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© John Tanner
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Photo Info
UploadedSeptember 1, 2010
TakenAugust 6, 2010
MakeNikon Corporation
ModelNIKON D40
Exposure1/60 sec at f/4.5
FlashFlash, Auto-Mode, Return light not detected
Focal Length32 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Years ago when I first started doing ornamental ironwork I took several of my pieces to a home and garden show.

They sold well enough but I was given a piece of advice I'd completly overlooked.
A woman who had bought one of my benches made a comment that while the piece was beautiful it would look even better if it had a classic aged look to it.

The more I thought about it the more I realized she was right.
Knowing that genuine wrought iron doesn't rust very quickly because of it's low carbon content I wanted to give my work more of a rough pitted look.

I don't work from a plan or drawings so I never know what size any of the ornamental pieces will need to be.
What I do is bend several different size scrolls and ornaments then soak then down with a garden hose or toss them into a utility tub filled with water.

With in a few minutes the steel begins to rust and coat over.
While the pieces are soaking in the water I fabricate the main frame of whatever I'm building.

Several days later the ornaments have a thick heavy coat of beautiful rust and are ready to be fitted and welded in place..
All the piece needs now is a little pitting.

My pitting process is my favorite part of any job.
I take the fully welded piece outside and blast the hell out of it with my double barrel 12ga.
For extra deep heavy pitting I use a 10ga.

After blasting off a box of shells the piece is ready for primer,paint and sealing.
The result is a brand new piece of furniture that looks 200 years old.
Who says work can't be fun ?
I love my job !!

2 responses

  • Betty Maxey

    Betty Maxey   gave props (1 Sep 2010):

    My first thought, when I saw the photo, was, wow hope he is doing something fabulous with those !! I love this stuff! And thanks for explaining the process!!! Got any pics of the finished piece?

  • John Tanner

    John Tanner said (1 Sep 2010):

    Thank you Betty.

    Somewhere in my files I'm pretty sure I'v got some photos of finished pieces.

    I'll have to do a little searching because I couldn't have a more unorganized mess in my computer if I actually tried to.

    I'll see what I can find and post a few photos.

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