Patterned iron window grates keep old memories alive

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Patterned iron window grates were introduced to Taiwan during the Japanese occupation. They provided an anti-theft device for the glass windows of early western-style buildings and were very popular in the 1970s when Taiwan’s economy was taking off. However, since the introduction of stainless-steel window grates, iron grates have gradually lost their appeal and been largely forgotten. Despite this, in Xindian District, New Taipei City, proprietor Zeng Wen-chang (曾文昌) has continued to make patterned iron window grates for more than thirty years.

 

Because the raw materials for iron window grates are softer and more susceptible to rusting, each year during the Lunar New Year period, iron window grates were traditionally given a lick of paint. Zeng Wen-chang's childhood memories of painting with his grandma have left a strong and lasting impression on him.

 

In recent years, Zeng Wen-chang has used his creativity to integrate traditional iron window patterns into various cultural and creative products, such as mobile phone stands, table lamps, necklaces and eastern-style spring couplets, ensuring that the culture of iron window grates remains a part of everyone’s daily life.

 

以下為中文對照

 

鐵花窗職人曾文昌 復刻老屋記憶風景

 

鐵花窗在日治時代傳入台灣,是早期洋樓玻璃窗的防盜設備,過去曾在經濟起飛的七○年代盛極一時。但隨著不鏽鋼窗的興起,鐵花窗漸漸被遺忘,然而在新北市新店區,老闆曾文昌三十多年來持續堅持製作鐵花窗。

 

因鐵花窗的原料質地較軟易生鏽,每逢農曆年節都得為鐵花窗重新刷上一層油漆防鏽,童年時替阿嬤刷漆的回憶深深烙印在曾文昌的腦海中。

 

近年來曾文昌發揮創意將窗花紋融入各式文創商品,手機架、檯燈、項鍊、春聯等,曾文昌笑著說,製作這些商品只是因為自己對鐵花窗的喜愛,也想感染更多人,讓鐵花窗走進日常生活。

 

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Patterned iron window grates keep old memories alive

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