Caroline Brett

Made by the Forge plants a native sapling for every order received. 2018 sees a new series highlighting the virtues of the British trees the company promotes as a major part of its ethos.

Neolithic tribes introduced the beech to Great Britain at the end of the last Stone Age for their edible nuts. Historically, the nuts or masts were an important source of fat and protein. As beech masts are small, covered in a hard outer shell, have a fibrous inner husk and are mildly toxic raw, only dedicated foragers gather them today. Roasting shelled masts improves their flavour and destroys the toxins. The French use them to make a kind of coffee and they can be made into a delicious pesto. Not so popular with people perhaps but the seeds are relished by mice, voles, squirrels and birds.

Beech trees are intolerant of waterlogged soil and severe frosts. They grow to 40 meters and live for up to 350 years but if coppiced can live to over a 1000. The tree canopy casts dense shade, keeping the forest floor clear of undergrowth, and carpets the ground thickly with leaf litter. In spring, before the leaves unfurl and block out the sunlight, beech woods with their rich soil support spectacular blankets of bluebells.

Beech bark is extremely thin and scars easily. It’s long been used to carve lovers’ initials and other forms of graffiti. The wood is fine-grained and knot free and used to make furniture, rifle butts, shoe heads and brush heads.

Beech supports ninety-eight species of insects including many species of moth and butterfly. The woods are also associated with native truffles (always seek expert advice before eating any wild fungi).

 The leaves turn from bright, lime green in spring though yellow to glorious russet before they fall.  Beech trees rarely fail to put on a spectacular show each Autumn.

Juliet Fishenden

Do you still have important stuff in boxes in a corner somewhere? Are there piles of papers and books still looking for a home? What about all those family photographs you’d like to display? A little while ago, we introduced the Forge Shelf Brackets, no nonsense, heavy-duty brackets that can take the heavy loads. They have been very popular. They were designed for the person who already has a wooden shelf for which they need made-to-measure brackets.

However, it followed that some customers might like the simplicity of buying the entire shelf in one go. So we sourced a sustainable wood supplier and can now offer two sizes of shelf (large or small). The wooden shelf itself is sturdy ash finished with a clear wood wax and together with those extra strong brackets, the large or small Forge Shelf Kit makes an ideal package to help you sort your life out. If it’s cluttering up floor space, shelve it!

The Forge Shelf Kit

Caroline Brett

Made by the Forge plants a native sapling for every order received. 2018 sees a new series highlighting the virtues of the British trees the company promotes as a major part of its ethos.

“Ash logs, all smooth and grey,
burn them green or old;
Buy up all that come your way,
They’re worth their weight in gold”

(old, anonymous poem).

Ash, known as the ‘king of firewood’, throws plenty of heat, doesn’t spit and will burn as green wood (although seasoned is better). A member of the olive family, it is probably the most versatile tree in the countryside. The wood is resilient, tough and very hard-wearing but lacks the oak’s resistance to rot. It’s not good for posts buried in the ground. In the past it was often coppiced on a ten-year cycle, providing timber for burning and construction. It was extensively used in the construction of early aircraft and even the body frame for early Volvo cars. Flexible, shock-resistant and not liable to split, it has traditionally been used for bows, tool handles, tennis rackets and snooker cues. It is still popular to make furniture, flooring, walking sticks and lobster pots and is our choice of wood for our shelves, tables and benches.

Known for its helicopter seeds, growing on average to 18m tall but occasionally reaching a massive 43m, it rarely exceeds 250 years of age.  Mature trees are known to suffer ‘summer branch drop’ when apparently healthy trees drop large branches for no apparent reason. 

Ash dieback, caused by the fungus is a serious disease that is killing ash trees across Europe.  The fungus blocks water transport within the tree causing leaf loss, lesions on the bark and ultimately the dieback of the crown. There is no known cure. An infected tree will ultimately die. Scientists across Europe are fighting a race against time to find resistant strains to safeguard the ash from the devastating effects of Dutch elm disease on the English elm. 

Juliet Fishenden

The most influential design magazine on the market today is  The World of Interiors. This 400 page glossy monthly is a treasure trove of originality, the traditional, the cutting edge and hugely desirable interior design. Glancing through its pages is window shopping at its most sophisticated.

