Who we are and how we work
We are a small independent company committed to keeping traditional metalworking skills alive in the UK. Based in beautiful countryside a few miles north of Sheffield, our rural business was created in 2000 by husband and wife team Nigel Tyas and Elizabeth Stocker.
Nigel began his training at the age of sixteen as an apprentice blacksmith with the National Coal Board in Elsecar near Barnsley. In the early 1970’s the Coal Board still used steam trains and pit ponies! After a varied career in large-scale industrial blacksmithing and engineering, Nigel now concentrates on the artistic aspects of his craft creating beautiful and functional ironwork for your home.
Elizabeth has a corporate IT background and is in charge of our e-commerce website and business development. She also manages our friendly customer service team based in the showroom next-door to our workshop. Elizabeth and Nigel have come to regard many of the customers who have been buying from us for years as friends. Elizabeth’s focus is on excellent customer service and delivery.
How we work . .. the forge today
All of our wrought ironwork is designed and hand-forged by Nigel and his two skilled blacksmiths, Andrew and Simon – plus our associate Dan who occasionally boosts the team. Each blacksmith sees his own work through from start to finish. David then applies Nigel’s secret metalwork finish to their work. The lighting is then passed to Gerald in our wiring workshop, who wires the fittings and tests them to European and British Standards. Finally, Lynne packs the work to send to you.
Next door, in our showroom, it is Sheena and Sam who take your orders, handle your queries and arrange for delivery of your finished products. Sam and Sheena work closely with the blacksmiths as we are always popping backwards and forwards between workshop and showroom. That’s the beauty of a small business! Finally, there’s Steph, who is here at the end of the week making sure as many people as possible know all about Nigel Tyas Ironwork.
As a small Yorkshire business we work with local suppliers wherever possible to source the specialist services we need and our component parts such as handmade lampshades, bulbs and so on. Local ceramicist Sarah Jones-Morris collaborates with us to create the porcelain shades which feature in some of our unique designs.
Meet the Team
Nigel . . .
Job: Director and Happy Blacksmith
A forge fact: He is liable to burst in to song at any time.
Favourite Nigel Tyas Product: Illions standard lamp
Elizabeth says: “He just loves talking about new ideas for designs of wrought iron products and can also talk at length about LED light bulbs!”
Elizabeth . . .
Job: Director and IT whizz
A forge fact: Elizabeth keeps a small flock of sheep at home including Lucy, whom she bottle-fed as a lamb
Elizabeth’s top tip: “Do keep looking at our website, we are always updating it with new designs.”
Favourite Nigel Tyas product: The Hepworth has always been a favourite. And I love the Oxspring desk lamp too.
Andrew . . .
Job: Workshop manager and blacksmith
A forge fact: Andrew can often be heard playing Spanish guitar in his lunch break
Favourite Nigel Tyas Product: Mitre lamp
Nigel says: “Andrew was my first employee, recruited in 2003, and he’s an ace bloke.”
David . . .
A forge fact: He’s Nigel Tyas Ironwork’s champion whistler – no tune is beyond him!
David’s top tip: “Keep your ironwork in top condition with an occasional rub over with a good wax polish.”
Favourite Nigel Tyas Product: Shepherd’s Crook chandelier
Lynne . . .
A forge fact: Lynne is super fit and cycles to work every day
Lynne’s top tip: “If you can possibly recycle or re-use our card and bubble-wrap packaging, that would be great.”
Favourite Nigel Tyas Product: Ramshead companion set of fireside tools
Simon . . .
A forge fact: Stalwart of the Friday fish and chip run.
Favourite Nigel Tyas product: The Bretton pendant
Elizabeth says: “Simon is really creative; always experimenting and thinking of new ideas for products.”
Sheena . . .
Job: Office and customer service manager
A forge fact: Ridiculously committed to customer service.
Sheena’s top tip: “Don’t forget your lampshades and bulbs; or your curtain rings and brackets.”
Favourite Nigel Tyas product: Hartcliff chandelier
Nigel says: “A one-woman dynamo.”
Sam . . .
Job: Customer service
A forge fact: Powered by black tea and biscuits
Another forge fact: Sam loves ironwork puns such as ‘we’ll forge ahead with that’ and ‘hammer out the details’
Favourite Nigel Tyas product: Hand-forged mirror
Elizabeth says: “Ask Sam a question and he’ll design you a spreadsheet to answer it. Our company data analyst.”
Gerald . . .
A forge fact: He can also build stone walls
Gerald’s top tip: “Invest in LED bulbs – save yourself some money in the long term.”
Favourite Nigel Tyas product: Silkstone standard lamp
Steph . . .
A forge fact: Steph has now learned how to hold a hammer correctly
Steph’s top tip: “Buy once. Buy quality.”
Favourite Nigel Tyas product: Wellhouse pendant light
Dan . . .
A forge fact: He’s also a farrier. Want a horse shoeing?
Favourite Nigel Tyas product: Stocksmoor pendant light
Ethics and fair trade
As a business we believe that our work should be produced as ethically and sustainably as possible and we work hard to ensure that all of our ironwork is produced and priced fairly and honestly.
We use the best quality materials and components in our work and source most of our supplies locally. It is important to us to support local manufacturing businesses, especially in view of Sheffield’s metalworking heritage. We are proud to have been awarded the ‘Made in Sheffield’ mark.
It is also very important to us as a business to keep traditional skills alive in the UK and we make all of our ironwork in our own workshop in Yorkshire using skilled craftspeople.
We are sometimes asked about discounting our work. When we created the business it was always an important consideration that we should treat all of our customers fairly and also pay fair wages to our employees. We prefer to cost our work with integrity and for this reason we do not discount our work. We choose to manufacture in the UK and therefore don't have comparable margins on our work as companies who outsource their manufacturing overseas. The response that we get from our customers confirms that our handmade ironwork represents good value for money ... read more on our testimonials page.
We also believe in actively supporting our local post office and all of our Royal Mail dealings are handled by Millhouse Green Post Office.
At a domestic level, we are fully committed to fair trade and the business is registered with the Fairtrade Foundation. We use ethically sourced tea, coffee and sugar in our workshop kitchen along with milk and buns from our local farms!