Hand-forged iron gates, railings bring touch of royal class

Richard Queen didn’t start out as a master iron artist. He had a “suit-and-tie” job like so many others, but being a single parent motivated him to take his hobby and turn it into his profession.

Owner of Royal Ironworks, Richard is one of a handful of ironwork artists in the metro who hand-forges iron into intricate gates, fireplace gates and stairwell railings. He learned the skill from a master ironworker in California.

“I started the business in 1999 after my divorce,” he says. “I had two kids and was a single parent, so I needed a career that was flexible so I could take care of them. I was always handy with iron.”

Today, Royal Ironworks creates custom railings for staircases, large gates for private neighborhoods and, as a recent addition, fireplace grates. Richard has earned a legion of clients and fans who appreciate not only the art but the customer service.

“One of the biggest things that people say is that they appreciate that I do exactly what I say I’m going to do and when,” he says. “We make good stuff that is hand-forged. Not a lot of people do that.”

Typically, customers come in with a drawing or photo of what they would like made. Staircase railing is a popular item customers choose to add a special touch to their home.

“An iron staircase raise can be a statement piece for the homeowner and the house,” Richard says. “We’ve also done a couple of big gates, like at the Oakmont subdivision.”

Royal Ironworks has also done projects for country music stars Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton.