The term ‘iron’ can be a bit confusing; but in a nutshell, wrought iron is an iron alloy with a reduced carbon content of less than 0.08%. Then, there is cast iron which has a carbon content ranging from 2.1% to 4%. Interestingly, 90% of all metal that is refined today is iron.
As a side note, the term ‘wrought’ quite literally means ‘worked’. Iron is considered the most coveted of all metals; and historic records tell us that iron was commonly used in a variety of ways more than 7,000 years ago – this being substantiated by archeological finds that reveal ancient Egyptians used iron from iron meteorites that fell from the heavens.
Fashioning iron into a myriad of objects ranging from weapons-of-war to garden furniture is as old as antiquity, itself. Iron working remains an age-old craft we embrace to this day to fabricate endless varieties of objects that give us unrivaled beauty and/or protection for our homes, businesses and high-security locations.
Here are five ways iron can be used, out of limitless possibilities.
Iron Wall Decor
Decorative iron art for one’s home, garden, patio or business presents stunning options that can add striking ambiance for walls, regardless of size or location. Whether the iron scene depicts grazing deer in a forest for a log-cabin setting, a tree silhouette displaying a family’s genealogy, or birds-in-flight for a nature lover, iron wall-decor breaks the mold of conventional, over-used wall fillers such as pictures, mirrors or cling-on vinyl art.
Endless shapes, sizes, and intricate details can be achieved with old-world techniques, such as hammer & forge, as well as technologically-advanced procedures that would include plasma and water-jet cutting. Eye-catching, artistic, one-of-a-kind pieces can be easily fashioned to suit, literally, anyone’s taste, preference or desired theme. Embellishments including stones, wire, colored or stained-glass, or reclaimed wood and more can be added to create extra dimension and striking visual appeal.
Iron Balusters and Balconies
Balusters with twisted bars, scroll designs or hammered pieces, and Romeo & Juliet balconies positioned around homes’ outside, upper-level windows represent only a few iron designs that can be incorporated inside or outside of a home to add that undeniable ‘WOW’ factor. Iron projects deemed for outside use can be darkened, chemically, and covered with a clear epoxy to combat any surface rust. Again, blending iron with other components, such as wood, offers a powerful contrast when used as a grand staircase, for example. Also, iron balusters can be powder-coated in various colors to compliment high-end flooring or other stand-out amenities, within a home.
The permanence and beauty of fashioned iron will last well beyond the life of any physical address. Iron incorporated as balusters or balconies in one’s home or office will serve as architectural focal points that will create first impressions that will not be soon forgotten.
Your home will definitely stand out with an iron door to grace your entrance! Countless designs, shapes and sizes can be crafted; and, as an added bonus, an iron door can reduce insurance premiums due to the inherent protection iron doors provide. Interior or exterior decorative iron doors will exquisitely enhance any setting and add an additional security barrier. To add even more posh and appeal, one can embed glass (either impact glass or security glass) and/or wood accents as well as intricate hardware for a look and feel that would be impossible to ignore. Iron doors serve as gorgeous works-of-art in their own right and can become so cherished they will be deemed iconic family heirlooms. Whether an iron door will serve as an elegant entry to your home, patio or balcony, it will exude sophistication, strength and ambiance, unlike any other!
Iron Driveway and Entry Gates
Driveway and entry gates hand-crafted from iron can be very simple or very ornate; and they will not only impressively optimize curb appeal, but they will add immediate equity to one’s property. Intricacies can be achieved via plasma and water-jet cutting; and everything from tree silhouettes to cherished pets to musical instruments can be welded onto the pickets of driveway or garden gates to create personalized options that beautifully customize one’s home space and portray one’s passions.
Iron gates have embellished and protected properties and kingdoms around the world for thousands of years. If we fast-forward to the present and think of the guitar gates at Elvis’ Graceland or the Royal Gates of London, one has to marvel at the exquisite beauty and extreme strength iron gates have been, universally, known for.
Iron – Endless Possibilities
It’s hard to imagine a world without iron. It is commonly used in the manufacturing of military vehicles, hulls of large ships, building parts, surgical equipment, aircraft parts and appliances – and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Being a product that is 100% recyclable with endless uses, it is an extremely valued commodity the world over. Also, iron is coveted since its properties can be altered when it is mixed with metallic or nonmetallic substances.
Iron makes up about 5% of the earth’s crust and a large part of the earth’s core; and because it is used to manufacture steel, without it there would be no trains, no cars or trucks, no mammoth engineering feats and no manufacturing, as we know it.
Iron remains one of the most widely-distributed elements on planet earth, and is the most important of all metals. One could say, with absolute accuracy, that iron really DOES make the world go ’round!