Know how

KNOW
refers to our knowledge of styles and periods, of architecture and line, of materials and how they behave, of tools and how to make them, of techniques of assembly and construction, and of course, our knowledge of ourselves and our own abilities;

HOW
refers to the creative and artistic act, to the concepts of skill and dexterity, of capacity and talent and therefore also to the depth of experience and techniques acquired by the craftsman.

KNOW-HOW
is therefore one of the most beautiful words in the language, combining as it does intellectual rigour and creative power, holding its meaning in face of the mediocrity of a society where each object has become an industrial “product”, mass-produced with built-in obsolescence.

Devoted to our passion and the love of our trade, we attach great importance to the design of the work and its implications in terms of innovation, manual skill and methods, and also to listening and talking to the client and the architect, to build up a relationship, define their expectations and enrich the project. At the moment of creation, we come back to the magic of fire and the human hand to shape the beauty of a spiral, the grace of a curved handrail, the strength of a drop-forged profile, the ingenuity of a latch mechanism or the precision of a neat fit. The final assembly of the work gives it its shape before it receives its finish and is put in place.

The best know-how does not come from using machines, but from manual techniques where the tool is an extension of the hand, a tangible expression of the abilities of the mind. Which is why we make most of our own tools, to re-create a detail, shape a piece of iron, obtain a look or a patina, and which we only expect to use on a single job. Similarly, each craftsman’s own “signature” will leave its mark and style on the work and make it a unique pièce, reflecting the character of the man who spent time on it.

Which is why, in recent years, Atelier d’Œuvres de Forge has been chosen to work on major monuments of French architecture – restoring the fountains in the Place de la Concorde, restoring the Four Horses of the Grand Palais in Paris, restoring the monumental screen in Chartres cathedral and the screens at Le Puy en Velay – as well as by many private landowners who appreciate fine workmanship.