Lifestyle Archive

Juliet Fishenden
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Made by the Forge make stunning bay window curtain poles from 20mm solid bar with beautiful handcrafted finials from our range.  A bay window can be a daunting task to undertake but we have made it as easy as we can for you to order because we provide a bay window measuring guide which is easy to follow. Once you provide us with the measurements we can check them with you before beginning the work. To complete the look we offer hand forged matching brackets and  curtain rings.

You will then receive a beautiful pole made specially for your window which you can then dress with the curtains of your choice.

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Made by the Forge believe in affordable quality and simple elegant designs. We believe in products that will last a lifetime and we make all of our wrought iron products to do so.

To calculate the price of your window pole please either send us an email for us to work out the price or call Richard.

Juliet Fishenden
Juliet Fishenden
towel_canon_tea-towel_0022 blog

Sort the bathroom. Make kitchen mess look less. And give yourself a gift of a beautifully hand made rail which is made to last. Our solid, wrought iron items can help offer you a calm and clutter free space where everything has its place.

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Our kitchen pan and utensil racks add a unique feature to your kitchen. We offer two standard sizes and two styles; flat to the wall or round rails.
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We also offer a bespoke service – racks and rails made to measure specifically for your workspace. We can make any rail fit any space because we can also make you special brackets if you need them.
Kitchen rail for blog
If you have a project then do contact us by phone or email. We are always more than happy to discuss your requirements.
Hook hot in the forge blog

 

Juliet Fishenden
Trees to be planted

What makes Made by the Forge unique is that it pledges to plant a tree for every product sold. This year we have donated all our tree planting funds to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. They use the money to buy trees and we are sponsoring two conservation projects: tree planting at Bradfield Woods and tree planting at Levington Lagoon.

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Michael Strand the Trusts Development Manager shares below the latest information about what is happening at Bradfield Woods and why their tree planting is so important for the Dormice.

The trees planted by our Junior Rangers (image below) on the southern side of Bradfield Woods National Nature Reserve are to link this stronghold for Dormice with the outlying ancient copse named Glebe Wood. The 300 metre stretch of hedgerow which has now been fenced to reduce browsing pressure from deer is hoped to provide a corridor for Dormice to move across the surrounding arable fields. On the seven point scale of success for any reintroduced species, the final seventh point is to determine successful recolonization away from the original reintroduced area. This has happened at Bradfield Woods along the more westerly edges already and it is hoped the hedgerow planting linking Glebe Wood will replicate this success.

SWT Planting Bradfield Woods

Simon Barnes says: “It’s all about connections. A good deal of the Trust’s work involves corridors: joining up good bits of habitat so that the wildlife can commute from one to the other. It’s a principle operated by conservation organisations across the world. The Trust has established corridors between woods that are now used by dormice.” Suffolk Wildlife Trust magazine, January 2016.

Made by the Forge is proud that it is planting trees and proud that its hand-made, wrought iron products are Blacksmith made in Suffolk. We make every effort to offset our CO2 emissions; and make sure that what the company takes from the Suffolk environment, it puts back into the Suffolk environment. 

 

Juliet Fishenden
Autumn tree colours

Our relationship with nature still features as a keen trend in interiors at the moment – maybe as an alternative to all our modern day screen time! With the beautiful autumn colours all around us we are certainly noticing the changing of the seasons. Natural materials are still very fashionable in curtain fabrics and throws; texture is also very sought after with lots of layering of heavy cottons and rustic linens. Our tie back hooks are a great way to add decorative fabric tie backs to your curtains, which keep curtains looking neat when drawn back, and add a perfect finishing touch.

fabrics and tieback

All our curtain pole collection is inspired by nature, from the Ram’s Horn finial to the Ball and Twisted Cage. The complete range is handcrafted and finished in either traditional matt black paint or locally sourced, natural beeswax.

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Our range of finials also includes the Cannon Ball, the Honey Dipper (shown below from one of our happy customers), the Thumper and the Button. Our poles are 20mm solid iron rather than hollow so can support heavy winter curtains. Every pole is made to your measurements and if you need help there is a helpful measuring up video. There is also an easy pricing guide which works out how much your individual poles are going to cost. If you need any help we are always willing to answer any questions on 01473 487118.

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Juliet Fishenden
Blog - tree lined road

Table and bench display Heal's

Using mixed materials to create something different has brought a wow factor to the above table and bench. The wrought iron legs are hand forged in our Suffolk forge using traditional, age old skills. There has been a lot of interest in the Tree to Table range which is a collaboration between Made by the Forge and the designers Anthony Dickens and Sebastian Cox.

