Steel Cutting (Iron Cutting): The art of arms and armour making, which, along with coining-die cutting, was responsible for the development of steel cutting, was already fully developed in the course of the Middle Ages, but came to its full flowering during the Renaissance period. Armour, weapons, standard poles, sword and dagger handles, and door locks etc. were heavily ornamented. This was done by working the (cold) iron with hardened tools (chisels, punches, graving tools, burins). Die-sinkers and medallists worked at Hall in Tirol and Wiener Neustadt, while cutlers and sword-makers were mainly concentrated at Steyr from the Middle Ages onwards. From about 1660 Steyr craftsmen dedicated themselves to artistic ornamentation of their products by etching, engraving and enchasing.
The art of iron cutting declined in the second half of the 18th century, to be revived as steel cutting towards the end of the 19th century by G. Ritzinger, L. Zimpel and above all M. Blümelhuber. A craft school for the iron industry was founded at Steyr in 1874. New artistic applications of steel cutting were developed by H. Gerstmayr in the field of jewelry-making. On the initiative of M. Blümelhuber the Upper Austrian Craft School for Steel Cutting was founded in 1910; under the name of School of Creative Metal Working it is now part of the Höhere technische Bundeslehranstalt at Steyr. The VOEST company also runs a school of steel-cutting, which forms part of the Art School of the City of Linz.
Literature: F. X. Lugmayer, Kunst in Stahl geschnitten: der Eisenschnitt von der Antike bis zum Verfall des 18. Jahrhunderts und der Wiederbelebung der Stahlschnitt-Kunst in unserer Zeit, 1991.