• WORDS Claire Bradshaw

Bespoke Items Lovingly Created at Cosy Iron

When you order a handmade wrought-iron product from Cosy Iron Design, you’re not just getting a piece of metal. You’re getting a physical manifestation of an age-old artisanal craft, and the culmination of 50+ years of experience from artistic blacksmith René Rasmussen.

René and his wife Judith emigrated to Australia from Denmark 25 years ago. Back in their home country, René was carrying on the tradition of blacksmithing and iron artistry that had been passed through generations in his family since 1784. Following his grandfather and uncles into the craft in 1969, he served his apprenticeship repairing horse carts and shoeing draft horses for Carlsberg Breweries, then trained in orthopaedic horseshoeing and became a certified farrier.

From there, it was on to the highest of heights: as well as taking over his old master’s contract with Carlsberg, René was appointed to the Danish Royal Stables, becoming the blacksmith and farrier to the Queen of Denmark! This involved shoeing the royal horses and carrying out artistic blacksmithing at some of the Queen’s castles – a high-profile role indeed.

But after a while, René decided he was ready for a new challenge. And so, in 1995, he and Judith packed a shipping container full of René’s heirloom blacksmith tools and set off for Australia, bringing all that experience and expertise to our shores. Those same heirloom tools still serve René today, as he and Judith create new works and artistic restorations from their Cosy Iron Design workshop in Medowie.

René is the embodiment of the old-fashioned artisan. Follow the sounds of hammer and anvil, and you’ll find him ensconced in his forge, working with a combination of traditional and modern tools to create bespoke items for all manner of clients. Judith, affectionately dubbed ‘The Master’s Apprentice’ by her husband, adds her creative talents to the mix as well; a diploma-certified welder with a good knowledge of fabrication and steel manufacturing, she sculpts her own original designs for smaller products such as wine racks and candelabras.

Cosy Iron products are a combination of age-old artistry and uncompromising quality. René and Judith work together in collaboration with architects, designers, builders, fabricators and individual clients to create a mix of classic and modern wrought-iron designs. They specialise in restoration as well as new work, so whether you’ve got a functional or decorative piece that needs some attention or you’re in search of something new, Cosy Iron is the place to call.

Attention to detail and a keen eye for classic design elements shine through in every custom-made piece. The husband-and-wife team’s repertoire includes various indoor and outdoor furniture items; Juliet balconies and staircases; gates, fences and security grilles; fire screens and tools; hinges, brackets and hand-forged nails; candelabras and mirrors; beds and bedheads; flower boxes and garden items; wine racks and hat and coat stands; unique sculptures; wedding accessories; and much more. If you have a unique one-off piece in mind, be it large or small, all you need to do is talk to the Cosy Iron team.

In an age of mass production where the art of handcrafting sometimes seems all but lost, master craftspeople like René are a rare find. So if you do commission a product from Cosy Iron Design, be sure to treasure it. Not only will it become a unique focal point in your home or garden, it can also be passed down as an heirloom for years to come.

The Cosy Iron Design workshop is located at 619A Medowie Road, Medowie. For more info on the products and services available, or to obtain a quote for your next special project, visit www.cosyiron.com.au or call 4981 7174.

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