Author Description

Richard Fishenden

Farriery was my first love. Horse shoeing is a wonderful skill and something that I still do every week. It also gave me the skills that I needed to serve my new clients at Made by the Forge. I believe in a good old fashioned service where the customer is the number 1 asset.

Oak Block Finial Display

Made by the Forge has just released a  ‘swanky’ new oak block to display finials. Designed by Chris Eckersely and made by us, it is a great coffee table display which interior designers and curtain makers can use. It is also very practical to carry out to home visits for clients.

Using our 20mm curtain pole as the carry handle, it doubles up by showing a potential purchaser how the finials join the curtain pole and exactly how wide the pole is. The finials are joined using a grub screw which is tightened so the ends don’t fall off and they are all interchangeable.


Just brilliantly original.

See the full range of finials on our website

Chris in the Forge

We met Chris Eckersley last year 2013 and were immediately impressed with his credentials. Chris is passionate about design and we are thrilled to be working with him on a number of projects including our lighting range. Chris has journeyed to Suffolk twice now and is close to completing  one of his designs that he has designed and hand forged and which will be revealed at London Design Week this September 2014.

Chris in forge2

Chris has been constantly at the top with his designs especially his Tromé Bench. ‘The Trombé bench was shortlisted for the 2002 Homes and Gardens / V&A Classic Design Awards, and at the glittering ceremony at the V&A won two of the three awards, including The Prince’s Medal, presented by Prince Charles.

Chris and Prince Charles

We have taken Chris’s words from his website to give a complete picture of how diverse and interesting he is.

‘Originally I studied Sculpture and then on graduating set up a little design-and-make furniture workshop. After a few years this grew like Topsy and I ended up with nearly a dozen employees. We made one-off pieces, fitted furniture, and large architectural cabinets for a company in New York.
In my spare time I made abstract sculpture.

Later I did an MA in Design Studies at Central Saint Martins, where I became a Visiting Tutor. By this time I’d built up a network of cabinetmakers and small manufacturers for whom I worked as a freelance designer. This freed me up to be able to spend more time developing new art and design work, which I exhibited widely – and still do.

More recently, after temporarily moving to deepest Herefordshire, I went ‘bodging’ (or greenwood chair-making) which led on toBodging Milano and many other craft-based projects and fruitful collaborations with other designers.

I’ve lived in various parts of the country, from Cornwall to North Yorkshire, but home is beloved Birmingham.’

To see more about Chris and view his designs here is a link to his website.


On my way back from the forge I came across a mother duck and a line of tiny ducklings crossing the road. It made me think of this poem.

Leisure” is a poem by Welsh poet W. H. Davies,

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

The Forge Project began in 2013 when Richard and Juliet Fishenden met with Anthony Dickins, William Warren and Gareth Neal in London and decided a collaboration between the product designers, including their pal Chris Eckersley, would be interesting for everyone. Made by the Forge gets lots of design ideas and the designers get hands on experience in the Forge and an insight into the blacksmiths techniques.

William Warren welding.

William Warren welding.

The designers introduction to the forge began in Suffolk where they learnt about what we make and what we do. The boys got a chance to bang a lot of hot metal – changing the shape of a round piece of bar to square and then a square piece of bar to round. This taught them the basic forge techniques and the correct use of the hammer. They moved onto drawing out metal, forging points both square and round, then bumping up metal i.e. redacting its length and then punching holes. The day culminated of the making of a forged hook which included all of the techniques they had learnt. The hook has a punched eye, a thicker piece for strength where the load bearing is and a hand drawn point. It is also turned whilst hot which is also another forging technique.

The next meeting up was planned for March this year.

Bringing the outside in and the inside out is a technique lots of people are employing for their homes and gardens. Designers are having a ball creating exciting designs for inside and outside spaces like this one below. I would like to spend some time in this room to experience something new.


Richard at work in the Forge

We would like to say a very big thank you to all our followers for their support and comments. The nights are drawing out and it feels a perfect time to be thinking of updating and improving ones home. We are always thrilled to discuss any projects anyone has and are always keen to help if we can. We have officially opened for business today. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Hessian Notice board - 1956!

We have 2 unique printed notice boards left. An opportunity for someone who has an affinity with this particular year.

1956 printed notice board

1956 printed notice board

Iron pan rack with thumper finials

This pan rack features in The Fabulous Baker Brothers kitchen on their TV show Channel 4. We have been busy at the Forge clearing and  organising all areas of our business from filing paperwork to refreshing our kitchen space. We have decided to breathe some new life into our kitchen by adding another pan rack giving us a clearer work top.

Tapestry hung on iron curtain poleWith the new trend for multicoloured tapestry mentioned in this month’s Homes &  Gardens magazine have you considered hanging a tapestry from one of our wrought iron poles? The black iron compliments the colourful graphic patterns that are so popular at the moment and we can make bespoke lengths or brackets to your requirements.

ImageThe name Suffolk Pink is a term given to many cottages & farmhouses throughout the rural areas of Suffolk, England.  Nowadays this is obviously due to the colour of paint used, but a popular misconception still persists that in bygone times the colour was the result of pigs or ox blood being added to the whitewash or distemper. Whilst blood was indeed added, & undoubtedly enhanced the colour produced, this was used more as a binding agent. The primary source of the colour itself came from the adding of red ochre (derived from iron), or alternately from sloe berries.