Creating beautiful metalwork structures and objects for inside or outside the home has been the business of husband and wife team, David and Lindsay Low of Ironwood Motif, since April 2005, when they set up their Artist Blacksmith/Ferronnerie d’Art business, Ironwood Motif.
Based in the tiny village of Blars, about halfway between Cahors and Figeac and where they made their permanent home in 2004, they have seen their business grow year on year. Their client base is 50% French speaking and 50% English speaking with a substantial amount of work being repeat custom coming from satisfied customers who return to them again and again. They have also received requests for their Artist Blacksmith services from as far afield in France as Foix in Ariège and across the other side of the world from Queensland in Australia.
David has 27 years of metal fabrication experience, many of those in the oil yards in the north of Scotland, and, just before moving to France, working for Airbus at their site in North Wales. Wanting a more creative outlet for his skills, David successfully turned his hand to more varied and intricate metalwork projects for friends and neighbours in his spare time. When they made their decision to make a full time move to South West France, it was quite naturally to artist blacksmithing that they looked to set up and develop a thriving business.
Their first commission was a metal pergola of substantial proportions for a French couple in their own village of Blars. Commissions for staircases, railings, gates, balconies, balustrades, table bases, weather vanes, water features, handrails, well covers, metal sculptures, garden ornaments and even a complete outdoor terrace with steps and access ramp extending 15 meters have followed over the years. Projects span contemporary and traditional styles, indoor and outdoor metalwork both large and small, pieces for garden and terrace, for upstairs and downstairs as well as intricate metal sculptures.
Each metalwork commission is different and has many variables to take into consideration before being custom designed by David. He and Lindsay undertake the whole process from initial contact and site visit, discussion with the client, careful surveying and measuring, design, fabrication in their workshop through to installation of the finished project.
Depending on what the project requires, they are equipped to undertake four types of welding, mig, tig, arc and gas as well as small scale plasma cutting of sheet metal and, of course, traditional forge work.
David has completed major commissions at Communauté de Commune level and one such, that is clearly visible in all the villages comprising the Communauté de Communes du Causse de Labastide Murat is the fabrication of over 400 metal oak leaf markers, painted bright yellow which denote points of interest on the ‘Circuits du Bourg’.
As well as undertaking renovation projects such as repairing a stunning set of metal entrance gates that had gone into disrepair, restoring them and returning them to their former glory, his skill in using traditional forging methods is also called upon in renovation projects of historic buildings where, for example, hinges to match the centuries old originals were required for a major restoration project in the centre of old Figeac.
He is also the man to go to in the area for local farmers when running repairs are required to their agricultural machinery. In this way he fulfils the role of the local blacksmith, of which, at one time, there was one in every village.
David and Lindsay can be contacted through their website www.ironwoodmotif.com or on firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 05 65 30 53 99.