Andrew Hood – Adelaide Artist Blacksmith
Andrew Hood is one of a few professional artist blacksmiths practicing the age old craft of blacksmithing within the Adelaide area, in South Australia. Located at Birdwood, in the Adelaide Hills he has one of the last forges able to take on large projects as well as small. Andrew has produced some lovely examples of traditional wrought iron and his work regarded highly by his peers when awarded two ribbons in the blacksmithing classes at the 2012 Royal Adelaide Show. Prizes were awarded for pieces entered in both the traditional and mixed (traditional & modern) categories, and judged by a renown interstate blacksmith.
Blacksmithing is a dying trade in Australia, with few working professional blacksmiths, let alone Adelaide or South Australia. Many businesses who advertise ‘wrought iron’ products use imported components, or cast iron products. Tweaking ready made wrought iron to fit is quite difficult, so for something to look well done it needs to be made properly from the start.
Locally, handcrafted wrought iron may be dearer than mass produced wrought iron or imported products which are made overseas in third world countries, however the benefits of buying your wrought ironwork from Farmweld are that you :
- are guaranteed a quality product;
- supporting local business;
- helping to keep an old trade alive;
- authentic heritage items can be faithfully reproduced and/or repaired using traditional blacksmithing methods;
- investing in an heirloom – something which will be admired and bring pleasure for many decades; and
- your wrought iron is made to last – materials meet Australian standards and are ‘solid’;
- you are buying peace of mind – a reputable tradesperson/ blacksmith will always be there for you should you ever have any questions or issues relating to your purchase.
Custom Wrought Iron can be Affordable
Hand forged wrought iron can be made more affordable by using a combination of traditional and modern metal working techniques. It’s often said that if blacksmiths of old had access to a welder or angle grinder, they’d certainly have used one. An example of how wrought iron can be more affordable is to use a combination of modern welding techniques rather than forge welding or riveting.
Modern machines such as welders reduce the overall labour time, which in turn reduces the price of the wrought iron piece. The finer details such as the scrolls are still traditionally blacksmithed so it still looks, and is hand forged. Because the scrollwork and details are hand made, and tailored to your piece, the design is kept in proportion and doesn’t look like a modification.
Architectural wrought iron in Adelaide
Custom made wrought iron should be matched to the existing architectural features of the building no matter whether it’s a piece of wrought iron furniture indoors or a wrought iron fence. It’s important to be sympathetic to the architectural style of your home. Unfortunately many renovators with older style homes in the inner Adelaide regions such as North Adelaide, Norwood, Unley, St Peters, Port Adelaide and Thebarton installed ready made ‘faux’ wrought iron (pool fencing with spears) and cast iron fences & gates. These types of gates and fencing rarely meld well with the existing architecture. Federation and Art Deco homes, especially the simpler homes, would have had timber, mini-orb or wire fences, and their original owners would have invested in a ‘pretty’ hand forged gate – usually made by the local blacksmith. The beauty of wrought iron is that designs can be tailored to suit particular periods, e.g. art nouveau, Victorian, Art Deco, modern and if done well it will be hard to tell whether the wrought iron piece, such as a gate, is authentic or not. This is the mark of a good addition or renovation. Even if you intend to modernise your home, certain ‘heritage’ features can be picked out and incorporated into the wrought iron piece.
[quote]If you’re looking for a well made, authentic piece of wrought iron give Andrew a call on 8568 5433. Visits to his workshop are by appointment Monday to Friday 9-5pm or Saturday afternoons.[/quote]
What wrought iron products do you make:
All Farmweld wrought iron products are custom made for each customer. Unique wrought iron pieces can be made from your own design or we can design something for you. Wrought iron designs include those for:
- Gates – courtyard gates, garden gates, estate gates, driveway gates
- Balustrades – contemporary and traditional wrought iron
- Wrought iron furniture
- bed heads
- garden furniture, e.g. tree benches
- and anything else that can be made from steel!
Interstate enquiries and commissions are welcome. Farmweld regularly delivers to customers all around Australia.
Recent images of Andrew’s work can be seen on Farmweld’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/farmweld