Oier Elorduy has been devoted to the knowledge and practice of crafts, and especially iron forging, since he met Luis Padura Elorza. He has always shared with him a special attraction for those artisanal elements which highlight and give different buildings their very own personality, very especially when it comes to those traditional constructions which can be found around them: hamlets, towers, chapels, churches…
During these years, Oier has manufactured and rehabilitated in his workshop forged pieces for different uses and aims. These include elements for construction, refurbishment or restoration of buildings, such as balconies, staircases, fences, handrails, doors, window bars, rejas diabólicas (iron grilles with their bars alternatively going through or being gone through the perpendicular ones), columns, etc., as well as other elements both for the inside or outside of the dwelling, such as door knockers, handles, lamps, wells, bridges, arbours, chairs, tables, beds… In essence, these are all elements to embellish the buildings, regardless of their style or forms.
He always works on request, adapting to each client’s needs, using for the better comprehension of his works 1:1 scale models, drawings, books, etc., trying to offer the client the best intervention for each project and budget.
He carries out works of all sizes and with all sorts of commercial profiles in iron. To this aim he uses traditional forging techniques and the necessary tools and machinery, such as hammers, chisels or hydraulic presses, creating sculptures from large iron sheets to other small elements, such as commemorative pieces, trophies…
Due to the lack of demand for forged pieces and the existing competition with metallic carpentries, he also works for other blacksmiths in different parts of the country, mainly in Catalonia, where artisanal works are still very present and the Catalan art nouveau influence of Gaudí is palpable in the works which are requested from clients.
Apart from working with iron, Oier also works with other types of metals such as steel, stainless steel, copper, brass and other elements such as stone, ceramics or wood. Since his Master Luis Padura Elorza took part in a series of archaeo-metallurgical sessions in Germany in 2009, they have been involved in constant researches and have carried out the extraction of iron from minerals in the area, in furnaces they themselves have manufactured, as well as disseminating the information regarding both the technique and their personal experience.
After attending different courses on design, Oier met Luis Padura Elorza in 2005, who opened the doors of his workshop for him as well as those to his knowledge, giving him the opportunity to learn about traditional forge as well as other arts, an option that no other institution or county entity offered at the time. This learning process continued uninterruptedly until today.
From 2006 to 2007 he was part of a blacksmith’s workshop in Balmaseda (Vizcaya).
From 2010 he took part in blacksmith’s gatherings where he shared his knowledge and practices with other blacksmiths of different origins.
He has also taken part throughout different years in the crafts workshops organized by the Cultural and Artistic Association Valle de Llanteno, which revolved around ceramics, stone and wood carving.
Oier has organized different workshops with the aim of creating pieces for public spaces throughout different years and locations, with a satisfactory result, promoting forging through different places within the county and bringing the craft closer to people who had never before come in touch with the craft. He aimed to give people the opportunity to work with iron just as his master Luis Padura Elorza had given him the chance.
This has taken him to closely collaborate with different museums of the area in order to disseminate information on forging and iron in general. Among others, it’s worth highlighting the Museum of El Pobal, the Ethnographic Museum in Artziniaga,of the Mining Museum in Gallarta.
From the year 2009 – together with Luis Padura Elorza – he has carried out the manufacture of reduction furnaces for minerals, and has taught other blacksmiths (Fritz Bramstein, César Romero…) and archaeologists such as Javi Franco how to build them.
In 2010 he took part in a video documentary for the Forge Museum in El Pobal.
The majority of commissions he receives are related with the traditional architecture of his region, like those we can find within the book Forja artesanal en el valle de Encartaciones y Carranza, where one can see some of the constructions in which he has intervened to ensure their conservation. Among them, is the Palace of Horcasitas in Balmaseda, where he carried out the restoration of balconies.
Other restorations worth mentioning are: the solution for the roofing with copper plaques for the family pantheon of the Garai family in Llanteno or the sculpture of San Miguel Arcángel, by José Espinós Alonso (1911-1969), located at present in the exterior wall of the bell tower of the Church of Zalla (Vizcaya).
He has also taken part in other works in public spaces, such as the grille for the Parish Church of Andra Mari de Etxaurren (Ayala), the dome for the garden of the Convent of Gordejuela, the handrails for the promenade along the river bank of Cadagua in Balmaseda, the posts for the outside staircase of the Castle of Frías (Burgos), in collaboration with the local blacksmith, etc.
Moreover, he designed and forged the figure of a runner for the international blacksmiths gathering in Alpens 2016.
He has collaborated with Enric Pla i Montferrer in different projects for the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. He has also carried out some works along with Juli Río Peris in the monumental door of the Sacristy of the Parish Church of Sant Isidre Llaurador in Hospitalet de Llobregat.