I often walk past the gates of Christ Church and was delighted when David Tucker, designer and creator of the gates, responded to my request for information about this wonderful part of our surroundings.
David is a Master Blacksmith based in Derbyshire and thanks to him I’ve discovered not just about this thoughtfully crafted, original ironwork we have here in Leomansley, but also something about this traditional craft in the 21st century.
Here’s David’s own account of the creation of the gates:
These gates were commissioned to celebrate the Millennium and were completed and installed in the year 2000.
I am a Master Blacksmith and hand forge individually designed ironwork in response to the character and history of the setting. In this case, I was immediately struck by the lovely gothic arches and decided that I would like to reflect these strong forms in my gate. The gothic arch is synonymous with the church and I liked the idea of looking through my gates and seeing the same arches within the building.
Structure is important to me and I always try to create forms where all is not immediately apparent. I want the regular visitor to discover new facets and aspects to the design over time. The gates are made up of repeated downward-facing arcs and upward-facing gothic arches, placed on opposite sides of the gate, to re-inforce the forms and to create a three-dimensional structure. I love ‘honest’ and traditional methods of fixing and so chose to join the bars together with rivets and collars which just seem to say ‘here we are, holding these bars together’.
In the end, I designed three different options for the gate; a more traditional option, a cheaper option and this one, my own favourite and the most contemporary of the three. I was delighted when the commitee said that they would prefer an original and contemporary option, rather than pastiche. The gates were hand forged by me at my Derbyshire forge. I developed detailing such as hinges and latches etc. as I went along, so they would compliment the over-all design.
David does of course take commissions and it’s a pleasure to include his business card here.