Have you ever heard seasoned blacksmiths talking longingly about wrought iron and praising its great forging characteristics? These same people can also be found shamelessly sifting through old rusty metal parts at swap meets and auctions keenly looking for the elusive material. Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about? Well, if this applies to you, then it may be worth your while coming to the festival as Waterside Metal Art Studio has just imported a small pack of wrought iron direct from Topp & Co in the United Kingdom, especially for sale at the festival. Topp & Co is, apparently, the only supplier of genuine wrought iron in the world.
In case you are a little hazy as to what wrought iron actually is, we have shamelessly plagiarised the following image and text straight from the Topp & Co website:
“Wrought iron is the forgeable, ferrous material made until about the mid-twentieth century that has been replaced by modern mild steel. It was originally called “wrought” (“worked”) to distinguish it from cast, or poured iron, because its manufacture required extensive forming under power hammers and through rollers. It is characterised by its composite nature which is fibrous like wood, although you cannot tell by just looking at it unless it has been broken or badly corroded. The fibrous material is iron silicate, intimately mingled with the iron, and it gives wrought iron a combination of resistance to corrosion, plasticity when hot and, tensile strength when cold that are generally greater than in mild steel.”
The iron sold by Topp&Co is actually produced by their sister company ‘The Real Wrought Iron Company’ and is re-rolled puddled wrought iron that has been recycled….think old ship anchors and wagon wheels. For more info go to their website.