The simplicity of things made by hand and tough, yet malleable wrought iron combine in the heart of the Central Valley to produce worldly inspired wrought iron creations at House of Iron in Lodi.
Suzanna Elliott, founder of House of Iron, was fascinated with wrought iron at an early age.
“My father moved houses from Old Sac to Folsom when I was growing up,” said Elliott. “When we would take the iron off it interested me… here I am now, owning my own wrought iron business years later.”
Elliott’s love for the art of wrought iron has taken her all over the world, from the gates of Versailles to the castles of Ghent, Belgium and onto the cobblestone streets of Puebla, Mexico.
“Iron is different every place you go, it has a different influence,” she said. “I draw from these experiences to create a cosmopolitan, yet comfortable feel in what I create.”
Some of Elliott’s designs are based off different decades of inspiration such as art deco, old world designs and art nouveau. She stressed, however, that she “does not get stuck on just one thing.”
Art deco appeared in France just before World War I and flourished internationally in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. Old world styles include arched doorways and windows that add feminine curves to a predominantly masculine design; and art nouveau is a style of decorative architecture that was prominent in western Europe and the U.S. from around 1890 until WWI.
The work at House of Iron, regardless the style, is hand forged creating movement that cannot be replicated by machine-made pieces.
“When something is machine made, it’s like a paint by number,” said Elliott. “But the irregularities of hand craftsmanship contribute to the vitality of my wrought iron pieces… there’s unique fluidity and movement that can’t be replicated.”
House of Iron opened in 1997 with the encouragement of Elliott’s father, Leslie Carson.
“When my uncle passed away, my father asked me what I would want to do with my inheritance,” said Elliott. “I knew this business is what I wanted to do, and that’s how it all got started.”
Elliott’s work is featured from Redding to Bakersfield, shipped as far as San Diego, and her work is all over the Bay Area including Mill Valley and Hillsborough.
“I’ve been in business so long that I often have repeating clients,” said Elliott. “I have work all over Lodi; I sub for several contractors and do private work as well.”
The shop incorporates retail items in the store and Elliott is proud that House of Iron has evolved to be a licensed contractor as well.
“Sometimes people will show me pictures of exactly what they want, sometimes contractors will have me design something for a particular house,” said Elliott. “I love to create the pieces people ask for, and oftentimes they can find what they’re looking for in my store.”
The locally owned and operated wrought iron design and manufacturing workshop features many different pieces in the retail store.
Everything from Brazilian cowhides to antique doors and furniture, the showroom style layout reflects the pride of the shop. Elliott believes that by employing only the best artisans in the craft, she is able to customize, fabricate and install any and all wrought iron.
House of Iron manufactures many wrought iron gates, stair railings, fencing and “anything wrought iron,” Elliott added.
“Some of the stair railings we do can drop around 15 to 16 feet,” she said. “That takes about six to eight weeks to make, but they’re just incredible.”
Elliott explained that everything is curved on sight, molded to the staircase already in place and hand bent to the stair railing and existing stairs.
“I bring my influence to Lodi,” said Elliott. “This is my community and I’m happy to discover the finest rustic and accoutrements for homes and offices in the area as well as all over.”
House of Iron is located at 326 E. Lockeford St. in Lodi and is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.
If you’re interested in Elliott’s wrought iron work, contact her at 366-1900 or by email at email@example.com.