handcrafted Archive

If measuring up your standard window for a curtain pole was easy, measuring up a bay window involves a few more steps and measurements to take. Bays can be curved or have a number of bends based on the number of windows contained in the bay. The more bends, the more measurements are needed. To take a typical example, let’s go through measuring up a four-bend bay.

First of all, rustle up someone to help with the measuring, as bays are usually too large for one pair of outstretched arms to manage. The most important thing to bear in mind when measuring is that true symmetry rarely exists in the real world. Never assume one measurement is the same as another because they look symmetrical. Measure each line to the nearest millimetre. And if you have to bend the tape to get a measurement, start the tape at that end. If the tape has to be bent, the reading cannot be trusted. Use a pencil to mark where you are measuring to and from for accuracy.

As the diagram shows, a four-bend bay has six points, A to F. Measurements are needed for the following:

A to F, the width of the window.

A to B (including finials), B to C, C to D, D to E and E to F (including finials).

In order for Made by the Forge to produce a single accurate bay window curtain pole, we also need the diagonals measured:

A to D, A to E. C to E, C to F. B to D, B to E, B to F.

Have a look at the top left and right of the diagram. The ends of the pole that wrap around to re-join the wall line are called returns. If you want returns, we need two more measurements:

1 to A and F to 2.

If you visit our bay page here, you will see many types of bay. Click on the one that you have and the measurement boxes are all ready for your figures and the online calculator will show you the price.

As ever, any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call on +44 (0)1473 487118 or contact us via email.

 

In the second part of our blog on Interior designer Jane McIntyre, Jane tells us how she works with Made by the Forge’s curtain poles.

“Often a whole room is schemed around a curtain fabric so what you hang then on them is very important. There was a time when large, grand windows demanded huge wooden poles or ornate pelmets, but I have hung three metre high curtains on Made by the Forge’s poles in a Manor house and the effect was stunning. Equally, I am about to order some for a teeny cottage with even teenier windows and I will be putting the self same poles up there and know they will be perfect. I’ve also used the French poles once and am contemplating those for another project that requires an absolutely simple treatment.

“One of my most challenging jobs for the poles was in a 16th Century timber framed house in Winchester where the downstairs windows went to within an inch of the very crooked ceilings, leaving no room at all for poles. Persuading the client – who favoured fat wooden poles or pelmets – that the forged poles would work perfectly was a work in itself, then the builder fired off his own directive about the insubstantial lath and plaster walls being unable to hold the weight of curtains, let alone solid metal poles. As the curtains were heavy textured velvet with thick interlining – those houses are draughty however much heating goes in – this was a challenge!

“Not to be beaten, we put a baton all the way along the top of the window and 30cms either side, taking the line from the lowest point of the ceiling – this we fixed with many screws and a lot of Gripfill*. We put the top of the bracket as high as we could on this baton and packed out the base of the bracket to level it. The idea of this exercise was to spread the load across the wall rather than just in the places were the brackets would – or wouldn’t – fix to the wall. Applying my trademark “boofy” headings, or in rather more technical terms a 10cm heading above the tape, which flops away from the pole in a random fashion and in this case crushed in parts against the ceiling, all in all disguising the crooked space. Given enough width in a curtain can create a very dramatic and opulent feel. Four years later the curtains still stand and with the success of that window we went on to do the whole house with Richard’s poles.”

Call Jane: 02380 812239
Email: jane@janemcintyredesign.com Website: https://janemcintyredesign.com

*Other adhesives are available.

Jane’s professional life is as colourful as the fabrics she loves so much. She’s been an entertainment promoter working with the UK’s top comic talent, as well as organising Torvill and Dean’s ice shows. She spent time in the fashion industry and is now running her own interior design company. We’ve had a decade long relationship with Jane so we first asked her how she found us…

“I found Made by The Forge quite by chance, long before the joys of social media were constantly sending us new links and feeds. I think it must have been a mention in a magazine where our paths crossed. I had been using forged poles for years, but when my current blacksmith (happily, also my partner) retired and moved to carpentry I couldn’t find anyone local who could come up with anywhere near his standard. Forging is one skill, but adding the design element is quite another and I was immediately impressed with the way Richard had interpreted this gap in the market. There was an abundance of metal poles around, but none capable of hanging the heavy velvet curtains which I was favouring at the time while still remaining sleek and simple.

