Writing about designer makers and artists is a small part of my day job but it’s the most uplifting. It’s also shown me that Yorkshire is a hotbed of creativity, originality and skill. My latest find is Nigel Tyas Ironwork.
Nigel began his training at the age of 16 as an apprentice blacksmith with the National Coal Board in Elsecar, near Barnsley. That was in the 1970s and after a career in large-scale industrial blacksmithing and engineering, he now concentrates on the artistic aspects of his craft creating beautiful and functional ironwork for homes and churches.
He and his small team make everything from lighting to curtain poles, hooks, fire irons and mirrors. Nigel is chief designer and hand-forges, along with two skilled blacksmiths, Andrew and Simon, and one trainee, Kieren. Each blacksmith sees his own work through from start to finish. The forge and showroom is based at Millhouse Green, near Sheffield and all of the work carries the “Made in Sheffield” mark, which recognises the
quality of the products and celebrates the company’s close association with the city’s metalworking heritage.
You can see and read more about Nigel Tyas Ironwork on the firm’s website, which has another lovely touch. There’s a note from Nigel’s wife, Elizabeth, who co-founded the business with him. She has compiled a section on the website promoting other artists and craftspeople in the area.
She says: “Nigel Tyas Ironwork came into being 16 years ago out of Nigel’s and my shared passion for arts and crafts. Over the years we have been privileged to meet and make friends with some amazing artists and craftspeople in our local area. It’s inspiring to meet people with such talent.” I couldn’t agree more.