Many of the components utilized nowadays in ornamental iron work are common on every country. However, certain characteristics of the ornamentation's are claimed to have originated from Spain, Italy and France as he major contributors to the ornamental iron art, but also and not least to Britain and the United States. Spain Italy and France are the most romantic and traditionally artistic cultures, and its landscape and climate has prompted its architecture to make use of open decks, balconies, front stairs and porches.
In consequence its architecture has included a lot of wrought iron elements, and has made possible that architects and artisans, at unison, create beautiful iron designs, that are enjoyed in every country of the world.
Many claims of country of authorship of certain designs, however, are only mere suppositions and appreciations of travelers and historians that have identified a certain characteristic of the iron designs used in a country, and for the most part should not be considered historical facts. Of course there are schools of iron in most every country in the world. Particularly in the United States one can identify French and British architectural iron in cities like New Orleans, Boston, New York and Philadelphia.
Miami has also a strong iron culture that came with many immigrants from the Caribbean and South America. Central and South American Iron designs are Spanish for the most part. One can see in Miami and other Florida cities, a lot of iron fencing with spears and scrolls, as well as decorative window bars and “portones” or entrance gates, not to speak gorgeous railings in upscale residences.
California is another state with a long wrought iron tradition, and has been influenced by Mexican artistry. Mexican blacksmiths and fabricators pretty much dominate the wrought iron ornamental industry in California. In the city of New York, of course there is a strong Italian influence and as in California one finds a strong Spanish motive, perhaps more than in any other part of the world. However it is worth mentioning the “cast iron” and “cast bronze” culture of the city, which brings old memories of the NY company, J.L. Mott Iron Works and the magnificent centennial of Philadelphia.
Yes, it is worth mentioning the iron work one finds in the city of Philadelphia, especially in the South walk area where one can admire beautiful iron-works of Merrick's, Morris & Tasker, Savery and others, which is a strong representation of the British - French schools with heavy duty iron and majestic scroll work.
Later on we will talk in dept about the specific wrought iron designs of different towns and countries. We will talk about New Orleans, France, USA and more. The architecture of these places are marvelous, and often include wrought iron.