The new Hooks from Iserlohn

Iron has been worked in the region round about Iserlohn since the Middle Ages. Translated, the name Iserlohn means something like “iron forest” and refers to the fact that in the past both iron ore and smithsonite (a zinc spar used in the production of brass) were also mined here. In the 19th century, Iserlohn, the “iron town”, was seen as Germany’s equivalent to Manchester. The firm of Hermann Schwerter Iserlohn has been operating in this region as an export and trading business since 1905, focusing on items made of iron for decorative indoor use, and in particular metal coat hooks, coat racks and coat stands. In the last 20 years, through expansion and acquisition, the company has also increasingly moved into production and is therefore now also directly faced with questions of design - i.e. a completely new challenge. And that is also the reason for a new design project for coat hooks. Some brief remarks on the background to the project will serve as an introduction to the design task involved.

Like the huge range of applications, the universe of objects made of iron is virtually immeasurable: rings, rolls, wires, chains, straps, rods, pins, hooks, screws, handles, fittings, bolts and many other things. A further dimension is added by the different production techniques involved (forging, casting, pressing, cutting), which determine the repertoire of technical forms of the objects. The effects of the Industrial Revolution brought about a shift in production - away from traditional manual working on a restricted regional basis, to centralized, industrialized production facilities.

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