Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What is True - or what they want?

'Wrought Iron Work'
What it really is - what it really means...

Wrought Iron was the metal of the ancient smith :
• It is a specific type of material, both chemically and physically much different than modern mild steels. Wrought Iron is typically forged (hot worked) at different temperatures, when finished is softer and more flexible than our modern day steels, and is more resistant to basic oxidation (rusting).
• The truth is that real wrought iron has not been produced in commercial quantities since the late 1970's. It is basically NOT AVAILABLE anywhere in the Western world, save as re-cycled antique material.
• Despite what may be claimed by some, all modern smiths work with industrially produced mild steel bars.
• Today, most self described "wrought iron workers" are in fact using machine formed, cold twisted, mild steel elements which have been mass produced over standard forms - then arc welded together. Typically these shops employ not blacksmiths, but welders and production fabricators. Most often the poor design, and frequent duplication, of the objects they manufacture clearly reflects these limitations.

A truism among actual artisan blacksmiths :
When some one says they are producing 'wrought iron work' - the first question should always be -
"Where did you get the iron?"
 Opening segment from 'Wrought Iron Work' - new commentary / description on the Wareham Forge

So - how does this relate back to the title?

I have been concerned of late about the way the internet is shaping information. Increasingly, useful content is becoming buried under the dross - the noise. *

I was early involved in the developing internet - my first service provider was back in the days of bulletin boards (although they call that kind of thing 'chat' these days). I started working up the original Wareham Forge web site in the mid 1990's (some point about 96 - 98)/ Over the years I have been able to maintain a Google ranking 'above the fold' (top 10, often the top 5), based on longevity, lots of content - and I hope accurate (or at lest interesting) information.

But more and more, I see other sites with far less to offer (on so many levels) edging me out. I see individuals catering to the whims of an increasingly trend driven population.
'Sure, I *know* I don't actually work with wrought iron - but its what people want to find...'

Might just be me.
Expecting to be able to shape the world to what is true - rather than just giving people what they *think* they want...

*Sturgeon's Rule : 95 % of EVERYTHING - is garbage.

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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