Lifestyle Archive

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

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

Made by the Forge was delighted to be featured in Country Living magazine, November issue and as the December issue is now out we have added the full article below for anyone who missed it.

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Juliet Fishenden

We often turn to talent and craftsmanship in other disciplines to set off and compliment Made by the Forge’s products. For our new wrought iron standard lamps, designed by Chris Eckesley, we needed appropriate lampshades. When we saw the lovely work of Annette Rolston, we were compelled to collaborate with her and Mike Fenton to use their playful, artistic and distinctly British lampshades.

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Annette and Mike specialise in painting and printmaking and take their inspiration from where else but the East Anglian countryside. Mike’s expertise is in his depiction of animals in the tiniest detail and both are experts in the craft of linocutting, the intricate art of creating an image by cutting into lino and taking prints off it.

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Annette is drawn more to the abstract and creates patterned work though still based on nature’s varied landscapes especially trees and leaves. Sometimes her inspirations come from the cellular level where the abstract thrives in endless detail. The lamps and lampshades are available now (please email us for full pictures) and the relevant website pages will be up in the next week.

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Juliet Fishenden

On 27th October Richard and Anthony took an audience at Heal’s Westborne Grove through our story at Made by the Forge and their on going working relationship as blacksmith and designer. Richard spoke about his love of the forging process, forming wrought iron by hand and his respect to the generations of makers before him whose hammer marks are still evident on their products centuries later. Anthony spoke about his motivation behind creating simple and elegant wrought iron products that feature details unique to the forging process and are inspired by living and reflecting a contemporary world.

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Our thanks to the staff at Heal’s for making it such a friendly and rewarding experience.

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Juliet Fishenden

Made by the Forge’s relationship with Heal’s started with the renowned London chain taking on our designer lighting collection for sale in their Tottenham Court Road store. Designer Anthony Dickens has reimagined and renamed the initial designs and added a new one to the collection and prices have been restructured.

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The Farrier’s Cage Globe Three Line now includes a wrought iron ceiling rose finished with beeswax. His Teardrop Six Ring design has been reconfigured. Anthony’s new design is a range of Beehive lights available in four configurations, Single, Three and Seven Hang and a Five Line.

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Heal’s followed the design process with some enthusiasm (the chain is well known for supporting British designers) and after the to and fro of meetings, prototypes, and tweaks, we settled on the beehive design which Heal’s was thrilled by.

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Our relationship took a further step forward by being invited to showcase the new lighting collection at the Festival of Light running now until November 12th. If you’re passing Heal’s at Tottenham Court Road, pop in and have a look. The Launch Party was on the 20th October and both Richard and I represented Made by the Forge together with the extremely tall Anthony Dickens.

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Both Richard and Anthony have been invited to talk at Heal’s at Westbourne Grove, in celebration of the store’s 1st birthday on 27th October. For details of this free event (with bubbly and birthday cake), sign up on line:

https://www.heals.com/queens-1st-birthday-event.html