Cast Iron Fire Back with Rising Sun Motif, Charlton Ironworks, Mark Lewis Design 2007-2017
Charlton Ironworks (www.charltonwroughtironwork.com), a high end bespoke metal fabricator based in West Sussex, now offer its clients the service of bespoke contemporary designed fire back casting. The traditional offer of pre-cast iron antiquated coats of arms was felt to have become “old hat” and not the thing for this current era of minimal interiors enhanced by a real fire opening rather than the gas ones seen in most new developments. Mark drafted the design for a nearby pub, The Rising Sun. A pattern was made of the design. The pattern is machined in ply, the edges of which are beveled with a 15’ incline. The incline leaning away from the face of the relief once in the mould and would ensure that the pattern could be lifted from the damp sand. The mould is imprinted into a sand bed and once removed the hollow left takes the molten iron when poured from the cauldron for it to set. The sand is pashed away from the iron shape to reveal the casting. Two fire backs were made. Multiples of the design in cast iron are possible and have become the first in a developing range of contemporary cast iron fire backs.
Charlton Ironworks have been maintaining the traditions of the ancient craft of blacksmithing for over thirty years and have been fabricating significant wrought iron installations including huge gates to country estates and balustrades that sweep about curving stone stair ways. Wrought iron fencing, railings and hand rails. Balustrades and stairs, balconies, benches and garden arches. Curtain poles, candle holders and fire baskets are among the plethora of items and artefacts fabricated to a quality and substance deserving of the investment required to commission them. The grade of steel used is high and its girth thick. The weight of each is testimony to this.
Today the traditions of the ancient craft are being applied to contemporary forms of metal-smithing to produce modern art work determined by the collaboration of Mark, Charlton Ironworks craftsman and of course, the client.
In addition to the bespoke commissions, Mark is working to develop a product range of wrought iron and cast iron artefacts which will combine the essence of the craft with ingenuity, style and the practical requirements of the home and garden.