“Another very important aspect of my choice to now only use Made by the Forge is that even if I could find a local artisan blacksmith with a great eye for design, of which I am sure there are many, I would be surprised if they had the overall ability to interpret my needs and meet my deadlines. Tying in all the finishing touches of a refurbishment can be tricky at the best of times. Knowing that Richard and his team will have the order on site exactly when it was promised, will jump to instantly and pop extra rings in the post if I have miscalculated and if I suddenly need another last minute pole, will do everything in their power to whizz that order through, is very reassuring. The prices are excellent, there are no hidden costs and I have no idea how they can offer such good shipping rates for such heavy items! And so the relationship was born, why would I look elsewhere when this works so well!”

Call Jane: 02380 812239
Email: jane@janemcintyredesign.com Website: https://janemcintyredesign.com

Measuring A Window For A Curtain Pole

It’s extraordinary how much gets done around the house when you are actively discouraged to leave it. What about that window you’ve been meaning to spruce up for ages? How difficult can measuring up for a Made by the Forge curtain pole be? Answer? Not at all… Just three simple steps… W. W. W. – Where, Width, Work out…

  1. Where is the pole going to go? Stand back, look at the window and check there are no beams, light switches or fittings in the way of a straight mount above the window. Ideally the pole should be mounted 15cm above the top of the window. If you have a low ceiling, it should be mounted halfway between the ceiling and the top of the window.
  2. Width of the window to be measured.
  3. Work Out 10% of the width of the window for each side’s drawback (the area the curtain hangs in when not drawn). Remember to allow for the thickness of your curtains and add one of two centimetres if necessary.

Also remember to take into consideration the length of the decorative finial at both ends, the size of your choice can be found on the finial’s product page online. We suggest adding one curtain ring for every 10cm of pole. Be sure to order an even number for symmetry.

For a video of Richard showing you these points, please click here. As ever, any questions, give us a call on +44 (0)1473 487118.

There has been no period of time in human civilisation equivalent to this present moment. Right now, we understand that our actions as consumers have reached a tipping point and if we do not check our continued and unthinking usage of materials such as plastic, we will be responsible for vastly negative and irreversible effects on the planet. Responsible and discerning people know this and are slowly changing their attitudes towards the products they buy.

There is one material in everyday use that due to its longevity and strength is not actually consumed. It is used and can be re-used, re-purposed, re-made and recycled over and over again. An investment in this material is never wasted. It can be built upon by successive generations. At Made by the Forge we call this material ‘iron’.  In other areas of manufacture it goes by the name ‘steel’ and as a metal in the construction industry it is one of the most recyclable and reusable metals in the world.

Steel’s inherent strength does not wear out from overuse. It does not creep (become deformed due to physical stresses) or buckle. If you have products from Made by the Forge and you move house, your ironwork can move with you. If you choose to recycle it, it will be reformed into something else, never losing its practical use in other areas. In short, environmentally, you can’t go wrong buying an iron/steel product. At madebytheforge.co.uk, you’ll find nothing but…

The French have always had the reputation for style and knowing it when they see it. The well known French Rod or French Pole is a design classic, one that we respect but also make in our own distinctive and unique fashion.

Interior designers, discerning individuals and first-rate curtain makers, like Magenta Interiors, all choose our French Style Curtain Poles. They look traditional, classy, superbly crafted and they do their job.

“Made by the Forge is my first stop for the best French poles on the market.” Magenta Interiors – Bespoke Soft Furnishings

There are no finials to choose as each end curves ninety degrees back to the wall where the pole slides into a bracket. The advantage of such a pole is that it is much more efficient at keeping out drafts.

You can install a French style curtain pole for a curtain over a window or a door to keep a howling wind at bay. Depending on the age of your home, (or of your cosy gite in the south of France if you are so lucky) there’s always a draft looking for a way in. The curtain on a French Style pole will then create a more complete shelter from the wind.

Why not consider adding some ‘va va voom!’ to your room?

