Recently we were asked to create a bent metal fence and gate for clients living in Melbourne. We talked through the design brief and decided to go with something organic, with clean lines, to complement their Alastair Knox house. Col and I have a very simple formula when we work together. Basically we discuss the various options in design, materials and logistics, then I draw it and Col makes it. Simple.
Because we knew the clients quite well already, and they were familiar with our artwork and trusted us, they accepted the first (very rough) design which we showed them.
We finalised the materials list, then I drew out the design on the shed floor in chalk and Col bent the main structural flowing lines using a circular form. They were made in 35mm square hollow tube – chosen for structural integrity – and it was critical that these main design lines were smooth and sinuous.
Once the structural frame for the garden fence was finished I redrew the next stage of the design. This time the 16mm round metal bar was formed through a combination of bending around a circular form and blacksmithing – using the power-hammer and then the forge for the decorative ends. Gradually the main form of the sculptural fence came together as we moved down through to smaller gauge steel.
By this time Col was doing a lot of the work on the forge and loving it! Much of this final in-fill work was created on the spot. The client sent measurements of their dog’s head to make sure he wouldn’t get caught in any open spaces! Col prepared many pointed metal blanks using the power-hammer which we then worked into the design – striving all the time to retain a clean and minimalist look.
The final result was a sculptural, decorative bent metal fence which was true to the original design brief and came in on budget. To ensure the fence stood up to the elements, we sent it away to be sand blasted and given a zinc coating. The final coat was Kill Rust Matt Black which gave the fence a beautiful dull shine – just right for a gorgeous piece of garden sculpture.
Before delivery we took the fence and gate on a photo shoot to a nearby dairy. It was a thundery afternoon with a great backdrop of the mountain range. After setting it up and taking some photos, we left it up for a few hours while we waited for the late afternoon light to reach perfection. On our return we found it surrounded by curious cows.
On installation we gave it a final spray of top coat. The owners are delighted, and its architectural, yet organic, design suits the house and garden perfectly.
If you would like some unique hand made metal work, feel free to contact us to talk through your design brief. As you can see we love making bespoke garden art.