Ornamental iron decorations are not as popular today as a hundred years ago, so finding someone to create, reproduce, or repair your ornamental iron pieces can be challenging. In the past, original pieces were made from wrought iron and typically were forged by hand, but this requires someone with blacksmithing skills experienced with the iron and can shape it and make it look like the original material.
Ornamental iron parts used on the turn of the century buildings and wrought iron fencing made well into the nineteenth century are difficult to make to the same standards. Part of the problem is that the materials metal workers use now are different from earlier times, and the skills to hand forge in that style are being lost to time.
Wrought iron is still available to purchase from metal dealers, and there are still some talented blacksmiths out there that can work with it, but you may have to look around to find someone to help. If you are restoring old original iron parts, they need to look good and work correctly when complete.
In some cases, original brackets, hangers, or other visible items outside the structure also have a function that requires them to do a specific job, like supporting something on the building or providing some support to stiffen part of the structure. If you send the original parts to be repaired and restored and they come back unable to do the original job they were intended for, it is often not something you can just replace online or at the local building supply.
Ornamental steel is another process but can, in some cases, fill the gap when ornamental iron can't be repaired or is cost-prohibitive for the project. Often the same types of designs can be made from steel and might be stronger than the original iron parts, but they will never look quite the same as the original iron, especially on an old house or structure that has been weathered over time.
There are metal shops that can create ornamental steel items for more modern structures to achieve a specific look, but be sure that you find someone that can create custom pieces if you have something in mind for your project. Taking some time to look at examples of their work to ensure they can produce your design correctly is also critical.
Ornamental iron and steel offer unique styles to a building or the area around it and can be a great choice in both situations. You will need to determine what will work in your specific situation and then work closely with the artisan making the items for you to ensure you get the final product that you desire.
For more information, contact a company like MISSCO.