Emily Stone has just left after a long day setting up her beautiful exhibition of copper animals, leaves and flowers (oh, and Christmas puddings!). This wonderful show opens on Saturday 31 October at 11am. Come and see it - such a perfect collection of work for autumn.
We are very much looking forward to 'Frogman' Tim's annual visit to Fire & Iron on Wednesday 23 September 2015, 6.30-8.30pm. The 2015 UK Show Frogs Apollo and Aerial are STUNNING, and you can also win a frog on the night, so do join us for a glass of fizz and some cake and a chance to chat to Tim. We will also be unveiling Fire & Iron's first ever custom patina on the wonderful 'Over the Top' frog sculpture - I've seen it, and the colours are gorgeous! If you can come, let me know - firstname.lastname@example.org 01372 386453
What an incredible day yesterday, as guests of the Royal Army Chaplains' Department, as they unveiled and dedicated their memorial at the NMA.
After two years of design and making, and three intense weeks of installation, it was a great privilege to see our work in its beautiful pastoral, riverside setting, surrounded by so many Army Chaplains.
The weather was kind, and the sun broke through the clouds to light up the gold and polished steel on the main sculpture.
It was very moving to suddenly realise that tucked around the edges of the ceremony were many of the NMA staff, volunteers and visitors who had given us so much support and encouragement during the installation.
The Army Chaplains do important and selfless work, and it has been an honour to work with such kind, generous, imaginative and appreciative clients.
We have so many people to thank, and so many pictures of the work in progress, so we will create a special page for the memorial on this site.
I went to the National Memorial Arboretum yesterday to finalise details for the installation of the memorial. It will be wonderful to see it in its final setting - the crook, which has just been gilded by brilliant ecclesiastical gilders Howell & Bellion, will I hope look stunning against all kinds of clear and dramatic skies.
Blacksmiths don't shoe horses (farriers do that), and may give you a hard stare if you enquire about a pony in need of a set of shoes... However, when asked to shoe the single fake leg of a dead Victorian horse for ITV's drama 'Arthur & George', how could we resist? I absolutely love doing small TV and film jobs, so we set about creating an authentic 'Victorian' horse shoe, stamped with the TV blacksmith's name (and a clue in the drama) - BROOKES. 'Arthur & George' tells the true story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's involvement in clearing the name of an Anglo-Indian man - George Edalji - who had been accused of maiming local horses. Martin Clunes stars as Conan Doyle, and the lovely Art Malik (who once visited Fire and Iron and made us all giddy) plays George's father. So, here's the serendipitous bit: we are artist blacksmiths because my Anglo-Indian, romantic (and yes, Victorian!) great-grandfather Cecil Watson Quinnell freelanced as a portrait artist when he arrived in London in the 1890s, having experienced racial discrimination when trying to find other work. He co-founded the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers in 1896 with his friend Alyn Williams. He had a British surname from his grandfather who had left England in 1822, but no contact with any British Quinnell family and therefore no relatives here. He traced his ancestry and discovered that the Quinnells were Surrey/Sussex blacksmiths from the 1500s onwards. We were thus condemned to self-employment and picking up where the ironworking ancestors left off! Also, Conan Doyle keeps popping up in our work - when we designed the arch for Neate's Alley in Leatherhead, I discovered that Mr. Neate (a butcher who had an abattoir on one side of the alley - known in his day as 'Dog Alley' because the stray dogs would wait all day for the pig scraps to be thrown over the wall at close of business) had a brother who drove a Hansom cab and inspired the fictitious Hansom cab ride from Leatherhead station in Conan Doyle's 'The Adventure of the Speckled Band'. When I was designing the Allen Court Arch for Dorking, I found out that my chosen subject, Grant Allen, was a great friend of Conan Doyle, and that Conan Doyle wrote down the final chapter of Allen's last book 'Hilda Wade' as Allen dictated it to him from his deathbed. Grant Allen was responsible for Conan Doyle building his house 'Undershaw' at Hindhead, having recovered from tuberculosis and having therefore recommended the Surrey air as a cure for Conan Doyle's wife Louise ('Touie'). 'Undershaw' was where Conan Doyle lived as he fought to clear the name of George Edalji.
This week we have the hugely talented Carlos Dare as our artist in residence. We've worked with Carlos since the 1990s - a creative genius and a one-off.
What a fantastic evening we all had on Tuesday with 'Frogman' Tim Cotterill. Thank you to all those who were able to join us for a very happy couple of hours and a chance to chat to Tim about his vibrant world. We'll do it all again next year!
We're looking forward to Tim Cotterill's visit to Fire and Iron on September 23rd (6.30-8.30). He has 'released the frog'! Specially made for 2014 UK shows, this is 'Allegra' - just 125 available worldwide. £399, with the radiant patina we have come to associate with Tim. Allegra also has a stablemate - 'Amethyst' - with an edition of only 50 (£675). See last image on our Frogman Bronzes pages under PRODUCTS. We have asked for two pairs with matching edition numbers, available on a first come / first served basis. email@example.com / 01372 386453. Also get in touch if you'd like to come to the party and meet Tim.