For thousands of years, cast iron has been molded into kettles, pots and pans, machine parts, and pipes. But over the past decade, the industrial material, known for its excellent heat retention and affordability, has been elevated to an artistic medium. Initially spurred by the increasing cost of bronze, Texas artists and designers began creating unexpectedly exquisite sculpture that is both rugged and modern. Here are three of Dallas’s finest examples.
1, 2 & 3: These finials, produced by a fifth-generation metal studio, Potter Art, are sandcast to achieve a gritty texture and can adorn curtain rods, fences, or chandeliers. Because of their heft, they also make decorative doorstops and paperweights. $12–$16; potterartmetal.com
4 & 5: Jan Barboglio is the mother of high-end cast-iron home accents. The former Neiman Marcus public relations manager draws inspiration from her rural upbringing on her family’s ranch in northcentral Mexico. Blessed Secret Box, $170; Prize Bull bookends that double as doorstops, $490; fortyfiveten.com
6: Interior designer Lisa Luby Ryan found a cast-iron structural lug in a flea market in the South of France. She brought it back to Texas and repurposed it as a lamp base. Her Blackburn cast-iron lamp is a reproduction of the original. $985; lisalubyryan.com