Odyssey Railings

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Lynda Metcalfe, blacksmith, jeweller

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The design for this client’s exterior ironwork originated with a pair of gates for a street level passageway which were designed first but installed later as they were not required for code.  The general principle was that the decoration should come from the blacksmithing joinery methods used, I came up with a variety of pass-throughs, rivets and wrapped elements. The deck railing and balcony railing naturally had to have some link so the style and range of shapes is somewhat in common and a feature of the design was to make the panel joins be decorative in themselves.


There is a decorative element approximately every 3 feet, all different, some of them are in the middle of panels, some of them form the joint areas. In between are pickets with wraps and tenons on the ends.  The pickets are all 3/4” round bar stock which is somewhat hefty for a residential railing but considering its on the 3rd floor and the general stature of this building it seemed appropriate and the 3ft test panel we made and took to the site in August 2006 confirmed this.


Here are interior views of the deck railing, long and short sides, unfortunately without a wide angle lens so separate pics pasted together & photographed in the rain but at least the contrast was less so the ironwork was less silhouetted.

(The above pics open up to two larger, very wide images)



These railings are an example of the combination of modern and traditional blacksmithing and metalworking techniques. There’s plenty of hand forged elements showing movement in the metal, bars have been pushed to their limits and there are many traditional scrolls and rivetted joints, but we couldn’t have done without our modern equipment like the power hammer and welder.

From the designs....... to ................the installed ironwork:

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Lynda Metcalfe, 18 Waldroup Rd, Brasstown, NC 28902


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