Based on ring handles on medieval Norwegian church doors, this project could serve as a door latch, a door knocker, or a combination of both. You will forge ring handles with a pair of dragon or creature heads on either side of the swivel post. A raised escutcheon will prevent the ring from swinging against the door surface and make grasping the ring easier. Accomplished students should be able to finish the latch bar, staple, and keeper to complete the set. Some may prefer to spend the time decorating the ring handle by stamping and filing. There is a small materials fee, payable to the instructor.
Tom Latané started forging reproduction colonial and early American ironwork in Maryland in the early 1970s. After moving to the Midwest in 1981, he was introduced to the creative whimsy of Norwegian folk iron. Tom and his wife, Catherine, have a shop in Pepin, Wisconsin, where Tom repairs antiques and creates original pieces using a traditional design vocabulary and historic hand techniques. Tom has demonstrated for blacksmith groups and has taught at folk schools around the country. Some of Tom’s ironwork can be seen in Vesterheim’s Westby-Torgerson Education Center.