beeswax Archive

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.
Tie cannon ball

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)
tie back hook and tie back on curtain
Our Honey Dipper hold backs are unique and stylish.
Honey Holdback

Juliet Fishenden

We have been looking into how we can show off our classic wrought iron curtain poles to their best advantage. There are so many ways to dress a window space we have decided to go for a contemporary, subtle material to achieve a distinctive, luxurious look.

If big bold patterns are not your thing and you are looking for a cool understated look in your interior then you can’t go wrong with a good quality fabric with an interesting texture or pattern. For simplicity I love the Ishida collection from Designers Guild which has a large colour palette and a variety of textures, from a tweedy chenille weave to one with a lustrous sheen.
Image 1

For something with a bit of fun there is a playful dotted design from Harlequin fabrics – Artisan Embroideries collection – Bobbin. Shown below in Toast/Linen and Eggshell but is also available in bright raspberry/lime and turquoise if you want to be bold, it would look great with strong paint colours! The artisan quality would go perfectly with our handmade iron curtain poles and a Cannon Ball or Button finial.
Image 2

Layering your window fabrics can work well, we can make special brackets and poles to hold a light sheer curtain behind your main curtains. Harlequin fabrics has a range called Momentum Sheers and Structures II – Noa in graphite is particularly striking.
https://www.harlequin.uk.com/shop/fabric/momentum-sheers-and-structures-ii/noa/?code=HMOH131503
Image3

We are always pleased to see any photos of the fabrics you have used or are considering using. So please do share your images and thoughts.

Juliet Fishenden

There are subtle differences in the beeswax and matt black finishes. The image of the 3 finials above shows the Thumper and Button in Beeswax and the Cannon Ball, in the middle, coated with matt black paint.
Matt black for blog
Matt black is an all over paint. It has a consistent finish that will wear well and not change in colour over time. It can be wiped clean with a damp sponge and is more suitable in a damp area than beeswax. The paint covers the iron completely giving it a uniform slick look and looks incredibly smart framing a window.
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Beeswax is a natural wax that is applied to the metal as soon as it is forged, while the iron is still hot. Once cool, it gives the metal a protective coating yet has no colour. The result is a piece of ironwork with a very dark, luxurious ‘sheen’. It allows the natural colour and grain of the metal to stand out.
MBTF_13995 with join smaller

Feel free to explore the different finishes for our iron curtain poles and selection of finials. If you have any questions regarding the finish to suit you personally then please do send us an email or call 01473 487118 for more information.

Juliet Fishenden

Things from nature have something about them that are pleasant to the eye. It’s a part of the natural World that most of us humans can appreciate, especially when it is in the form of furniture. Most of us will have a piece of furniture made of wood or metal or a combination of the two in our houses. They work beautifully together. Richard remembers as a boy being in awe seeing the massive iron handles and hinges on his local Church door. “The huge oak panels and the blacksmithed hinges just seemed to merge together to become one”.

Crafts people have used both for centuries; partly because it was all they had. They made items to cherish, decorate and that were practical for their homes. We have always wanted to combine wood and metal together to make something special and so when Made by the Forge got the chance to work with designer Chris Eckersely and master craftsman Dave Green we were were really excited.
Chris at home with some of his chairs
Chris (above) specialises in chairs and furniture made from wood. We invited Chris to our forge to learn some blacksmithing skills and then Chris went away and came up with plans for a wooden chair with forged ironwork integrated within it.
Sketch of Forge Chair
The back slats that are normally made of wood have been replaced by ironwork. We used a piece of round bar and then heated and forged it flat so that it would be softer to the seated persons back. The stay that joins the legs together was also made of iron. Chris decided to keep the whole piece natural and so we finished the iron parts of the chair in beeswax.
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We took the ironwork parts to Dave Green, who owns the renowned British chair makers Sitting Firm. He had the task of making all the wooden parts and then putting the chair together. He carefully chose English Ash and Elm from the shores of Loch Lomond. Every chair is individual as the grain of the wood will never be the same, the hammer marks are never in the same spot so it is therefore a special and a true piece of traditional craftsmanship. The end result was a stunning piece of furniture.
Forge Chair for blog

If you would more information on this chair then please get in touch by calling us on: +44 (0)1473 487118 or to speak with Richard direct on 07787 542 860 or email us at sales@madebytheforge.co.uk.

Every chair is hand made and hand built by Made by the Forge and Sitting Firm. If you would like to sit on the chair and experience how comfortable it is then please call to arrange a sitting!

Richard Fishenden

Most of our ironwork is finished in the traditional way.  While the metal is still hot we seal it with a natural beeswax. This gives the iron a beautiful finish. We sourced this particular beeswax from near Needham Market about 4 miles from home. The bee keeper has over 15 hives and this must have taken many bees many hours. It is estimated that bees collectively fly 150,000 miles roughly 6 times around the earth to yield one pound of beeswax. This block is over 3 lbs which would mean 450,000 bee miles. Busy bees!

Richard Fishenden

I thought it would be an idea to explain the difference in finishes between a beeswax finish and matt black paint.

Beeswax is a natural wax that is applied to the metal as soon as it is forged, while it is still hot. Once cool, it gives the metal a protective coating yet has no colour. The result is a piece of ironwork with a ‘sheen’. It allows the natural colour and grain of the metal to stand out.

Great for the purists who want their metal to look as natural as possible.

It does have a slightly tacky feel when it is new. It will wear away in places after a while allowing possible moisture to oxidize the metal. Some people like this as the metal will age and change colour over time.

Matt black is an all over paint. It is a consistent finish that will wear better than the beeswax and not change in colour over time. It can be wiped clean and made to look new again with some graphite paste. It is more suited in a damp area.

You will loose some of the natural beauty of the steel with matt black but it does have its own appeal and looks great in almost any area.

The photo above is of a piece of iron I finished in beeswax(bottom) and matt black(top). See which one you like best!