The Man with the Roman Hands, Italian Eye, Tuscan Mind, and American Heart – Mr Wrought Iron - Don Rigali

by - 11:38 AM

Don Rigali - Artist - Designer Wrought Iron - Rigali of Tuscany
Don Rigali - Artist
Designer Wrought Iron
Rigali of Tuscany

Buongiorno miei amata amici!

There is something delightfully nostalgic and enduring that intrigues one’s mind as they gaze intently at a work of hand-forged wrought iron. They sense the warmth of the heat employed to make the iron pliable. Their eyes dance rhythmically upon each pattern of scrolls, as they lose themselves in wonderment.

When a person invests into quality wrought iron via an artiste, they intend to transform a house into their home. They visualize the security of aging in an abode surrounded by beauty.

Artist Don Rigali - Designer Wrought Iron in progress.
Artist Don Rigali
Shop and Field Foreman - Ken Rigali
Designer Wrought Iron in progress.
“Tuscany has always produced creative people. The family lines that come from there are often overflowing with artists whose eyes discern beauty in this life and recreate it to share with others,” explained Don Rigali of Rigali of Tuscany Artistic Iron Works.

“A lot of the Rigalis have an artistic flare, many of them are sculptors. I believe that as an Italian you have an eye for beauty. That’s how I picked my lovely wife of 48 years, with my Italian eye for beauty, but it was my Roman hands that got me into trouble,” he quips with a grin.

Tuscany is the home of Florence and Barga. They were both once city-states allied with one other, which has transcended the centuries since. Both cultivated great artists and famous people such as Dante, Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Donatello, Gucci, Cardinal Justin Rigali, etc. Florence being the birthing place of the Renaissance and the hub of influential life. Barga was and still is the solitude to refresh the artist’s genius while seeking splendor only found in the countryside. The Rigalis from Barga are still painters, musicians, photographers, sculptors, and wrought iron artisans.

Rigali of Tuscany - Artist & Designer Don Rigali's Wrought Iron has been featured on the cover of magazines.
Rigali of Tuscany - Artist and Designer Don Rigali's Wrought Iron
has been featured on the cover of magazines.
“Carrara, another city of Tuscany, quarries the best marble in the world. Quality has always mattered to Italian Artists. If you look at the statues that came out of Greece and those, which came out of Italy, you can see the difference in the quality of marble and its endurance,” Rigali enlightened from his passion for both history and genealogy. He spearheaded the Rigali Genealogy group over 30 years ago.

Don Rigali fondly recalls when he began his career in wrought iron. “On October 4th, 1963, I had just started my first day on the job at Penn-Griff Steel. My employer had no more than just lined me out for the day when a phone call came into the office informing me that my wife was on the way to the hospital to give birth to our first son.”

Don Rigali designed wine cellar doors.
Don Rigali designed
wine cellar doors.
“Starting a new family of my own at such a young age, I quickly realized that working 6 days a week, 10 hours a night at the service station was not going to support us at $500 a month. That is what motivated me to start working in wrought iron, but what has kept me there is creating custom products.

He passionately continues, “Through the years, I became versed in better methods, such as hand-forging, which gives better artistic control and produces superior quality of art. As a designer, Autocad has revolutionized my life. I could observe exactly how a piece of wrought iron would appear and position into a given space before I built it.”

 “As for creating beautiful work and resolving issues in my art, I often dream the solution. My wife finds this amusing, but I work wrought iron in my sleep. I will do the same job repeatedly in my dreams until the answer comes to me,” describes Rigali.

Don Rigali designed balcony railing.
Don Rigali designed balcony railing.
He recalls his first job for a celebrity, because the confidentiality agreement has safely expired. “Joseph Cotten, the famous movie star from the 40’s “Citizen Kane,” had me create wrought iron for his home in Palm Springs.”

When asked about the wrought iron industry as a whole, he responded, “I cannot stand shoddy workmanship. The scroll-work should flow like a serpentine vine. When something is not finished quite right, I can sense it. Beautiful wrought iron with the scrolls flowing properly are serene, they are peaceful.  When I do work, it must be done a certain way. It takes longer, but the result is always gratifying.”

Don Rigali wrought iron is featured in beautiful homes and businesses across the USA.
Don Rigali wrought iron is featured in beautiful homes
and businesses across the USA.
Through the years, Rigali of Tuscany supports such charities as the Salvation Army, Rotary Clubs, Little League, and various Youth Groups. When youth are curious about pursuing wrought iron, Mr. Rigali tries to give them realistic input of what it takes to succeed.

“You can choose to build either a first-class product or install the substandard that some call wrought iron, which is mass-produced with no pride, often from another country under forced labor. Those partaking in the mass-produced wrought iron do business in such a manner, that you cannot compete and keep your company legally floating,” advises Rigali.  “You must be unique and choose to develop quality work, as opposed to pumping out shoddy work at cheaper prices. Wrought iron is not cheap, just the price of steel has increased significantly over the last few years. You won’t legally succeed if you cannot create works that set you apart.”

Don Rigali designer wrought iron - stair railing
Don Rigali designer wrought iron.
Rigali concludes, “As an artist, I tend to be a perfectionist in my work. I am very particular that my work is completed as I designed it. My Italian eye for beauty demands my art come to fruition as my mind envisions it.”

Of course every great artist knows his support crew are essential. So a hearty thank you to Shop Foreman - Ken Rigali, Salesman - Paul Rigali, and Office Manager - Gloria Rigali. 

You can reach Rigali of Tuscany Designer Wrought Iron AKA Artistic Iron Works by emailing him at: RigaliofTuscany @ gmail dot com.

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