Forja Zapata is a family business set up by Pedro Zapata, born in 1941 in Arizcun, Navarra. He set up his own blacksmith’s forge and taught his children the craft. His children, Fernando, Xabier and Josune, continued then with the workshop and with the art of forging.
The type of work that the Zapata siblings carry out is very varied, manufacturing elements and exterior pieces for buildings, such as fences or wrought iron grilles to cover walls, windows, doors, gates, sliding doors,windows or lampposts. They also manufacture smaller-scale objects such as signs or domestic furniture: bed headrests, chairs, tables, lamps, watches, sculptures, ash trays, chandeliers or pieces for stoves. They also manufacture locksmithing elements for furniture, doors and wooden windows.
They are very involved in the traditional culture of the region of Navarra, and, therefore, they carry out special pieces for traditional musical instruments such as xistus, windpipes or txalapartas, pianos and trumpets, as well as objects and other elements for rural and traditional sports: txingas, aizkolaris, etc.
The iron pieces are manufactured by heating them in the forge and then hitting them with a hammer in the anvil until they reach the desired shape. Once these shapes are obtained, they are joined to others by means of rivets or welding until the entire piece is complete. The materials they use are mainly iron and carbon. The tools and machinery they use: the hammer, the anvil, the pincers and the welder. These tools and machinery are the ones which have always existed and the ones which they maintain and continue to use in this workshop.
Pedro Zapata started to get to know something about the craft at the age of 14, when he started as an apprentice in the workshop of the master Juan Bautista Aguerre, with whom he worked until he was 26 in his blacksmith’s workshop in Erratzu.
Fernando and Xabier have received academic training in electricity; plumbing, gas and heating respectively. Nevertheless, they have both received the knowledge and training of the blacksmith’s craft from their father, learning by his side in the workshop the different techniques that they continue to use in their day to day.
Old wrought iron grilles in Biarritz (France).