About us - and how we can work with you

BronzeWork started alongside Classic Marine, established 25 years ago to fulfil a need for custom hardware in traditional boats. With the skills to design and work in bronze, we found increasing demand for bronze work from architects, garden designers and furniture designers. Our work now features in both historic and modern environments.

Moray MacPhail, the proprietor, started his working life as an apprentice blacksmith, before undertaking 6 years of training as a naval architect for the Admiralty. Naval architecture is a discipline which at its best combines technical rigour with aesthetic awareness; this combination influences all the work which comes out of our workshops. In many cases we find ourselves with the task of realising an idea in practice while keeping sight of the design intent.

The most successful projects are where we have the opportunity and the time to work closely with the designer to find an optimal solution before cutting material. This can involve making prototypes or test pieces to check assumptions, particularly to check the dynamics of a piece (ie to see how wobbly it is!). The least successful projects tend to be either where there is no flexibility on the part of the designer to allow for the practicalities of manufacture, or where there is too little time, particularly when the design doesn't really exist. Occasionally we have to remark that "Just because you can draw it doesn't mean we can make it." and in one case did recommend a custodial sentence for the designer to be served anywhere in the real world.

Specialising in one-offs, prototypes and limited runs as we do, we tend to use dumb machines operated by skilled people. This leads to the slight oddity that our machines are almost all older than the people operating them! And with one-offs there is always some risk, but that's what makes the work interesting for everybody. The set-up here also means that if a run of more than say half a dozen is needed, we are unlikley to be able to compete on price with a manufacturer geared to production work.

All that said, we have a wide range of skills and extensive experience available to help realise your ideas in practice – we look forward to hearing about them and working with you.