HISTORY

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200x1As an iron craftsman, artist and designer Carl Close Jr. has made it a life long passion to thoroughly research the ancient forgotten skills of the master blacksmiths of past ages, out of this he created a style which is entirely his own.

Carl started this study of antique ironwork at the age of ten years old in his fathers timber frame forge. Twenty seven years have past and Carl’s skills have earned him not only the ability to look inside the head of the craftsman that made the historic wrought iron, but also he gained the experience to design and execute ironwork with the same spirit and vocabulary as the original metalwork of the early twentieth century.

jeff-terreua-lts-image-of-carlBecause of his efforts of study he is creating true works of art in metal that are as beautiful as the works of past periods, with the same message for future generations.

The craft of the blacksmith is rich in traditions that reach back to the dawn of mankind. These metalworking skills are just as vital today as they were in those early times when hardware stores & home improvement centers didn’t exist. The fire, hammer & anvil are still the essential tools for creating INVESTMENT QUALITY IRONWORK! In the Middle Ages and later in the renaissance fine craftsmanship was much more appreciated. Artists were people of distinction and importance to every person, especially to nobility and the affluent. The need for talented ironworkers to forge their wrought iron gates and balustrades for their distinguished homes is proof of the blacksmiths social stature and power.

104_0449Hand forged Ironwork is the Salt &Pepper of Architecture!

Samuel Yellin, The great ironwork master

 

Much later in the arts and crafts period from 1897 to the 1920’s the appreciation for handicraft skills was reborn. The decorative arts or “lesser arts“ as they were called then became highly fashionable to the upper class, thanks to the efforts of the Society of Arts and Crafts Boston. Such crafts as pottery, wood carving, book making, stained glass and tile making were all popular, as a result Hand forged wrought ironwork made a well deserved return to decorative and architectural applications.

Newly emigrated European master blacksmiths such as Samuel Yellin of Philadelphia, Fredrick Krasser and Frank Koralewsky of Boston as well as Cyril Colnik of Milwaukee and Martin Rose of Cleveland convinced the architects of the day that masterful wrought iron could again be forged with the same finesse and detail as the masters of antiquity. Architects such as Ralph Adams Cram, Bertram Goodhue, Wilson Eyre, Mellor and Meigs and the great firm of
Mckim, Mead and White all specified hand forged wrought ironwork on their landmark buildings.