In creating a new product, like Made by the Forge’s fire pits, you often have to build it, live with it and put it through its paces to see how it can be improved. We had a lot of fun road testing both the huge Entertainer and the more portable Glamper fire pits. I heartily recommend an outdoor-cooked full English!

Henry from Apples from Suffolk commented recently on the Glamper he took away on holiday with him last year. “It looks beautiful and you can feel the quality craftsmanship.  Even cooking a few sausages becomes an occasion and its portable too!”

As summer is knocking on spring’s door, we decided to redesign the product for more ease of use and attractiveness. The grilling surface on both fire pits has been reworked. It is now laser cut for precision while the outer ring is then handcrafted with hooks and handles. These enable you to effortlessly lift it off giving you the full heat of the fire pit to enjoy as the sun goes down.

This means the cooking surface now includes space at the sides and around the circumference of the grill to keep cooked food hot and if you’re using a pan to fry eggs for example, it’s somewhere to keep it warm while the sausages are browning. Get seriously fired up with Made by the Forge’s new and improved Entertainer and Glamper fire pits

Here at Made by the Forge, we pride ourselves on the excellence of our handcrafted products so it makes perfect sense to use video to show our customers the best way to get our curtain poles and shelving up to make your windows and walls stand out. Once again we invited filmmaker Alan Miller to shoot and produce our videos. He has over thirty-five years of experience in the film and television industry and it’s great to have the benefit of his knowledge.

We put aside half a day to shoot three videos. Any one who’s been involved with these sorts of projects knows that it’s never as easy as the finished video appears. It helps enormously that Richard is very relaxed on camera, a one-take wonder even. Alan is a one-man production outfit but he’s not gifted as a hair and make up artist, so you’re getting Richard as Richard, no frills. He’s always ready for his close up.

The three videos are straightforward enough. How to (1) Put Up A Curtain Pole, (2) Put Up A Recess Pole and (3) Put Up A Made by the Forge Shelf. We hope you find them useful. How To videos online can be enormously helpful and even encourage you to do the work yourself. We hope ours are short, to the point and informative.

At Made by the Forge, we make the finest ironwork known to humanity! As proof, we can now offer you a small pocket sized booklet to peruse and use for inspiration for your home or interior project. It features all our fabulous ironwork plus our new 25mm metal poles, new finials and a contemporary burnished wax finish. We have a downloadable version or we can send you a printed copy, whatever is the most convenient for you.

Shopping with us is easy and if you have any questions, we are always at the end of the phone or email.

Handcrafted, stylish and strong are some of the words describing the fabulous shelf brackets we are making here at Made by the Forge. Recently we received an email, from a high-end interior designer, with the opening line;

“I need to order some more of these wonderful brackets!”

Praise indeed and we’ve had countless interior enthusiasts raving about them. They are incredibly versatile and can be used with any wood of your choice. At present, we don’t supply the actual shelves but after encouraging feedback, we’re making enquiries into providing the wood along with the shelf brackets.

These hand-forged, dark iron brackets have been successfully situated in both modern rustic interior spaces and contemporary ones to great effect. A customer kindly sent an image of her newly installed shelf brackets. They are particularly stunning because of the creative backlighting in her kitchen, a great idea.

The image below shows how our customer Emma furnished her glamping pod with a shelf under the TV so the handsets were all tidily off the floor.

“I’m really pleased with your lovely ironwork, and it’s made all the difference in terms of the finishing touches to both my own property over the years, and now to my newly completed glamping pod – The Owlery. Everyone is extremely complimentary. Thanks again for providing such an excellent service.”
Best wishes
Emma
Loch Sunart Yarns & Buttons

So deciding to put up one or more handy wall shelves is easy with our made to measure brackets. You choose the width of shelf for your needs and we make the brackets just for you. The raw metal is finished in a natural, locally sourced beeswax which gives the iron a beautiful sheen. The brackets can also be finished in a matt black paint according to your needs.

“I have just ordered 6 brackets for my newly decorated office space and am so looking forward to getting the contents of my office out of the boxes and up off the floor. I am the sort of person who likes to be able to see where things are so they are easily found!”

Ordering with us is easy. We have experts at the end of the telephone or an email whichever you choose.