Record, describe and collate.

Recording general gate information onto a prepared drawing.

Recording general gate information onto a prepared drawing.

More rotten weather and still playing catch up but things are looking up at the end of week 1 … 29 to go.

The task of accurately quantifying our work is midway, each section has been photographed, measured and the damage/work described. Where ‘interesting’ situations occur they’re singled out and specifically assessed. From this information a definitive component list can be made and a job list compiled. We follow the fundamental mantra’s of Conservation; minimum intervention, fit for purpose applications and most importantly the use of like for like materials, construction and techniques. Obviously there are times of conflict within the three guidelines, but that’s where rational, reasoned chat becomes the Conservators most valuable tool. These chats often need to noted and added to our handwritten day book along with that day’s goals, assessments and notes.

A chat about the correct approach to a problem!

A chat about the correct approach to a problem!

All this information will go towards a final survey and report, however it also provides vital quantitative information and office based tools needed to kick off the project. I have touched upon in the previous Blogs there is quite a bit of planning involved in this type of work and without planning, these projects can get out of control.

With the components identified, patterns measured and the work listed we can accurately order the materials, paint and estimate the consumables we are likely to use up. Fuel up to now has been estimated; diesel for the generator plant, propane and oxygen for the flame cleaning. We can now put accurate figures to those costs. We still have to allow for fuel to make the components and fit them, but now we know how many, we can make a best guess at that too.

Photo record of an Acanthus leaf fit to be reused. Showing scale, visual condition, orientation and tag with position on gates.

Photo record of an Acanthus leaf fit to be reused. Showing scale, visual condition, orientation and tag with position on gates.

So far I  have deliberately not commented about the gates in detail, but that is going to be addressed from now on; so blacksmiths and hands on types will be pleased and for everyone else it might get confusing. I will use some technical terms but I’ll try to temper them with day to day explanations. Please feel free to comment and ask questions with the ‘comment’ facility on the page, if you have a question I bet others do too!

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About Nick Bates

I'm a Blacksmith working in Surrey, England, UK. My business, Burrows Lea Forge operates from a Forge just outside Guildford in the village of Shere. I've been trading as a Blacksmith since 1992. Burrows Lea Forge specialises in hot forged Ironwork, designing and making bespoke items for both the public and domestic markets. To the casual onlooker, there seems to be two sides to my business, Artist Blacksmith and Traditional Forge worker, but as an Artisan I see no difference, if you love forging hot metals as I do.... its all the same!
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