Thank you so much for visiting our website and our blog. My name is Travis Zylstra and Im the 3rd Generation of Zylstras to work in the Iron Business. I will be updating this Orange County Iron blog regularly to share information, pictures, projects and anything else that I think you will find interesting. For our first blog I thought it might be a good to talk about how Ferro Iron came to be a bit more about how my family came to get in the iron business.
It all started in the late 60s/early 70s, my father had just come back from Vietnam and was looking for a trade, and my grandfather who was was a School Principal were asked by a neighbor to make an ornate mail box. They were both hands on kind of guys and their ornate iron mail box came out beautifully. So the same neighbor then asked them to build an iron gate in the same fashion which once again came out exquisite. My dad and grandfather were both pretty talented in terms of design and being artistic and after other neighbors started asking them to create more project utilizing iron as the base material they decided it could be a fun business as it was something they both loved doing. I think I have those same genes as well because working with iron and being able to use creativity and artistry in my designs and ideas is something I love as well.
One think that surprises a lot of people is that when we work on a project, and whether its an iron gate or iron fencing or some type of custom iron work is that all of our techniques are the same ones used for generations. If you have ever watched Game of Thrones or Vikings or one of those other medieval shows they have the old blacksmith with the forge and billows and hammers and what not. Believe it or not part of being a craftsman and artisan in the trade means using those same tried and true techniques.
Old World Craftsmanship
Every job we get hired to do gets custom created by hand. We heat the forge, melt the iron to a point where it is pliable and then hammer, chisel, bend and other techniques to get they exact look at specifications we are looking for. So yes, that means I wear a big heavy smock and hammer red hot molten iron on an anvil in pretty much the same fashion as the blacksmiths of yore. This link here is still pretty accurate on the day to day life of the blacksmith.
Collaboration, Creativity, Design in Every Project
Because I have a background in design, I always have a nice chat with the clients to get a specific idea of what design they are going for whether or not its rustin or modern or minimalist. I then take their ideas that we have talked about and draw up a few different designs and ideas to share with them. You can get a really good idea of this by looking at our Orange County Iron Fencing and Railing page. This element of Ferro Iron is really what helps to bring a design to life and by working together with the home owner in this fashion- well lets just say you dont stay in business for close to 50 years without doing something right!
Anyhow, I look forward to sharing my latest projects with you and answering questions and just using this blog to share some insight into the world of this 3rd generation Orange County Iron artesan. Make sure you click and follow us on the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram links on the front page.