Made by the Forge already plant a tree for every product they sell and have pledged to plant a tree for every table or bench sold. The planting takes place in Suffolk with the Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

The table and bench are available to view at the Celebration of Wood event in Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road store now. You have a choice of 4 beautiful table and bench tops, Ash, Sycamore, Beech or Oak, hand picked by Sebastian, and completely unique. The official launch is Spring 2016 but they are available to order by special arrangement.

Table and bench frame(blog)

Juliet Fishenden
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Foraging in the hedgerow is a deeply satisfying pursuit. One that takes us out of doors and makes us marvel at what nature provides us and the birds. Yesterday, 23rd September, was officially the first day of autumn and this time of year brings us many foods for free.

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Blackberries are everywhere in the hedgerows right now. They are fabulous eaten straight from the hedge, wind in hair, sun on face! We are snacking on blackberries, adding them to smoothies and using them to make delicious, homemade, blackberry and apple crumble. There are so many available it is also the time to look for recipes for jam and jelly. We will be using this one below and no doubt putting it on the table on Christmas Day!

Hedgerow jelly

Juliet Fishenden
Curtain pole above French windows

We thought you would like to see some pics of the lovely homes and ideas our customers have kindly sent in. The images are great to share for inspiration, especially if you have a difficult space to work with, so often the case in older houses.

(Recess pole, made to measure, shown below)

Recess pole in alcove

We especially love the simple door curtain pole that allows the curtain around the wall to keep drafts at bay or the use of a wall rail to help climb those quirky stone steps!

Stair rail and door pole

There are beautiful features in our customers homes and there seems no limit to their imagination.

Door pole round corner

Remember that we can help you with whatever length of curtain pole you need and can even make bespoke bracket depths. Just give us a call if you need some help or even send us a photo, we will be happy to advise.

Button pole and bracket

Kitchen rails and racks can also be made to fit. We have made them for inglenooks, alcoves and even ceilings.

Rail in brick alcove

If you feel inspired take a look at our testimonials and photos page. We love receiving your images and comments.

Juliet Fishenden
Bee for blog

Historically Beeswax has been used for thousands of years and has been found in the tombs of ancient Egypt, wrecked Viking ships and Roman ruins.

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Beeswax is made by the worker bees by secreting wax from 8 special glands on the underside of their abdomens. The wax cools and solidifies and the bee collects the wax with her legs and manipulates and shapes it into the hexagon cells that make up the honeycomb. The beekeeper collects the honeycomb which then goes through a number of stages, honey extracted, comb heated, cooled and then moulded into the blocks we use.
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It is phenomenal natural miracle to imagine such a tiny animal can make such an amazing product which has a multitude of uses.Honey Bee

It was discovered to be one of the first plastics ever used and traditionally applied to protect wrought iron before modern paint was invented. It was found to have the best coating ability to preserve and protect the iron. It is still the best natural way of finishing iron because it covers the iron effortlessly with a shimmery film leaving the grain beautifully raw and intact.
Cannonball BW-1 Natural sheen – Cannon Ball curtain pole finished with beeswax

Juliet Fishenden
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Made by the Forge is your village blacksmiths shop even if it is not in your village! We still use the same tools and the same skills as our ancestors did. ‘The blacksmith, master craftsman throughout the centuries, came into being with the discovery of iron as a workable metal some 2,500 to 3,000 years ago.’ Webber

Historically, Blacksmiths were central figures of the community ‘a man not only a blacksmith and farrier, but, at times, wheelwright, carpenter, tinker, veterinary surgeon, doctor, dentist, sportsman and many other things.’ Ronald Webber
Book and blacksmith
A blacksmith could make anything out of metal and mend anything too. The blacksmith worked iron and shod horses in his own ‘shop’ at the centre of the village. These were places that were once filled with the noise of horses and hammering and the smell of burning hoofs. It was a place to gossip and mostly now these blacksmiths shops have gone to other uses. We are proud to be keeping the craft alive here in Suffolk.

Richard’s life is powered by the fire and drama of the forge and by the beauties and dangers of horses.
Rich FarrierIn the forge he still uses traditional skills but has adapted this craft for the modern day market as seen in our range of iron products for the home. By working with product designer Anthony Dickens we are moving with the times and producing useful objects, that serve a purpose, which are beautifully designed.
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Richard and Anthony Dickens at Heal’s Queens showroom with our new collection of Farrier’s Cage chandeliers which are now available.

The poem attached was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) and describes a local blacksmith and his daily life when blacksmiths were very much the focus of village life.

The Village Blacksmith

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate’er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.

And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter’s voice,
Singing in the village choir
And it makes his heart rejoice.

It sounds to him like her mother’s voice,
Singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.

Toiling,–rejoicing,–sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night’s repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped