Juliet Fishenden

Inspiration can strike at anytime. You suddenly see in your mind’s eye that perfect piece of ironwork to put your pans in order, bespoke shelving and hooks to sort out that boot room. And isn’t it about time you did something about the poker and brush by the fire and give them somewhere to hang out?

Made by the Forge offers you so much more than the specific products we feature on our web pages. We can take your bespoke designs and turn your imagination into handcrafted, wrought iron pieces, which will add a certain rustic charm to any interior. In older fashioned spaces or contemporary places, iron just works. Large or small, almost anything is possible. If you can dream it, we can create it.

What about that unconventional bay window that’s been underdressed for some while now? The boys at the Forge have been busy with bespoke bay curtain poles and by the unique shapes of them, I can’t wait to see what they look like once fitted and dressed.

People are responding very well to our easy guides to measuring up your bay pole. As always any feedback is appreciated and we’d love to see images of the final look of your newly dressed window.

 

 

Juliet Fishenden

In the ‘Home Front’ section in an article entitled ‘Paradise Regained’ featured in a recent Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine, there’s a very familiar pendant light on page 53. The piece is an interview with Interior Designer, Rachel Richmond. Having taken on the restoration of a four-storey Georgian house in 2015, Rachel talks about the challenges of restoration. I particularly like her idea of moving art and furniture regularly from room to room to “…change the look of a room immediately.”

The Edinburgh house is part of a World Heritage site, so like listed buildings, there is a limit on what can be added or taken away. From the relevant web site, it says “The World Heritage Convention recognises the way in which people interact with nature, and the fundamental need to preserve the balance between the two.” Quite. Rachel was keen for the authorities to understand that her work was restoring what was and updating the work of the designer from the 80s, which had not been altered for over three decades.

For the kitchen she chose Made by the Forge’s Farrier’s Cage Five Bar Long pendant light designed by Anthony Dickens and purchased from Heal’s. This choice seems like a metaphor for the needs of the entire restoration; reinstating the house’s Georgian character from the past while installing modern works to complement it. The timeless design and handcrafted nature of the light reflect both aspects of the restoration. To see the recent Stella article, the Sunday Telegraph’s magazine, click here.

Juliet Fishenden

If you are looking for a curtain or blind maker, then you’ve come to the right place. Despite one of our customers saying that it’s “…almost a shame to hang the curtains on them, the rods look so good as they are,” our curtain poles are crafted with curtains in mind. And we are thrilled to be working with one of the best curtain makers out there.

Natalie Canning has a passion for exquisite window treatments. She is a renowned specialist in the design and creation of beautiful, unique curtains, blinds and soft furnishings. She founded Natalie Canning, The Soft Furnishing Experts in 2005 and has developed a reputation for her ability and dedication to the craft.

Natalie is continually working with Made by the Forge as her customers love the clean lines and simplicity of our made to measure iron poles. Richard often creates bespoke brackets to accommodate the unusual shapes and dimensions of the windows Natalie has to work with.

Traditional skills and expertise form the cornerstone of every project Natalie undertakes. She works with the finest fabrics, a talented close knit team of seamstresses and exacting standards. This commitment and devotion ensures beautiful results every time.

If you want to arrange a consultation contact Natalie at https://nataliecanning.co.uk/pages/contact-us

Make a window, make a room!

 

Juliet Fishenden

Kitchen specialists and furniture designers par excellence, Martin Moore, share our philosophy and love of traditional, British-made handcrafted products. Yorkshire based for 42 years, their superbly made and beautifully finished work speaks for itself. In the Supplement to this month’s House and Garden magazine, one of their bespoke kitchens is featured and it’s a real beauty.

Set in a former church hall with lighting issues and great length but not width, the kitchen designer had to overcome a few not insignificant, practical hurdles. With a fusion of contemporary and traditional styles, Toni Silver’s elegant, informal design makes it a tremendous space for people to gather and not just one in which to prepare food. Made by the Forge was commissioned to handcraft the pan rack, which is fixed to the large mirror. As Toni says, “…the mirror is antique. So fixing a rack to it took on a special care and importance!”

It’s good to know that our classic ironwork fits in so well with such a contemporary kitchen. Clichés are clichés for a reason but it really is true that classics never go out of style. It’s also very satisfying to contribute to such a project and an honour to be associated with such a fine company whose work echoes our own passions and goals. To see the House & Garden Kitchen & Bathroom supplement article, July 2017, click here.

 

 

Juliet Fishenden

Hot off the press is our new Made by the Forge pamphlet that will give you an overview of the range of wrought iron products we can make to order. The pamphlet opens out into an attractive poster giving you a helpful snapshot of our handmade ironwork for you to peruse.

Pamplet for blog

Richard’s passion for making sustainable products is leading him down new roads with new ideas to enhance the rooms in your home.

working-on-anvil-blog

As a perfect example, there is our new Beehive Light Collection, available to view in Heal’s Flagship store on Tottenham Court Road in London or in their Brighton store. They have been produced in conjunction with Anthony Dickens, an award winning British product designer.

Beehive Seven Cluster Wall blog

If you drop me a note with your name and address to juliet@madebytheforge.co.uk I’ll send you your own printed copy. The pamphlets are added automatically to any order.

 

Juliet Fishenden

Made by the Forge’s Richard and I met with Michael Strand, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Development Officer in Leavenheath. We drove down a long stony track and through a gate, which opened up into a huge expanse of wild countryside. It was raining, as it duly does when we go to see the trees being planted by the SWT! We pledged a long time ago now to plant a tree for every order received. We still do this and attend the tree planting personally. It takes place once a year with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and this year a new green lane is being planted.

