Juliet Fishenden
FOL Window Blog

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

 

Juliet Fishenden
my-home-unboxed

Some of our clients send in images of their new ironwork and the image below is from a customer who wanted brackets for a wooden shelf he wanted to mount on the wall. His idea was simple and stylish and the handmade brackets bring a touch of individuality to his home with the added benefit of supporting us British Blacksmiths and helping keep our craft alive.

 

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The testimonials below are from two satisfied customers and an image showing how artisanal touches can add to any room making it feel and look special:

Dear Richard
Many thanks for the curtain pole. All safely received and “aesthetically’ mounted on the living room wall. Really nicely made and looks great.
Loved the clear instruction leaflet..
Regards
Mark

September 2016

customer64

Morning Richard
Just to let you know that our order arrived yesterday, I am delighted with the curtain poles and ties backs.
The chap will fit them next week, and then the curtains soon after that.
Your company has been a pleasure to deal with, very approachable, reasonably priced, excellent service, and made in Great Britain which I am very passionate about.
I will have no hesitation in recommending you.
Many thanks and kind regards
Katrina

August 2016

Juliet Fishenden
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Natalie Canning is passionate about beautiful materials and we are delighted to share her 5 top tips to help you choose the best curtain and blind fabric for your home.

1.    CONSIDER THE LOCATION

  • If the window is in a sunny location, does your curtain fabric or blind fabric need to be thick enough to reduce some of the light?  Would you prefer a lightweight material offering privacy but still allow the light to come through?
  • Silk fabric is always a luxurious choice but will rot if exposed to sunlight…always interline and line silk curtains or silk blinds.
  • Is the window draughty?  Heavy weight curtain fabrics or blind fabrics help reduce draughts.  Lighter weight materials may still be used but it would be advisable to line and interline them.
  • What is the style of the room?  Country home or contemporary? Consider patterns and colour.

 

CustImage1Thumper finial above.

 

2.   CURTAINS OR BLINDS?

  • A heavy cotton fabric will hold it’s shape beautifully in a roman blind, whereas a lightweight fabric will appear more floppy and potentially lose shape over time.
  • If the material has a pattern consider how it will look on the finished item e.g. if the pattern is large, will you see enough of it in your chosen window dressing?
  • Far more fabric is required for making curtains, than roman blinds see 3. below.

 

my-home-unboxedHoney Dipper finial above.

 

3.  THINK ABOUT YOUR BUDGET

  • If you are trying to keep your costs down, I would recommend that you buy inexpensive fabric for making curtains but have them lined and interlined for that luxury feel.  A more expensive coordinating fabric can then be used for smaller items e.g. cushions or roman blinds to complete the overall scheme.

 

Curtain in alcoveRecess Pole above.

 

4.   MEASURE

  • Always measure your windows with a metal rule.
  • Measure once, write down the amounts, then measure again to be sure.
  • Always check the width of the fabric you are going to buy as these can vary greatly.

Please use this link to see our measuring guides for How to measure for curtains and How to measure for roman blinds.

 

5.   ALWAYS LOOK AT A FABRIC SAMPLE

  • Before you buy your curtain fabric or blind fabric, it is always best to order a fabric sample.  This allows you to see and feel the material before you make a decision to buy.
  • If you are buying curtain fabric or blind fabric, hold your fabric sample up to the light in the position you would like it to be. For all soft furnishing fabrics place the fabric sample next to any other colours and patterns that will be used in the room.

 

Natalie takes great pride in designing and producing, the most beautiful and unique soft furnishings. She is always available in her Suffolk work room to discuss ideas and requirements. All of her curtains and blinds are hand made to the highest standards using traditional skills and craftsmanship. Contact Natalie on 01379 668170 or natalie@nataliecanninginteriors.co.uk.”

If you are considering Made by the Forge’s solid curtain poles and finials we are always happy to help. These poles are made to measure especially for you too.

 

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
Blog

Country Living Modern Rustic magazine Issue 5 is now available from all major magazine retailers. It is a stunning collection of amazing ideas to inspire and delight. Caroline Atkins who wrote the piece, has made it an interesting and informative read and the opposite page of supporting imagery, photographed by Andrew Montgomery, is stunning to look at.  Made by the Forge is featured in this issue with an in-depth account of the story behind our ideas and where we are now. Always moving forward but always remembering our key ambition which is to hand-craft the very best ironwork, work with the best of British designers and make it to last you a lifetime.

Check out the Artisan Profile of Richard on page 110 for yourself….

Rich blog

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.
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If you have a project then do contact us by phone or email. We are always more than happy to discuss your requirements.
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Juliet Fishenden
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Made by the Forge offers a personal and friendly service. All our pieces are
made to order and bespoke orders are welcomed. So when we had a call from Emma Jane we were able to help. She was looking for a special birthday present for her husband. She asked Richard (above) to make a fire-side set of tools with a basket twisted cage on the top. The present was very well received.
 “Fabulous success” Will loved the fact that it’s ‘properly’ made (and not from a factory in China)” Emma Jane. Photos to come.
Below shows the tools, on the forge floor, in the process of being made.
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 Buying handmade products supports local industry and  local people and we were all grateful that Emma Jane choose Made by the Forge.
“The price you pay for it is exactly what you see, there are no hidden costs. The revenue stays within the local economy; people are not out of work but working in a local business. We have just taken on a new blacksmith apprentice which is quite something in 2016. He is learning how to make “things” from metal, a skill that needs to carry on living, after all we have a fair history with the blacksmith and we feel this need preserving!” Richard Fishenden
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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
puresilksmoothdupionBlog

There is something wonderfully decadent about silk. It is so beautiful to touch and always a delight to see framing a window or a cushion. It is a timeless, natural fabric which works well in soft furnishings for both contemporary and country home interiors.

Natalie Canning, a curtain and blind expert, generously shares her views on Dupion silk and the silk worm with us;

“Dupion silk is one of the most popular silk materials as it is easy to sew, drapes beautifully and is wrinkle resistant. It is created by two different silk worms spinning their cocoons closely together and their fibres tangling.

silkwormsBlog

The thread created is rougher than other silk materials and the finished fabric contains bumps and irregularities called slubs which are part of its unique charm.

The humble silkworm is blissfully unaware of its importance to the natural fabric industry. It is said that a Chinese Empress discovered a silk worm’s white cocoon after it fell into her tea cup. The Empress was a keen weaver and after noticing a strand coming away from the fuzzy object she began to study it more closely. She unwound the cocoon into one long filament and the rest is history. The amazing silkworm caterpillar feeds on mulberry trees until it is ready to pupate and then uses huge silk producing glands to spin a cocoon. The clever caterpillar adds a protective gummy protein to the thread which makes the silk cocoon rigid.

singlesilkwormcocoon

The Chinese Empress had accidentally discovered a way to remove this hard coating and release the fine silk thread….immersion in hot water! Or in her case a cup of tea! The Chinese kept the source of this beautiful, natural silk thread secret for well over one thousand years. There were many speculations and theories but the penalty for sharing the secret was death!”

We love the contrast between dupion silk and our solid iron poles so if you would like some help combining the two we would love to hear from you.

3 poles for blog