This course is designed to acquaint anyone, whether they be architectural historians, collectors, students, curators, conservators, consultants, architects or blacksmiths, in the historic use and conservation of decorative iron in architecture.
Through class room lectures, field trips, demonstrations, discussions and hands-on time with artifacts and at the forge, participants will become familiar with the vocabulary of traditional iron details and will develop the ability to ‘read’ an object to describe how it was made, to understand the metallurgical and physical properties of the materials (largely cast iron and wrought iron), and to appreciate the range of options for conservation. Subject matter will range from historic techniques, compatibility of various materials, repair options, galvanic issues, removal of corrosion products and coatings or other forms of protection.
Note: For day three, for work at the forge, participants should have long pants, closed footwear (steel toed preferred) safety glasses and ear plugs if desired.
0900 – 1030, Ed
- Define metals, (iron, steel, WI, CI)
- Main characteristics, pros and cons of use in a given situation
- Other steels, Stainless
- Galvanic series / electrochemical series
- Typical agents of deterioration
- Discuss electrolytic reduction and begin demonstration
1030 - 1045 Coffee
1045 – 1200, Craig
Uses in Architecture
- Methods of producing items in the various materials mentioned above
- How to identify, (material, processes used to make item, finishes)
- Vocabulary of details
(Eat lunch outside while forges and fires are built)
1300 – 1500, Lloyd
- Discuss and demo basics, (draw, upset, bend, weld)
- More advanced demos, (peened tennon, punched hole, slit hole, etc.)
- Forge different metals, (WI, Mild steel, CI, SS, carbon steel, etc)
- (one or two students to try hand at forge)
1500 - 1515 Coffee
1515 – 1600
- hands on samples of each metal
- discuss samples relative to demo just witnessed
- answer questions
0900 – 1015, Ed
- review conditions required for corrosion
- possible methods to prevent deterioration
- possible treatments
- restrictions imposed by specific job
- review electrolytic reduction demo started previous day
1015 - 1030 Coffee
1030 – 1200, Craig
- survey methods
- evaluation criteria
- develop a solution
- Case studies
1200 – 1430, all
Lunch on the road to field trip destinations
- Assess projects
- History & Context
- Identify materials, methods of manufacture, coatings
- Identify agents of deterioration
- Describe condition and describe probable deterioration in future
- Design possible interventions
- Determine recommended treatment in this case
1500 – 1630, all
Groups present findings with discussion to follow
0900 – 2:30 Lloyd
Active forges for all participants
The intention is to have approximately 6 portable forges so, depending, on the number of participants, there could be two or three people at each forge.
Lloyd Johnston – Blacksmith
Lloyd’s formal education was in engineering. His self directed education and employment over the past 40 years has been in historical metal working technology and conservation. The bulk of his work has been for museums and historic sites in both the public and private sectors in Canada, the United States and Europe. Lloyd is an honourary Life Member of the Ontario Artists’ Blacksmith Association, a member of the Canadian Guild of Arms Historians, the Kentucky Rifle Association, the Council for North eastern Historical Archaeology and the Early American Industries Association.
Lloyd has taught blacksmithing and metal working at public and private Colleges and Universities over the last 25 years. Major commissions include the restoration of 12 Gothic revival gates in the Wellington St. wall on Parliament Hill, the restoration of the Hendry Gates at the Royal Botanical Gardens in
Other interests include collecting and conserving historical weapons and stringed instruments. He lives in a fine old stone house in Beaverton Ontario with his historical collection and a Scottish ghost.
Craig Sims – Heritage Building Consultant
Craig has worked in the built heritage field for over 35 years. He has worked successfully with a broad range of clients including government agencies and community groups, but most commonly architects, engineers and contractors who require specialized knowledge. He has developed historic structures reports, historic structure condition surveys, and developed specialized conservation specifications and drawings.
Craig has worked on building types ranging from vernacular log and timber buildings on the prairies to the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. Some projects of interest include the Rideau Street Convent Chapel in the National Gallery, the Capitol Theatre in Port Hope, Notre Dame Cathedral in Ottawa, the Colonial Building in St. John's Newfoundland and Fort Henry in Kingston - most are National Historic Sites. He was a consultant, working with Lloyd, for the conservation of the Wellington Wall Gates and is currently involved in the conservation of the roof cresting on both the East & West Blocks on Parliament Hill. Working with Ed recently he was the consultant for the conservation of the Rolph Gates at Dundrun NHS in Hamilton.
Craig is based in Kingston, Ontario. He is a graduate of the Civil Engineering Technology-Restoration Program (1979), St. Lawrence College, and the Technical Education Program (1993), Queens University, Kingston.
Ed Bowkett – Metal Conservator
Ed Bowkett graduated from the Art Conservation Techniques Program at Sir Sandford Fleming College, Peterborough, Ont. in 1994. After being employed by The National Museum of Science and Technology, The Cumberland Museum and a private conservator, he began a private practice. During the past 18 years, Bowkett & Co. has served many institutional and private clients in the Montreal - Toronto area. Ed has focused on 3 dimensional objects with a specialization in the treatment of metal artefacts, indoor and outdoor, of all sizes and has provided both treatment and consultation services to The Canadian War Museum, Canadian Conservation Institute, Public Works & Government Services Canada, Parliamentary Precinct Directorate, The Canada Science & Technology Museum, Fulford Place-Brockville, and various private clients from St John’s, NFLD to Saskatoon, SK.
Ed has supervised the daily efforts of student interns on placement from Sir Sandford Fleming College; attends several institutions as a guest lecturer; and guest hosts a CBC phone in show on preservation of antiquities. Ed also continues to be an active volunteer in his community, acting as treasurer and president of the Russell Historical Society; founder and treasurer of Vintage Iron and Traditions, Eastern Ontario; and as a volunteer for The Bytown Railway Society.