Christian Hoogewys - Maître Artisan - Forgeron d'Art

Christian Hoogewys, master craftsman, since 1984,
located in Cogolin, Saint Tropez area.

Iron lighter than air

If you compress Eiffel Tower on its bottom, you get a sheet 6 cms thick.
Iron is the only " transparent " matérial (few matter and much toughness)
Shaping that " transparency " giving it movement, volume and details :
that is the aim of wrought-iron work

That is why, following ethics, the wrought-iron craftsman has to make by himself all parts of his work, except those reflecting cultural tradition (such as in Provence area the pine cones, ….)
Buying industrial parts and fitting them together is metalwork, a job worthy of respect, if one does not claim another status.

Air cylinder which diameter is the base of Eiffel Tower, as well as its height, is heavier than Eiffel Tower (17 000 tons against 13 000 tons)
To raise in the air and get lightness, iron has to be especially wrought : balls and spirals must be forged in full rail (never setting up lead or cast iron collars), you have to give detail, where spirit and hand give life to matter.

Man has been working iron for 4000 years. Smithing technique first gave us tools and weapons.

Gallics were also wearing iron jewelery (Could the iron metalworks of a house become its ornament ?)

"Beauty escapes short-lived fashions" Robert Doisneau.

During middle ages, wrought-iron workers created wonderful art metalworks.
Have a look at Notre Dame de Paris and its straps hinges with the beautiful foliated scrolls and helix that enabled the setting up of wooden panels of an inconceivable width at that time.

Then comes the outstanding period of the " Renaissance ", where we can meet again helix in the weaving (worked for 6000 years) : lace was born
That is why a lovely wrought-iron work will be sensual, erotic and transparent.

Today lack of technique, ethics and creativity gives way to industrial and commercial metalwork.

"But respectful of that technique in our workshop, our creations and works are solely custom-made. We make arrangements with our customers but we never compromise ourselves and we hold to Dali saying : "Only technique goes beyond time"