Amongst the new products released at the Stirling Autumn Garden Festival was a beautiful French Provincial inspired wrought iron outdoor dining setting. When creating new pieces the brief is that not only should the item stand the test of time – as everything we make must, but also look fantastic. A lovely GRC table top with a rustic stone look was sourced and teamed with a beautiful, strong, hand-forged wrought iron table base. The wrought iron base would add a glamorous touch to any indoor dining room especially if teamed with a highly polished timber top, but for now it’s gracing my back verandah along with a wrought iron candle chandelier and lovely heavy wrought iron chairs.
There are many cheap garden settings available these days. China pumps them out by the millions. Give them six months though and they start to look tired, and by the time summer comes around again, the dining setting will not only look somewhat worn but be rickety as well. No sooner do you grow an attachment to your new garden setting than it’s ready for retirement. The nicer wrought iron pieces from Bunnings look pretty but lets face it, longevity is not their aim. They want you to come back and buy another one next season so they’re most certainly made to a price – CHEAP!
The flip side of the coin is that anything remotely functional and stable, with any chance of lasting more than one season usually looks chunky, ugly or pretty boring. Dare I say, a bit like your grannies undies, built for comfort, practicality, does the job but it sure as heck ain’t much to look at. (No offence to any grannies – I’m about to be one soon!)
The brief I had in mind for the table setting was that it should be a feature in itself and like all our products it had to be made to a high standard. With gardens getting smaller, an item as big as a garden setting should look good, really good and have that ‘wow’ factor. I’m probably a bit of a miser as I hate spending money and then having to replace items because they’ve broken or worn out sooner than they should have. But that’s me. I also tend to grow emotional attachments to items. Silly, but I know from our customer’s feedback that I’m not alone. Most items are connected to memories and a table setting will collect many of those with gatherings of family & friends. Being hand forged makes it even more special – especially with the care Andrew takes to make sure you get a quality piece of wrought iron.
I have no doubt this wrought iron table will last for decades and probably end up as an heirloom which our kids can argue over. I guess that’s what makes authentic hand forged wrought iron so great, it’s:
- an investment,
- an heirloom and
- pretty special.
Now what to team it with …
Price at 29/4/12:
- Wrought iron table base $2150
- GRC Table top 2100mm x 1000mm $850