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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Juliet Fishenden

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As a small but dedicated-to-quality company, exposure in magazines and indeed any media is invaluable to us. Any opportunity to gain more publicity for the company increases our profile. It’s not all about business and sales though of course these are important. But mostly we care that as many people as possible be aware that these age-old traditional skills are still with us in our iPad, screen dominated world.

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In November 2015, Made by the Forge was graced with a company profile in the rather beautifully designed newspaper-like magazine Warehouse Home which you can see here, (first column, fifth box down). The magazine exploits the relatively new market of converting spaces usually associated with the storage of products into living areas. So it was thrilling to be back in Warehouse Home’s pages again.

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Beautiful photography and snappy prose are unified to give the reader a peek of that lifestyle experience that may only exist in a homes magazine but certainly seems more and more attainable. If that’s your goal, we can certainly help.

 

Juliet Fishenden

The Beehive is a hand-forged lamp using both traditional blacksmithing and modern metal forming techniques. The metal is hot forged and the edges hammered giving it a unique wavy line finish.  The design is a result of Anthony Dickens’ continued exploration in creating contemporary forged metal products with Richard at Made by the Forge.

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Previewed at the Heal’s Festival of Light in October, the Beehive Pendant is based on the classic layered beehive shape, finished with beeswax straight from the hive and given some individual character by Richard’s craftsmanship.

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The Beehive range will launch in February both in Heal’s and on our own website. The design is available in seven distinct variations. Showcasing two of them here, there’s the Beehive-Three-Cluster, a group of touching bulbs (illustrated below); and the Beehive Five Line Chandelier (above) which subverts the classic circular luminaire with a line of lights.

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All will be revealed in February and if minimalism is your goal then there’s a single Beehive pendant suspended from a ceiling rose or free standing, bulb-up on a table along with the larger pieces.