Archive: June 2016

Nicola Emmerson has co-published a scientific paper on corrosion rates of various wrought iron samples when coated with 5 different preparations

We cannot publish anything but the abstract, but she has made her email address available and if you want to question her about her findings, you can. The abstract, which raises some of the issues NHIG was founded to solve, is below:

Emmerson, N. J. and Watkinson, D. E. 2016. Surface preparation of historic wrought iron: evidencing the requirement for standardisation Materials and Corrosion 67 (2), 176 – 189

The conservation of heritage wrought iron relies on corrosion prevention by preparation of surfaces and application of protective coatings. In contrast to industrial and engineering treatment of modern steel, conservation practice is not regulated by accepted national and international standards or underpinned by empirical evidence.

This paper presents the results of oxygen consumption rate testing (as proxy corrosion rate) of historic wrought iron samples prepared by five commonly applied surface preparation methods and subjected to high humidity environments, with outcomes assessed by use of international standards employed in industrial contexts.

Results indicate that choice of surface preparation method has a direct influence on corrosion rate of the uncoated wrought iron, which impacts on performance of the protective coatings that may ultimately determine survival or loss of our rich wrought iron heritage.

By implication, more extensive empirical evidence is required to underpin and develop heritage standards for treatment of wrought iron which encompass specifics of the historic material, heritage context and the ethics of conservation practice. The introduction of such standards is called for in order to bring treatment of historic ironwork in line with highly regulated engineering and industrial practices.


29th June 2016 | Categories: Uncategorised

NHIG Conference – 2017

The National Ironwork Heritage Group (NHIG) are planning their first International Conference and Forge-In for 2017.

NHIG are currently in talks with a number of potential partners such as British Artist Blacksmiths Association (BABA) , The Institute of Conservation (ICON) and The Institute of Building Conservation (IHBC) to make this as successful and high profile an event as possible.

They plan to hold the event in the historic town of Bath, were NHIG will demonstrate traditional ironworking techniques to the general public and hold seminars and presentations on the history, conservation and replication of historic ironwork.

28th June 2016 | Categories: Uncategorised

The Queen Street Gateway Townscape Heritage Scheme

The city of Wolverhampton Council has secured funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support The Queen Street Gateway Townscape Heritage Scheme. As part of this they are running ‘Practical Conservation Skills Training’ as a series of day workshops, free of charge for up to 20 people.

Historic Ironwork Day is scheduled for early summer 2017. This includes an overview of the manufacture of wrought iron, cast iron and steel; uses of iron in building, failure and decay processes, conservation and repair of wrought iron and  cast iron; specification for repair; cleaning, finishing and maintenance; demonstration of forging techniques; tour of working foundry showing casting and repair processes.

For further information contact;
The Queen Street TH Officer
John Healey on 01902 554 007 or email

27th June 2016 | Categories: Uncategorised

Chris Topp is to do a CPD lecture for the RIBA on Heritage Ironwork

Tuesday 28 June 2016 in Winchester
From the earliest times ironwork has been used for utilitarian objects, and often with an ornamental treatment. This seminar will look at the history of the use of iron in architecture with particular emphasis on ornamental ironwork.
It will discuss the properties and manufacture of wrought and cast iron from early charcoal irons and steels, through puddled iron, cast iron and modern steels.
The CPD will cover
– How to identify and date;
– How to understand wrought ironwork, techniques of repair and replication;
– The techniques of the blacksmith, remedial techniques for damaged wrought and cast iron objects;
– Good and bad practices.

22nd June 2016 | Categories: Uncategorised

Your Ironwork Needs You!

In the United Kingdom we have a precious heritage of architectural ironwork displaying an unparalleled mastery of design and craftsmanship – and it needs your protection. So if you are passionate about art, devoted to conservation or have a penchant for metalwork, or if you are simply interested in safeguarding the future of your country’s heritage, please visit the NHIG website to offer your support.

NHIG was established in 2009 to secure the future of our rich ironwork heritage by promoting high standards of workmanship, NHIG has since passed many important milestones. From launching the first ever Conservation Principles for Heritage Ironwork – now widely accepted as the gold-standard – to organising regular training events, we have gone a long way towards achieving our goals, but there is still further to go. Please consider joining them in their endeavour to preserve this magnificent aspect of our shared heritage by signing up to their mailing list or offering longer-term support through membership.

Click this link to go to the NHIG site

22nd June 2016 | Categories: Uncategorised