True gate lovers have an understanding of gates in that they are not simply viewed as a whimsical addition to a garden, an impressive element to grace one’s entryway, or added security for one’s property and family.  Gates are all that, of course; but when you perceive gates as a true art-form where imaginations of infinite possibilities are reflected in the designs and intricate craftsmanship, one’s perspective of custom gates takes on a who new dimension.


Here, we will cover five ways in which gates can be adorned, keeping in mind that the options for ornamentation are endless.


Ornaments Can Include Nature


For distinguished gate owners who place their faith in luck, using plants and insects from nature to adorn a gate in order to beckon and embrace luck, is not uncommon.   One gorgeous custom-iron gate in Lake Forest, Illinois includes ironwork fashioned into the following items from nature that represent bearers of luck and/or prosperity:  Ancanthus leaves, Foxglove, Sunflowers, and a dragonfly are handcrafted and embedded as metal artwork.  On this same gate, one will also find two iron doves that symbolize peace.  Because dragonflies are deeply associated with prosperity, harmony and good luck, some gates incorporate huge iron dragonflies designed as the entire ornament; and some wood gates display larger-than-life dragon flies carved into wooden panels.  As a side note, Ancanthus leaves are from a shrub possessing spikes and spiny decorative leaves –  hence, the belief of this plant’s ability to ward off danger of all kinds.

Some old wives-tales may be just that; but for those who own this gate in Lake Forest, Illinois it may be regarded as a whole lot more.


Ornaments Can Include Angels


According to a CBS News poll, 80% of the adult American population believes in the existence of angels.  Not only that, but many believe angels are protectors for oneself as well as those one loves.  Some homeowners who incorporate angels within their residential gates, believe their homes, properties and families are protected from oppressive deities and demons.  One iron Angel gate in Bibury, England has been around for more than 120 years.  A huge wrought-iron Angel, with outstretched wings, ‘hovers’ above in the upper section of the gate, looking down upon the lower portion of the gate where one finds a small village (presumably Bibury) – all made from iron and hammered metal.

The locals tell visitors that all members of the families who have lived in the home graced by the permanent angelic visitor, have never been sick a day in their lives.  Astounding, if true!


Ornaments Can Include Musical Instruments


The wonderful thing about custom gates is the fact that one can include anything and everything to reflect the owner’s personal interests and tastes; and that would include all things, musical.  One such gate just might strike a note with you – it is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard in Memphis, Tennessee.  Needless to say, you’ve already guessed who owned this particular iron gate at one time – Mr. ‘Love-Me-Tender’, himself.  In 1957, Elvis Presley had his iron gates fabricated for the entrance of his Graceland home and had the iconic gate doors positioned between brick walls on both sides of the entry driveway.  The pair of gates are large and curved and are decorated with guitar players and musical notes that form an open music book when closed –graceful, indeed.


Ornaments Can Include Finials


Gates and finals go hand-in-hand, with finials being decorative, cast-iron or cast-aluminum tips that are welded on top of iron or aluminum pickets.  Finials are intended as permanent features of gate architecture; and have been used on gates and fences throughout the world for centuries.  Finials come in a vast array of styles and sizes, and give gates an iconic appearance that add a defining look of historic elegance and daunting strength.

Interestingly, the iron fencing and gates that surround some Disney offices in California – including those located in Glendale, California, for example – are topped with iron finials fashioned into faces of Mickey Mouse!


Ornaments Can Include Clavos


The term ‘clavos’ is not one you hear everyday; but it refers to a Spanish word that means ‘nails’ – usually, heavy rustic nails.  Clavos are intended to embellish gates of all types; and they look especially striking when embedded into gates that are made fully or partially of wood.  Clavos can be made from several different materials including hand-forged iron, zinc alloy, cast iron, and solid copper, with sizes and styles that will boggle one’s imagination.    Zinc alloy clavos are perfect for outdoor applications since they are impervious to rust.  Some clavos are made with a stainless-steel screw which means high-humidity environments as well as coastal areas with salt air are no match for the grabbing and holding power these types of ornamentation offer.  The screw-type of clavos are removable which offers a real convenience whenever the wood might need to be refinished.


Clavos are intended to provide a dramatic flair to any gate, regardless of style.  Whether one wishes to emulate a medieval doorway, a prohibition speakeasy gate, or a romantic hacienda-style entrance, clavos become that very noticeable, attention-to-detail ornamentation that adds undeniable character, class and ambiance – not only to gate but to the property the gate is attached to!


What Would You Choose?


When it comes to the ways in which a gate might be adorned with ornamentation, the possibilities are truly endless!  And the question might be:  What ornamentation would YOU choose?  If you have visions of a customized gate adding instant beauty, ambiance and security to your residence, Aberdeen Custom Gate & Iron can fabricate any idea your heart desires.  Our passion is replace dreams with realities; and we can do that for you!  Our quality of hand-crafted work with gate fabrication is unsurpassed; and it costs nothing to discuss your ideas with us over a cup of coffee.

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