beeswax Archive

Juliet Fishenden

Kitchen specialists and furniture designers par excellence, Martin Moore, share our philosophy and love of traditional, British-made handcrafted products. Yorkshire based for 42 years, their superbly made and beautifully finished work speaks for itself. In the Supplement to this month’s House and Garden magazine, one of their bespoke kitchens is featured and it’s a real beauty.

Set in a former church hall with lighting issues and great length but not width, the kitchen designer had to overcome a few not insignificant, practical hurdles. With a fusion of contemporary and traditional styles, Toni Silver’s elegant, informal design makes it a tremendous space for people to gather and not just one in which to prepare food. Made by the Forge was commissioned to handcraft the pan rack, which is fixed to the large mirror. As Toni says, “…the mirror is antique. So fixing a rack to it took on a special care and importance!”

It’s good to know that our classic ironwork fits in so well with such a contemporary kitchen. Clichés are clichés for a reason but it really is true that classics never go out of style. It’s also very satisfying to contribute to such a project and an honour to be associated with such a fine company whose work echoes our own passions and goals. To see the House & Garden Kitchen & Bathroom supplement article, July 2017, click here.

 

 

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

The Beehive is a hand-forged lamp using both traditional blacksmithing and modern metal forming techniques. The metal is hot forged and the edges hammered giving it a unique wavy line finish.  The design is a result of Anthony Dickens’ continued exploration in creating contemporary forged metal products with Richard at Made by the Forge.

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Previewed at the Heal’s Festival of Light in October, the Beehive Pendant is based on the classic layered beehive shape, finished with beeswax straight from the hive and given some individual character by Richard’s craftsmanship.

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The Beehive range will launch in February both in Heal’s and on our own website. The design is available in seven distinct variations. Showcasing two of them here, there’s the Beehive-Three-Cluster, a group of touching bulbs (illustrated below); and the Beehive Five Line Chandelier (above) which subverts the classic circular luminaire with a line of lights.

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All will be revealed in February and if minimalism is your goal then there’s a single Beehive pendant suspended from a ceiling rose or free standing, bulb-up on a table along with the larger pieces.

Juliet Fishenden

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

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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Juliet Fishenden

The new Made by the Forge brochure has arrived. If you would like one please just send us a note, with the address you would like it sent to, and we will post it to you.

It showcases all our ironwork products and is designed to give you ideas for styling your home.

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If you need any help, just call us on 01473 487118 or email sales@madebytheforge.co.uk. We are always happy to answer any questions; we pride ourselves on an efficient caring service.

Made by the Forge is different because we believe in making high quality ironwork that will last and last. All curtain poles are made to measure, so a perfect fit for your window is guaranteed. Simply key in your measurements online, using our helpful measuring guide, and see the price before placing your order.

It is always comforting to know that a tree is planted for every product sold, the ironwork is hand-crafted in our Suffolk forge and the beeswax, we use to finish the ironwork, is collected straight from a local hive.

Juliet Fishenden

If you are thinking of restyling a room and your window needs a curtain pole we can offer some poles immediately. For that desperate rush when one needs to get a pole fast we can now offer you a variety of express pole kits.
Express poles
You can now order the same handcrafted quality in a pre-defined size, shipped to you to arrive within 48 hours if you are in the UK. This is ideal if you decide to do a quick make over for those short notice visitors!
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The packs feature our popular Cannon Ball or Button finials in 1.2 metre, 1.5 metre or 1.8 metre lengths complete with all brackets, rings, fixings and a pictorial guide to help you put the pole up.

Please note that if you order at the weekend or on a Friday then your poles would be despatched on Monday to arrive with you on Tuesday.

Below is the Button finial curtain pole.
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Juliet Fishenden

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

Spring has arrived and it is the time of year when freshening up ones home seems paramount. We feel it is time to get more sunlight into our home and give everything a good airing.

We are using our fabulous hand forged tie backs and hold backs, to give our rooms more light, they match our curtain pole finials. All hold backs or tie back hooks are matt black or traditional beeswax which gives a beautiful sheen to the ironwork. Hold backs are generally fitted approximately two thirds down the length of the curtain.
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Interior designers often use our tie back hooks when they are using decorative material tie backs which adds a finishing touch to a dressed window. (Shown in the photo below)
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Our Honey Dipper hold backs are unique and stylish.
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