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Turning a hobby into a blooming business

Marianne Agnew and her husband Danny moved to France some time back and spent the first five years working on their house renovation, before launching her own business with our tools.

By Marianne Agnew

Once our wonderful French builders had finished, and we landscaped our very overgrown walled piece of land, I realised that I needed something to do in my spare time and remembered the Metalcraft tools I’d always wanted.

After a successful demonstration of the Master range of tools, I now have a small business called Fer Forge a Froid, which translates to cold wrought iron.

My slogan is ‘If you have an idea and I can make it, I will and (so far) the tools have enabled me to do just that.

I often get invited to local artisan fairs and display my work in the local expo which brings in orders for anything from a house name sign to a window grille. The great thing is that the work is always different.

Consistent & original designs

I have used the mk3/3 scrolling tool to make the designs for gates, porches, garden benches etc, using steel rod 3mm to 6mm, flat bar steel ranging from 16mm x 4mm to 25mm x 6mm.

The fact that every scroll is identical is invaluable when you are making three-metre long balcony panels.

The designs achievable with the scrolling machines are limitless and I have great fun exploring ideas with clients who want wrought iron work for staircases or balconies. When it’s finished, they can be proud of their own piece of art, not something which is mass produced.

Practice makes perfect

When I make garden arches and log baskets, the rbr machine comes into its own for me. It took me a while to get my circles right, as I was too heavy handed at first, but I made a really great log basket once I mastered it.

Since then, I have made a circular gate for a client and window grills with circular designs as the main theme. So, I guess I’ve got the hang of it now.

I have used the twister on quite a few jobs too and as I do a display for the local Tourist Information each year – and it always amazes the audience that the metal stays the same length!

Thanks to Metalcraft tools, I discovered the enjoyment of making useful but artistic items and turned a hobby into a thriving business. I also still get a lot of pleasure from using the Metalcraft tools on projects for our home or for friends.

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