The hallmarks of Master Craftsmen

One of the benefits of working within a highly skilled team is the opportunity to share many combined years of experience and skills with each other and a mutual appreciation of outstanding quality craftsmanship. We regularly repair historic ironwork and over the years we have handled many lovely traditionally constructed pieces of antique garden furniture, giving us a chance to examine and appreciate heritage blacksmithing techniques and materials in minute detail.

In pursuit of blacksmithing perfection, we’ve been inspired to create a new garden bench which we are now able to offer for sale. This design might, at first glance look very similar to our existing ‘Hoopback Bench’ but if you look really closely, you’ll see there is a total lack of modern welding and the hallmarks of master craftsmen – traditional joining techniques such as tenoning, rivetting, hot punching and peining to secure each of the component parts.

Making furniture in this way is a really exacting process, every piece is delicately forged to fit perfectly together like puzzle pieces. The blacksmith must first reduce the thickness of some of the sections meticulously to half width so that they overlap seamlessly. Each of the D-shaped bars that form the seat must slot neatly into the side straps which are then notched out to accept the horizontal section, and then peened to bite securely to the frame without a hint of welding. ‘Peining’ is the action of accurately striking metal (usually cold) with a rounded hammer to spread and tighten a connection.

Instead of the usual flat ribbon of steel we’ve used a ‘reeded’ steel profile on the seat, back and legs – this is commonly used on high quality Regency antique garden furniture. All Ironart garden furniture is fully galvanized for rust-proof longevity and ease of maintenance, before being painted from our range of colour finishes.

These traditionally made benches are beautifully appointed, with delicate details. They are heirloom pieces, and the antiques of the future which will give pleasure in your garden for generations to come. Here is a link to our full range of benches, do take a look.