Custom Gates

The two gates shown here were hand- crafted: One, a traditional bronze, oriental-style marsh scene with a crane; the other, a contemporary abstract rendered in a variety of metals. Of course, custom gates can be made of wood or other materials, as well. Most custom gates are works of art in their own right, but they are functional art and must be able to withstand the rigors not only of the weather, but also of constantly opening and closing.

Perhaps the pre-eminent metal artist of the 20th century was Philadelphia’s Samuel Yellin, whose work graces Bok Tower, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and other universities, St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York, and many government, public, and private buildings. You can see some of his gates here . Today the forge operates under the direction of his granddaughter, Clare.

For those with more modest purses, make a sketch of your idea and look for an iron-welding or other metalworks firm. Unless a metal artist is very well-known, his day job may be as a fabricator of spiral staircases, fire escapes, or other utilitarian objects.

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