the 18th century that we begin to see an advance in the procedures thanks to the technicalization of the forges and the knowledge of the material. The Salomon bar and the chiseled and indented plates gave way to the most complex and screwed shapes leaving behind that more robust forge.

But, really the glorious era of metal is the industrial revolution, along with the modernist movement. An explosion of mass production, stamping presses, metal foundries, steel production boost the sector in such a way that it will change the world.

Gaudí, Jujol, Domènech i Montaner Puig and cadafalch. They could not have done anything without the knowledge of the craftsmen and the mastery of the techniques and technology of the time.

With the appearance of gases and blowers (blowers) it allows the forge a controlled and clean welding, allowing him. in this way to do finer work, speeding up and reducing the effort.

Together with these advances, the blacksmiths and all their derivatives became technical and specialized in a constant transformation until reaching the present day.

The importance of the techniques and style of forging

Mastery of the technique is essential to be able to reproduce and imitate the styles of forging. But nowadays the cost of production is key and the ingenuity of the smith to imitate them with the maximum optimization of the product makes it possible.

In this situation, the only possible solution is to replace the original with a replica that simulates Often, due to lack of investment, neglect or forgetfulness, some wrought iron elements have been damaged to such an extent that they are recoverable. At this point there are only two options, to preserve without intervention and preservation of the original object or reproduce a replica using traditional techniques. This is where we intervene, the craftsman can investigate the style of the original piece to reproduce it with maximum fidelity.

The lineage of blacksmiths at Serralleria March is the result of this brilliant era of blacksmithing linked to the modernist movement.

In fact, the promoter of locksmithing and therefore the first generation, Antoni March i Volart, learns and works in the Ballerin workshop in Barcelona, ​​responsible for many of the forging works of architects such as Puig and Cadafalch, among others.

Thanks to these beginnings, the various generations have transmitted to the present day the working techniques, the drawing methods and the formulas for projecting each job with a sensitivity towards the special craft accompanied by an essential aesthetic criterion in each project.

And each of them must know how to adapt to the challenges of their generation, absorbing the new ones And each of them must know how to adapt to the challenges of their generation, absorbing the new technologies of the moment to incorporate them into the work systems optimizing the jobs but maintaining the balance with the traditional aspect of the trade.

Lamp reproduction designed by Antoni Gaudí. Reinterpreted and adapted by a floor lamp with three points of light.
Project in collaboration with LED-C4. Located in one of the exteriors of the Sagrada Familia.
Two ceiling lamps inspired by the Catalan Gothic style. Interior of Castellbell Castle and the town.

Soldering with silver or brass. The riveting, the caps or nails forged by the assembly of the iron elements, the sockets or the wicks for embossing, hot drilling with a punch are some of the methods that are still used in the workshops, clinging to time.