About Iron Lock Imports
Iron Lock Imports is a wholly owned subsidiary of Architectural Woodwork & Specialties Inc. (AWS), a Utah corporation.
Until 2007, AWS operated as a commercial woodwork manufacturer engaged in producing wood moldings and doors. During the mid 1980's through the first decade of the new millennium, tastes in wood door styles tended toward either rustic plank or stile and rail doors, featuring highly textured finishes.
Initially, the hardware industry was slow to recognize the trend until a small number of manufacturers, seeing the natural pairing of rustic doors with cast bronze and forged iron, began to create door locks, handles and accessories based on early American frontier and medieval European designs.
In a very short time, emerging hardware styles began to concentrate in a few styles that became typical of the genre - mostly thumb-grip handle sets cast from dark bronze. Competition for these styles became fierce and, because bronze casting is costly, manufacturing quickly moved to China. Consequently, prices dropped, but unfortunately, so did quality.
Although there was an active decorative iron forging tradition within the US, the styles tended to reflect early colonial types. European forging techniques were relatively unpopular or unknown to American iron forgers.
Typically, forged iron finishes in the Americas were, due to the colonial tradition, rustic and somewhat crude. In contrast, European forged iron tends to be finished to a smoother surface with delicate, decorative detailing. Additionally, European door locks are lever operated. Knobs are typically only used as pulls and do not rotate. Handle sets with thumb grips were derived from gate latches and became popular in Great Britain and it's colonies, hence their popularity in the Americas.
In order to differentiate it's doors from the competition, AWS determined to adopt the European iron style. After a prolonged search, we located a forge set in the Austrian Alps operated by a multi-generational family whose roots go back to the earliest iron forging occupation. Indeed, the family's fore bearers were engaged in producing armament for the armies of the Holy Roman Empire.
With these historic traditions in mind, AWS, in 1999, created Iron Lock Imports for the specific purpose of importing the lovely iron creations you see in this web site and in our catalog.
Please contact us for a list of dealers in your area or feel free to visit our online store.
We are so convinced you will be pleased with the unique beauty and quality of our products that we back them with a limited lifetime warranty.
Thank you for visiting our site. We look forward to serving your decorative hardware needs.