Where better then to showcase Made by the Forge’s most eye-catching and unique light, the Farrier’s Cage Six Circle Globe Chandelier. Designed by Anthony Dickens, this stunning luminaire is eye-catching in the extreme, the forged ironwork being both contemporary and traditional, handcrafted using time-honoured blacksmith skills. If any of Made by the Forge products deserve such a prestigious showcase, it’s the Globe Chandelier. Going up in the world…

 

Juliet Fishenden

Here at Made by the Forge, we pride ourselves on the excellence of our handcrafted products so it makes perfect sense to use video to show our customers the best way to get our curtain poles and shelving up to make your windows and walls stand out. Once again we invited filmmaker Alan Miller to shoot and produce our videos. He has over thirty-five years of experience in the film and television industry and it’s great to have the benefit of his knowledge.

We put aside half a day to shoot three videos. Any one who’s been involved with these sorts of projects knows that it’s never as easy as the finished video appears. It helps enormously that Richard is very relaxed on camera, a one-take wonder even. Alan is a one-man production outfit but he’s not gifted as a hair and make up artist, so you’re getting Richard as Richard, no frills. He’s always ready for his close up.

The three videos are straightforward enough. How to (1) Put Up A Curtain Pole, (2) Put Up A Recess Pole and (3) Put Up A Made by the Forge Shelf. We hope you find them useful. How To videos online can be enormously helpful and even encourage you to do the work yourself. We hope ours are short, to the point and informative.

Juliet Fishenden

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the lighter evenings and to choose carefully considered pieces for your own space outside. Al fresco social occasions always need a focal point, a literal campfire around which to gather for warmth and the promise of a well-branded steak and sausage, real or vegetarian.

Made by the Forge has the perfect fire pits for any occasion. First is the top of the line model with an astonishing capacity of sixty sausages… The Entertainer, with a massive diameter of 75cm, is the roaring heavyweight of our fire pit range. It’s also a thing of beauty on its much more than sturdy stands. There are two height options available depending on the outdoor space in which you entertain. This colossus throws out winter-warming temperatures as well as providing a whole dinner party’s outdoor cooking needs.

If you don’t need to feed the masses and if you want a more portable choice to accompany you on camping adventures, then look no further than The Glamper. This more portable option has a diameter of 50cm but it’s no less fierce as a heat provider. Like its big brother, it has a choice of two heights depending on how you like to cook and warm yourself at home with the family or while under the stars.

Both fire pits show off Made by the Forge’s rigorous attention to detail and unmatched craftsmanship. Make this summer one to remember.

The heat is on.

Juliet Fishenden

At Made by the Forge, we make the finest ironwork known to humanity! As proof, we can now offer you a small pocket sized booklet to peruse and use for inspiration for your home or interior project. It features all our fabulous ironwork plus our new 25mm metal poles, new finials and a contemporary burnished wax finish. We have a downloadable version or we can send you a printed copy, whatever is the most convenient for you.

Shopping with us is easy and if you have any questions, we are always at the end of the phone or email.

Juliet Fishenden

Handcrafted, stylish and strong are some of the words describing the fabulous shelf brackets we are making here at Made by the Forge. Recently we received an email, from a high-end interior designer, with the opening line;

“I need to order some more of these wonderful brackets!”

Praise indeed and we’ve had countless interior enthusiasts raving about them. They are incredibly versatile and can be used with any wood of your choice. At present, we don’t supply the actual shelves but after encouraging feedback, we’re making enquiries into providing the wood along with the shelf brackets.

These hand-forged, dark iron brackets have been successfully situated in both modern rustic interior spaces and contemporary ones to great effect. A customer kindly sent an image of her newly installed shelf brackets. They are particularly stunning because of the creative backlighting in her kitchen, a great idea.

The image below shows how our customer Emma furnished her glamping pod with a shelf under the TV so the handsets were all tidily off the floor.

