Juliet Fishenden

The French have always had the reputation for style and knowing it when they see it. The well known French Rod or French Pole is a design classic, one that we respect but also make in our own distinctive and unique fashion.

Interior designers, discerning individuals and first-rate curtain makers, like Magenta Interiors, all choose our French Style Curtain Poles. They look traditional, classy, superbly crafted and they do their job.

“Made by the Forge is my first stop for the best French poles on the market.” Magenta Interiors – Bespoke Soft Furnishings

There are no finials to choose as each end curves ninety degrees back to the wall where the pole slides into a bracket. The advantage of such a pole is that it is much more efficient at keeping out drafts.

You can install a French style curtain pole for a curtain over a window or a door to keep a howling wind at bay. Depending on the age of your home, (or of your cosy gite in the south of France if you are so lucky) there’s always a draft looking for a way in. The curtain on a French Style pole will then create a more complete shelter from the wind.

Why not consider adding some ‘va va voom!’ to your room?

Juliet Fishenden

Cannonball in beeswax finish – above

It is famously reported in a meeting held in 1909 that the great American entrepreneur Henry Ford once said of his new fangled automobile that the customer could buy a car painted in any colour they wanted… “as long as it was black.” He was on pretty solid ground. In popular culture there are frequent reports from newspapers and hipster magazines announcing that they have discovered the ‘new’ black as if the colour could be dismissed by a mere pretender to the iron throne.

Button finial on a 25mm pole – above

Black is primal. Black is, sartorially, slimming. Black is to ironwork as red is to blood. Black also never goes out of style. At Made by the Forge, we have honed our blacksmithing skills (the clue is in the name of our craft) to produce world-class curtain rails. Finishing them in either matt black paint or the dark sheen of natural beeswax seems like the equivalent of icing the cake or dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s. It’s giving our iron curtain poles the look that will enable them to effortlessly blend in with and enhance your window treatment.

Ram’s Horn finial on a 25mm pole

Let’s face it. The colour is part of what makes our ironwork so attractive. Black is as cool as it gets which is a wonderful irony given the word’s origin in ‘blacksmith’. The ‘black’ in ‘blacksmith’ arguably refers to the black fire scale, a layer of oxides that form on the surface of metal during heating. How cool is that?

Grand Cannonball finial and 25mm pole – above

Juliet Fishenden

As you probably know, Made by the Forge pledges to plant a tree for every order received. We take this pledge very seriously. In February this year, hundreds of trees were planted thanks to all you wonderful people who ordered ironwork from us last year. The funds to do so were recently donated to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust for landscape trees to be planted around the development at Carlton Marshes Visitor Centre, car park and children’s play area.

Carlton and Oulton Marshes range over a one hundred and fifty hectare nature reserve in Lowestoft. They are collectively a lowland reserve in the Broads National Park. This consists of meadows, wet grasslands, reed beds, marshes and woodlands. We chose to support the planned tree planting needed at Carlton Marshes to help the Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s overall goal to make this reserve a very special place for wildlife and people. The volunteer team is putting in one exterior rabbit fence using chestnut posts and the trees are scattered within.

The Suffolk Wildlife Trust arranged the tree planting at Carlton Marshes, which will go some way towards this amazing location becoming an even more special place to visit. The marshes are open to anyone who wants a wild, outdoor experience. And who doesn’t?

The images were kindly supplied by the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. “Thank you once again for your terrific support” Michael Strand, Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

Juliet Fishenden

Our curtain poles are not exclusive to windows. The Portière rod is designed to feature curtains for doors and entrances as elegant decoration or practical insulation from draughts. The rod is attached above the door on a wall plate allowing the curtain to be drawn once the door is closed.

Door curtains come in many different configurations and Made by the Forge can make a door curtain pole for every door and every door space.

  • There’s the pole that drapes curtains over the whole door, drawn back to access the door.
  • There’s the drapery arm attached to the door itself that moves as the door moves.
  • Then there is the rod on a hinge which moves as the door opens and is swung back into place as you draw the curtain along the pole.

Whatever your door space, Made by the Forge can make the perfect pole, easy to install straight out of the box.

Our Portière Door Curtain Rod is made of solid 20mm iron attached to a handmade bracket which screws to the wall and allows the rod full movement (given the room) of 180 degrees. The rod is made to measure for either left or right opening doors and can feature any finial from the 20mm range.

Ordering is easy on our website and we have a useful diagram to help and guide you through the process. The price is calculated too for you depending upon which finial you choose.

There are many ways to dress a door so we have showcased below some of the ways our clients have designed the pole to work with their door space.

Abbie from Abbie Fitzpatrick Design had this to say:

I just wanted to says thank you for all your gorgeous curtain poles. This is the third housing project I’ve used you on and you really never disappoint. And everyone I recommend you to has the same experience. I wanted to send a couple of (shoddy) photos of some of your pole in situ as they really make it. It was a tumble down farm house in southern Italy. I’ll send over the professional photos when we get everything complete.
Many thanks,
Abbie

Top quality English hand made curtain poles, installed in a 17th century French farmhouse, a marriage made in heaven.                                                                                                                                                          Trish. Correze, France.

Image courtesy of Korner Interiors

Finally got the rail up and its great. Had to bend it a touch to work in our crooked house but it looks great. 

Tom

 

 

 

Juliet Fishenden

In creating a new product, like Made by the Forge’s fire pits, you often have to build it, live with it and put it through its paces to see how it can be improved. We had a lot of fun road testing both the huge Entertainer and the more portable Glamper fire pits. I heartily recommend an outdoor-cooked full English!

Henry from Apples from Suffolk commented recently on the Glamper he took away on holiday with him last year. “It looks beautiful and you can feel the quality craftsmanship.  Even cooking a few sausages becomes an occasion and its portable too!”

As summer is knocking on spring’s door, we decided to redesign the product for more ease of use and attractiveness. The grilling surface on both fire pits has been reworked. It is now laser cut for precision while the outer ring is then handcrafted with hooks and handles. These enable you to effortlessly lift it off giving you the full heat of the fire pit to enjoy as the sun goes down.

This means the cooking surface now includes space at the sides and around the circumference of the grill to keep cooked food hot and if you’re using a pan to fry eggs for example, it’s somewhere to keep it warm while the sausages are browning. Get seriously fired up with Made by the Forge’s new and improved Entertainer and Glamper fire pits

Juliet Fishenden

Made by the Forge make stunning wrought iron bay and circular window curtain poles. They are handmade to your individual window measurements to ensure an exact fit. These rails are slightly difficult to measure up for and install so we have produced visual guides to help you. The diagrams on our Bay Window Curtain Pole pages are simple to follow and we provide labelled boxes for you to add in your window measurements. Then our online instant price calculator totals together all your chosen components to give you an overall price. We hope this is an easy, convenient way to shop.

Made by the Forge have also available a Measuring up and Installing a Curved Bay curtain pole videos.

‘I have passed your contact details to my curtain shop – they were incredibly impressed. Especially by the passing rings which work brilliantly”
Elise, November 2018

Bay windows are such a beautiful addition to any room. Having a handmade pole, made especially for your unique window is really what your window would ask for if given a voice!

Hopefully, with the aid of the diagrams, videos and pricing calculator you will find that a handcrafted, blacksmith made to measure pole for your window is an affordable luxury.

 

 

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…