Heaton Moor, Manchester 2012
The design of this bespoke metal handrail was based on stylised plant forms and natural curves.
Its leaves and other organic detailing were made using traditional blacksmithing techniques.
The steel was heated in a forge, then shaped by hammering whilst hot. At high temperatures the metal becomes soft enough to be forged into the characterful and expressive detailing. Note how the handrail was forged into an elegant taper which entwines around the support post; visually softening it. This taper was then forged so that the handrail evolved into a delicate leaf and stem, which also flow around the post. This page shows how leaves like this are forged.
The delicacy and grace of the detailing seen in this handrail reflect the way it was made. Handrails fabricated using mass-produced off-the-shelf components lacks the finesse of blacksmith made hand forged ironwork.
© 2015 David Hyde
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