Tree Planting blog

The rain was steadily falling as the wind billowed around the volunteers who seemed in good spirits regardless of the weather. The men and woman were on a Team Building day away from their desks and warm office. This was the Customer Service Team from UK Power Networks. The volunteers are allocated two days a year to work with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

SWT tree planting blog

The planting was at Kingsland Copse, part of Ager Fen and Spouces Vale and was planned so that the new hedgerows would one day connect to the existing hedges of trees providing habitat for all sorts of species, especially the dormice which in recent years have dwindled in number.

We were told that the dormouse is doing very well in this area due to their re-population of the habitat provided for them. They eat a mixture of flowers, nectar, hawthorn, autumn berries, blackberries and haws. Creating this new green lane would provide more of a playground home for them.

The rough mix of trees planted was approximately 50% hazel, 25% blackthorn and a selection of buckthorn, dog rose and oak which, we were told, are good for bats because they grow bigger than the other tree species.

Roots of the new trees blog

It’s all good news and Michael told us that the whole area that the Suffolk Wildlife Trust now own and manage around Ager Fen is now home to the nightingale again. It was absent for around ten years but is now back so this in itself shows the area is becoming rich in resources in which the wild world needs to flourish.

Tree planted blog

Juliet Fishenden

New Product Launch – The Forge Shelf Brackets

There is something extremely satisfying about robust, reliable shelving and a shelf’s best friend is what it’s supported by. Made by the Forge’s Forge Shelf Bracket is a product that conveys simplicity first and foremost. There is no tin it comes in but if it did, it does exactly what it says on it. It’s there to do a job, and once installed properly on a wall, it’ll take the heavy load.

mbtf_shelf-blog

There are few homes in the land that could not use a little more shelving. These durable and extremely strong brackets are made of solid wrought iron and despite their rustic simplicity, they are rather attractive and come with a choice of black or natural beeswax finish. They are handcrafted in bespoke sizes to perfectly match your choice of shelving.

So why not let this sturdy support inspire you to action? Space may have been Captain Kirk’s final frontier but for the rest of us, it’s at a premium. So save time, save space and reclaim that floor area, maximise that wall space and put up that shelf.

mbtf_shelf-oak_blog

Juliet Fishenden

Prior to the industrial revolution, the humble blacksmith was installed at his forge in every country village throughout the land. His bread and butter trade was practical ironwork producing horse tack, farm tools and ploughs and in the less enlightened ages, swords and armour.

rams-horn-hot-on-anvil-blog

People soon started to employ the local smithy to make decorative objects that would adorn any home, objects that would be passed down the generations. And where does a blacksmith derive his inspiration for such objects? Out of the window.

ram-image-blog

Mother Nature features a near infinite range of shapes and forms but the most pleasing to the eye become the classics whose design weathers the years just like the iron they are made of. One such classic is the Ram’s Horn.

rams-horn-on-slate-blog

The pleasing curves leading to the sharpened tip is one of Made by the Forge’s signature pieces and can be found as a curtain pole finial (above shown in beeswax), a curtain hold back (below shown in matt black finish).

rams-horn-holdback-blog

It is also the decorative centre to Chris Eckersley’s Standard Floor Lamp. It is extraordinary how a still powerful and classic design can be forged to compliment contemporary lighting and as a fusion of both past and present, it creates its own unique identity.

lamp-rams-horn-blog

Juliet Fishenden

All of us in the U.K. have lived with wrought iron for most of our lives. It’s found everywhere. Ancient ironwork smashed into pleasing shapes, structures and intricate patterns is still with us, the march of time barely giving it a second glance. Wrought iron hangs up our bread boards, stores our wine, clads our ships and provides France with her most enduring icon.

bread-board-handle-for-blog

The industrial revolution may have turned our heads towards the new mechanical means of production but handmade, handcrafted ironwork still holds an incomparable allure. In fact, in the 21st century, wrought ironwork and its blacksmiths have returned with some vigour as the desire for material permanence has trumped the built in obsolescence of the poorly made product.

working-on-anvil-blog

The last commercial wrought ironworks factory closed in 1974 but despite this, the skill of ‘working’ iron (‘wrought’ is an archaic form of ‘worked’) is still with us and the products highly prized and appreciated for their quality. From the beauty of the Farrier’s Cage Six Circle Globe Chandelier to the humble handle, iron still just works.

chandelier-blog

Juliet Fishenden

There are few home chores more daunting than measuring up a bay window for bespoke curtain rails and brackets. Made by the Forge has produced a series of guides with simple step-by-step instructions for all manner of bays (with one bend, two, three, four, five and six and a curved one). With the larger bays, it’s advisable to get a friend to help with the measurements.

2-bend-diagram

We hope we’ve covered 99% of the bays out there but if you have a bay that fits snuggly inside that pesky outlying 1%, we can do it but we may need more information than specified in our guides. We suggest what you’re going to need to do the job and take you through the specific lengths to measure so we can calculate the rail length. Then there’s the choice of finial and the number of extra brackets you may need as well as curtain rings.

Once you’ve settled on your finish (beeswax or matt black), that’s all your practical work done. The rest is up to us. At Made by the Forge, bespoke curtain poles are our specialty and we hope that these new bay curtain pole-measuring guides will take all the confusion and guesswork out of the chore.

bay_pole_no-rings-_home-page_10961_2