Studio: international art — 3.1894

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A New Designer for Metal-work

ANEW DESIGNER FOR METAL- Pepper beSan with a lonS and careful study> from
,,7rir> t,,. t-t^titat-,t^ t- tne point of view of a practical man. of the iron-

WORK. BY EDWARD F. , , . . , . ,

STRANGE work of various countries and periods, taking

careful note of peculiarities of technique as well as
Of all the crafts which have of late of design; and thus laying the only possible
undergone with more or less distortion the ordeal foundation on which his later work could have

rested. The screen of wrought-iron (Fig. 8), may
be looked on as an extremely successful exercise
in historical design; it is, of course, based on
German seventeenth-century work, but details
both of ornament and execution are borrowed
from other sources; while the composition is Mr.

fig. i.—tavern sign, iron and copper by h. pepper

of a renaissance, that of the worker in wrought-
iron and brass has perhaps suffered least. With
the architectural fashion of Queen Anne houses, a
revival of the beautiful gates and railings of the
period was of course inevitable ; and it was perhaps
equally unavoidable that the pattern-makers re-
sponsible for it, should content themselves with
ringing the changes on old elements, with as
little variation or even ingenuity in the matter of
new processes as might well be. Work of this
class, when economy has not debased it to a mere
strap-work of bent iron is by no means to be
decried, and is often undeniably good. But it is
necessarily without originality or invention; and
should only be encouraged so long as it takes the
place of something worse.

With this solitary exception, we had seen few fig. 2.—tavern sign, iron and copper by h. pepper
noteworthy attempts at originality of design, or

execution even, in wrought metals, until an intro- Pepper's own. In effective contrast with this
duction to the work of Mr. Herbert S. Pepper academic design is the "grille for a door panel"
convinced us that here, at last, was a man with (Fig. 3), also to be executed in wrought-iron.
ideas of his own, and courage enough to break Here, the motive is entirely original; a pleasing
through the conventions, or at all events the variation from the well-worn acanthus being
traditions, of his craft by their application. Mr. obtained by splaying out wrought bars, so as to
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