From the Forge – News Archive

Juliet Fishenden
Punching metal

Our new Made by the Forge lighting collection will be launched at the London Design Festival event.  Designjunction showcases the very best in furniture, lighting and product design from around the world, presenting world-class brands against stunning industrial backdrops so we are delighted to be involved.

Richard has been working hard in the forge putting the finishing touches to one of the lights in the new collection, The Bar Light designed by Gareth Neal. It all started with our lighting collaboration weekends where four acclaimed designers came to the forge to trial their concepts and learn about iron and the blacksmith craft. We love the combination of natural materials, traditional skills and contemporary design.
The results have been inspiring and we will have four final designs to showcase at the event and we are really looking forward to meeting with other retailers and designers.
Watch this space for more updates, or follow us on twitter or Facebook.
Drilling holes
Juliet Fishenden
Customers often ask us if our metal work is handcrafted so we thought we would show you an example. The iron bar is heated in the forge and crafted into shape on the anvil as shown below, the iron is hammered by hand to finish the point and finally polished with natural beeswax to bring out the beauty of the marks or a painted in traditional matt black.
Ram horn being made Rams horn Holdback
We also make these tie backs to match which add a practical, bold finishing touch to your windows. We recommend placing them two thirds down of the length of your curtains for full effect. If you have lighter weight curtains or prefer a simple tie back we also make hooks finished to match the ironwork.
Ramshorn main image


Juliet Fishenden

Iron Chair Components

We have a lovely table at home which we had made out of a Cedar tree that had fallen in the 1987 gales. Our friends were moving and they offered us the tree trunk which they needed to move from their field. Years later we now have a lovely Cedar table. One thing we have never got right is our chairs surrounding it. We have an eclectic range of all sorts, nothing matches and nothing quite works so we asked Chris Eckersley for his help. Chris to drew up  a metal chair that Richard could make but after much thought it was decided that a combination of metal and wood would be an interesting combination. He has designed a chair that we can have round our kitchen table but that can sit very well outside too. Richard has made up the metal components of the new chair and the wooden chair is being made by Dave Green a chair specialist in Coventry. We are looking forward to seeing the first prototype of the chair and the minute I can I will post a picture.

Juliet Fishenden

SOLID FIELD MAPLE CHOPPING BOARD This medium sized board is ideal for preparing food and good enough to eat off. It is easily moved around, washed or hung up with the handy iron handle. It makes an impressive centre piece on any table. We only have a few left so if you would like one they are easily ordered online here. Now £20.

board.door 1000


The unique, up-cycled, notice boards are now on sale as we only have a few remaining. We have been unable to find any more vintage sacks so these wonderful boards are being discontinued. The plain notice boards are reduced to £25 each and the printed boards are £30 each.


We are also offering our Suffolk made door stops for a reduced price of £10. They are hand stitched and finished with a forged iron ring. They are weighted suitable to hold back a heavy cottage door.

Juliet Fishenden

Made by the Forge has decided to offer a new, speedy curtain pole pack for anyone who wants a curtain pole or poles in a hurry. Coming soon we will be able to offer an Express Delivery Service so you can have your pole within 48 hours; allowing you to be creative and dress your windows quickly for when the Queen decides to visit at short notice!

The plan is to have a variety of standard lengths of poles, made, finished, with all the necessary brackets and rings, wrapped and ready to go. We will be offering our most popular Cannon Ball and Button finials. We felt it important that the iron quality is exactly the same as our bespoke made to measure service and you have the choice of both the matt black or beeswax finish. Below shows a cannon ball being hammer finished in the traditional way.

MBTF_hot cannonball

The Button finial works well in a small space but also offers a smart, understated end to any pole in any location.

Meanwhile if you need your poles in a hurry please do call Richard 07787 542860.  We will always do our very best to get your order made up and couriered to you as fast as possible.

Button finial on slate


Juliet Fishenden

Last weekend designers Gareth Neal and William Warren joined us in the forge, busy creating and developing their lighting designs for the Forge Project. It was good fun seeing the concept sketches come to life in the forge. There was certainly an abundance of ideas and creativity was flowing!

William and Richard working together in the forge.


Richard Fishenden
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

Richard Fishenden
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.


Richard Fishenden
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.

Richard Fishenden
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