How is it possible that an element which stands so strong and solid, is immune to almost every condition but rust, can be twisted and worked creating some of the most fascinating objects of our world. Primarily used for tools and weapons, decorative iron work became popular in Medieval times as a way to strengthen doors against invaders but soon evolved into decorative adornments.  It is thought that iron arrived on earth by way of meteorites. If so, these chunks of alien matter forever changed our world and occupy an amazing array of shapes and functions.

Blacksmiths were the hub of medieval towns, creating tools, weapons, and shoes for horses. Decorative ironwork is possible because when exposed to extreme heat the long fibers of iron are pliable and when cooled are incredibly strong allowing for objects to be as open and delicate as lace.

Hampton Court Palace – Tijou Screen

The term – Wrought iron, comes from the past tense of “to work” and simply means “worked iron.” There are such a multitude of interesting examples of ironwork from many generations, and from all around the world that I decided to share a visual group associated with each other by no other similarities than that they caught my attention.

Anton Seder was an artist who designed a wide range of things–from crowns to cupboards–around the turn of the century, whose art seemed inspired by the ironwork he also designed. Considered part of the art nouveau period, his work often blends the intricacy of ironwork with the natural world.

The fact that metal can contain movement–something fluid and ever changing–and then be caught and suspended in strength gives me a sense of something alive that has been frozen and changed form. I suppose as it originally started as space matter, in it’s own way maybe it is.