“I’m really pleased with your lovely ironwork, and it’s made all the difference in terms of the finishing touches to both my own property over the years, and now to my newly completed glamping pod – The Owlery. Everyone is extremely complimentary. Thanks again for providing such an excellent service.”
Best wishes
Emma
Loch Sunart Yarns & Buttons

So deciding to put up one or more handy wall shelves is easy with our made to measure brackets. You choose the width of shelf for your needs and we make the brackets just for you. The raw metal is finished in a natural, locally sourced beeswax which gives the iron a beautiful sheen. The brackets can also be finished in a matt black paint according to your needs.

“I have just ordered 6 brackets for my newly decorated office space and am so looking forward to getting the contents of my office out of the boxes and up off the floor. I am the sort of person who likes to be able to see where things are so they are easily found!”

Ordering with us is easy. We have experts at the end of the telephone or an email whichever you choose.

Caroline Brett

Made by the Forge plants a native sapling for every order received. 2018 sees a new series highlighting the virtues of the British trees the company promotes as a major part of its ethos.

Hazel (Corylus avellana)

The hazel is the smallholder’s godsend. It grows relatively rapidly on rough and wet soils that aren’t much use for other crops. Commonly it’s found in hedgerows and in the understory of oak, ask and birch woodland.

Hazel sticks are flexible, strong and long lasting with multiple uses. Crofters and smallholders use them for sheep hurdles, baskets, walking sticks, thatching spurs, netting poles and even coracle boats. In spring, hazel is so bendy it can be knotted without breaking.

The trees were traditionally coppiced for their repeated growth of sticks every 6-10 years.  One tree or stool (cut clump) could last several hundred years.  When left to grow naturally, they can reach 12m and live for 80 – 100 years.

Hazel was grown for large-scale nut production until the early 1900s. Cultivated varieties (known as cob-nuts) are still grown in Kent.

The nuts are a favourite food of squirrels and dormice. Hazel nuts help these rodents fatten up for winter and in spring the leaves are an important source of food for caterpillars that squirrels and dormice also relish. Woodpeckers, jays and nuthatches also enthusiastically collect hazel nuts in autumn.

In coppiced hazel woodland, the open wildflower-rich habitat supports many species of butterfly, particularly fritillaries. It also provides shelter for ground-nesting birds such as the nightingales, nightjars, yellowhammers and willow warblers.

Hazel is ‘the magic tree’. A hazel rod is believed to ward off evil spirits, it was a popular witches’ wand and reputedly good for water divining. Nuts were carried to ward off rheumatism. In Celtic legend and Ireland it’s known as the ‘Tree of Knowledge’ as well as a fertility symbol. There are many versions of an ancient tale where nine hazel trees grew around a sacred pool. Salmon (a fish sacred to Druids) ate the nuts and absorbed the wisdom.

Today the wise snack on hazelnuts which are loaded with health benefitting nutrients including manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron and numerous vitamins and anti-oxidant qualities. They have been proven to help prevent heart disease and improve brain function.

Juliet Fishenden

As a manufacturer of designer, lighting, Made by the Forge acknowledges trends in the interiors industry. The word ‘trendy’ is sometimes used derogatively as much as it is simply describing something of current popularity. Trendy is by definition impermanent, fleeting and in some fashion, the very opposite of the hot forged, designer lighting which we guarantee will last a lifetime. But given that, it is very satisfying to find out that the Farrier’s Cage Five Bar Long, designed by Anthony Dickens is, ‘trending’!

In this month’s issue of Homes and Gardens, there’s a long feature on Kitchen Trends for 2018. Kitchens have always been the home’s beating heart, warm and inviting, a place to socialise, a place to create. Well, nothing says contemporary like the Farrier’s Cage Five Bar Long and there it is, front and centre on pages 148 and 149 of the quality interiors magazine. To see the full article click the link here.

The overarching trend, the general theme of the article states that “This season’s sharpest kitchens are going incognito – the latest schemes seamlessly blend functionality with the look of a contemporary living space.” This says to me that the kitchen has become just as important as any other room in the house on which to stamp a personalised statement. With its right foot in the traditional blacksmith past and its left on the cutting edge, The Farrier’s Cage Five Bar Long is perfect for such a space. Long may it trend!