Jaume Moles: the Bixessarri forger

Iron is found throughout the Pyrenees

Iron is found throughout the Pyrenees, its characteristic colour can be seen in many valleys and in its rivers stained by rust.

Bandeds of this mineral emerge along mountain paths. Many of them created to reach the sites. Iron was extracted by the Pyrenean communities for centuries, in small farms or in large communities such as the Iron Valley in the País Vasco or the Vall Ferrera in the Pallars Sobirà (Sapin).

Between the 17th and 19th centuries in Andorra there was also a great productions activity, transformation and marketing of iron, which became a culture and a way of life. Many centuries-old buildings retain wrought iron work. The most typical are those that we can see as protection of many windows, the so-called estripagecs. But also bolts, nails, knobs, railings, chains, etc.

Jaume Moles learned the trade of iron at a very young age.

Jaume Moles learned the iron craft at a very young age, combining his studies with work. Professionally he has always been linked to this material and his long career has coincided with the urban transformation of the country.

His connection with iron comes from afar, as several generations of his family have worked on it. It has been up to him to live and see how the traditional way of working has changed when he began to use structures made in industrial and mechanized processes. Thousands of years of history of a traditional job that gradually began to disappear from the second half of the twentieth century.

The desire to leave an arrival of this activity, which has contributed so much to the history of Andorra and the Pyrenees, has led our smith to carry out in a totally personal and selfless way a pedagogical, informative and artistic space on the forge.

Jaume Moles, with the help of the plastic artist Àngel Calvente, has turned an industrial building into an art and craft, paying homage to the work of many generations who turned iron into their way of life.