National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG)
Address: 7 Tillingbourne Mews, Albury, Guildford, GU5 9AG
Tel: 01483 20 20 27
Email Bethan Griffiths: firstname.lastname@example.org
Throughout the United Kingdom there exists a precious heritage of blacksmith-made architectural wrought ironwork, comprising entrance gates, railings, balustrades, finials, etc, much of it listed, frequently at the highest grades.
The work of the blacksmith is not always recognised as an art form, even when it is manifested in such works as the Tijou Screens at Hampton Court Palace or St Paul’s Cathedral and, exceptionally, it is the one species of conservation for which there is at present no requirement for conservator-restorers to be in formally qualified. Yet the treatment of ornamental ironwork demands specific specialist skills, which are hard for the practitioner to gain and deserve recognition, and which are distinct from those required to work other metals such as lead or copper.
The National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG) has been formed due to shared concern that there are no ‘uniform’ standards /specifications for heritage ironwork, resulting in no understanding of the skills required.
NHIG is dedicated to the:
· study of historic ironwork, its forms, styles and techniques
· promotion of high standards of workmanship, conservation and repair of wrought ironwork
· dissemination of information regarding good practise, to owners of historic ironwork and specifiers of work on historic ironwork
· creation of a system of accreditation for conservator/restorers of wrought ironwork
There has been much discussion in the field of ironwork conservation regarding the correct practice in techniques and materials, but as yet no firm consensus. But we need a working consensus, and we need guidelines which would be widely accepted by practitioners, owners and those who fund conservation-restoration work. We see the development of these basic tools as the initial focus for the activities of NHIG.
The National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG) hosts forums on a regular basis for blacksmiths over the country. See the ProjectBook events calendar and the NHIG website for more updates.
To find out more about the NHIG's bursary for heritage Blacksmithing click here
To read about the NHIG's opening event at Hampton Court and to watch a video click here