ERA Architects

Iron man: Meet Joe Orsi

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As part of our regular series of professional development sessions in the ERA office, we recently hosted a presentation by building conservation and wrought iron expert, Joe Orsi of Orsi Contini Consultants.

Joe completed his blacksmith apprenticeship in the early 1970s, applying his knowledge to a range of heritage projects from there on, and eventually obtaining his MSc in the conservation of historic buildings. Over the years, he has established a reputation as one of the UK’s leading authorities in the conservation of historic buildings, with a special interest in conservation of metals, lime based finishes, and product research. Today, he sits on the Technical Advisory Board of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and consults internationally.

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At the ERA workshop, Joe provided us with a fascinating discussion of the production and composition of wrought iron. Depending on detailed factors ranging from the purity of the iron, to the skill of the blacksmith, to the type of forge used – and even the type of fuel – there are many nuances to the finished product of wrought iron, all requiring different strategies for repair and conservation.

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Our great appreciation to Joe for an excellent learning session – we look forward to our continued work together at the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa.