How we came to be architectural metalwork experts, striving to be the best in our field.
Independent of any workshop we:
- Provide impartial advice
- Are unhindered by any limitations of any one maker
- Put work to tender
- Find the best people for the project
- Call on a worldwide network of master craftspeople
Our services range from conservation reports to contemporary ironwork design.
An unrivalled combination of skills
Founded in 2010, The Ironwork Studio is built on our experience of practical architectural metalwork. We apply this to our designs, reports as well as our work with industry guideline development and training.
Our enthusiasm for ironwork has enabled us to develop an extensive knowledge of materials, techniques and the history of ironwork which underpins all our work.
From first hammer blows to jewellery for buildings
“I developed my passion for metalwork, especially blacksmithing, during my degree in 3D Design. While studying I created contemporary pieces in wood, metal, ceramics and glass.
My first blacksmithing venture was a pair of pewter spoons with burnished mild steel handles. The work grew in scale until I was creating architectural metalwork. To me it’s ‘jewellery for buildings’
I naturally have a clear and logical approach, with an aptitude for detail. I enjoy finetuning my work as I’m a stickler for quality and craftsmanship.”
– Bethan Griffiths, co-founder
Becoming an Ironmaster
“Working with historic materials has been a lifelong passion. It started with a summer job in Bolton, Lancaster. I spent lunchtimes at Atlas Forge, the last manufacturer of puddled wrought iron.
Devoting my career to blacksmithing I founded Topp & Co [link to Topp & Co] and pioneered wrought iron restoration practise. With Atlas Forge closed I established ‘The Real Wrought Iron Company’ [link to RWIco]. I’m the last worldwide supplier of wrought iron and have fulfilled my boyhood dream of becoming my own ironmaster.
Through collaboration with Bethan on heritage projects, the seed for The Ironwork Studio was sown.”
– Chris Topp, co-founder
Shaping fresh ideas
We’ve been working with iron for a combined experience of more than six decades. But we never stop learning.
We regularly attend conferences, talks and exhibitions. Networking and sharing ideas help us keep in touch with what’s current and relevant.
We love to share our passion for architectural metalwork and speak as guest speakers at a number of events..
Giving back to our craft is engrained in The Ironwork Studio’s DNA.
Supporting heritage ironwork conservation: National Heritage Ironwork Group
Bethan is a Trustee for the National Heritage Ironwork Group (NHIG). We are two of the five founding members who established the Group in 2009. We’ve played key roles in its development such as:
- Establishing Conservation Principles for Heritage Forged and Cast Ironwork
- Developing and running the first Blacksmith Conservator training course
- Advising on the first National Occupational Standards for heritage blacksmithing, published in 2010.
Supporting Blacksmithing: Council of the British Artist Blacksmiths Association
- Bethan served on the council of the British Artist Blacksmiths Association, organising five exhibitions (2004 – 09)
- Chris served as secretary (2004 – 09)
- Bethan researched and assessed the Associations publicity options. This guided policy decisions on resource allocation.
In 2007 Bethan was one of 15 internationally-selected team leaders who designed and then supervised a masterclass to make elements for The Pillar of Friendship sculpture. This was a major public art project created collaboratively by 300 blacksmiths from across the world.