Friday, 31 January 2014

Forging ahead with new designs

 Ey up, my faithful blogworms, news of more fab stuff this week. For absolutely ages I've wanted to have our own range of handles & accessories and via a particularly talented artist blacksmith I've had the pleasure of meeting recently ....

We now have our own range of hand forged, blacksmith made kitchen accessories .. and I'm well pleased !

We have, as you will see in the pictures, beaten metal handles, a very stylish pan trivet, forged & swaged flat metal shelf brackets and forged & welded straight brackets with hand rivetted supports.

These, following our natural materials theme from last week, would look fantastic with our natural Tulipwood kitchens, a real country, almost organic but contemporary feel.

Our tame blacksmith "Stig of the Forge" holds the industry standard blacksmithing qualification and a certificate of merit from 'The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths' so you can be assured that our products are of the highest standard. ( and not only that, he's a thoroughly nice bloke !! )

All our products are made using a traditional methods on a coke forge and anvil, proving that even these days ..... hi tech is not always best and Roman engineering still has it's place.
No nasty chemicals are used in the finishing of our range, 'Stig of the Forge' prefering a simple linseed oil and beeswax mix. Applied while hot, it cures and gives a durable finish that only needs maybe a coat of wax once a year while you're whizzing round with the wax polish.

With a lot of new black steel these days having a high recycled content due to scrap metal dealers doing their bit to help the steel back into the cycle of things, they're pretty environmentally friendly aswell. Don't forget they can be recycled again at the end of their life.

This really has just been the start of things, establishing a basic range of useful accessories. We are open to suggestions from you, our loyal followers, as to what sort of things you would like us to make. 'Stig of the Forge' is a very talented and creative chap and loves a challenge !!

Contact us for more details or, better still, pop in and see us if you can. 

We'd love the chance to show you all our new goodies and hope you like them as much as we do.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Wood made from Tulips, you must be joking !

Good morning, my faithful blogworms, my title says "you must be joking", actually that's part true, let me explain.

This week is all about the Tulipwood tree

More correctly known as Linodendron Tulipifera

Tulipwood is a very sustainable hardwood that's been grown in managed forests in the USA for decades and is a stable, easy to work and tremendously durable timber. Given it's name as the flowers of the tree do strongly resemble tulips.

It is essentially a pale hardwood that can have subtle streaks of reds, yellows, greens and even the odd bit of purple tinting its grain.
Depending on where it's grown, can influence the strength of colours you find and generally the closer to the heartwood you get, the paler the timber.
In the States it's commonly used for:
Sidings for houses
Interior joinery and furniture
Guitar bodies

And with it's resistance to termites, used for barns and barn doors, outdoor seating & benches and even coffins !

It's so workable and durable, you can even build cars out it !! see pic below
Note the number plate ! ... that car's in the UK somewhere and I really, really want one !!!

We do use Tulipwood over here in Britain but it's under-used and under-publicised and when we do use it, it's usually as a painted kitchen which is a massive shame.The timber in it's natural state is absolutely gorgeous. 

With it's characteristics, it's sustainability and the fact that it's a hardwood comparable in use to Oak but at about a third less cost, we feel we really need to bang the drum for Tulipwood and get people more interested in it's use for kitchens.

We are certainly going to be doing our bit to raise it's awareness throughout 2014 and we have sample doors made right now for anyone to come in and have a look at. 

Wood made from Tulips ! .... No, but it does look as fabulous as a field of tulips in springtime and as springtime is right around the corner, now would be a good time to give it a coat of looking at !!


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Bespoke by definition, our definition !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, Happy New Year to you all, I know it's the 11th but it's my first blog back in  2014. 

Today I want to give you a bigger picture of how we do .. what we do and I'm starting with the word 'Bespoke' as applied to kitchens

BESPOKE: it's a big word with even bigger definitions. When we speak of bespoke as a concept, 2 words come to mind: Expensive & Specialised.

Probably led by bespoke tailoring, bespoke jewelry, bespoke furniture, all things that are traditionally pretty expensive.

 Now 'Specialised' is definitely what we're about, you all know that our particular speciality is Eco Kitchens and our market is certainly nationwide UK but 'Bespoke' is our most important strength.

Bespoke is really the heart of how we do what we do !

Because we're not like all the other companies, we start with actually designing your cabinets from scratch, not just sticking them in a catalogue and saying " If it's not in there, we don't do it !" which means that every kitchen bought out of a catalogue like that is a compromise in some way.

We take the closest thing this industry has to a " standard list" of cabinet sizes at standard prices and change it to suit individual kitchens

How, you ask ? Simples, we say !  As an example of things we get asked:

"My plates won't fit in my wall units, they're not deep enough!"  Simple, take a standard wall unit and make it deeper, to change 1 unit dimension costs a tenner, £10

"I'd really like to have 2 ovens, 1 above the other in a tall housing" Simple, to change the gap for them to fit in, £10

"My ceilings are low and standard height units won't go in" Simple, shorten the wall units, a tenner each to alter.

"Can I have my  built in dishwasher up off the floor because I struggle to bend down to it" Yep, no problem, we'll modify a housing to do it, a tenner, £10

You get the picture !! If most of your kitchen is based on standard size cabinets, we only alter the ones that need altering, it's simple to do and each dimension change we need to make generally only costs a tenner, £10.

This is "bespoking" any kitchen to suit the needs of any person, doing it sensibly, doing it affordably and making the whole kitchen a bit special and importantly ..... it fits properly with no compromise !!

Having started by making the cabinetry fit perfectly and designed to take on board your particular way of working, it's then a simple excercise to put doors on it as we make all the doors to go with our kitchens anyway..... isn't life wonderful when it works properly ??

One kitchen we're working on at the moment doesn't have a standard unit in it !! because of space constraints and the appliance requirements, every single cabinet has been redesigned to fit, make best use of the space and it's all be done on a budget. 

Yes ... we can supply entire kitchens, custom made to a budget.
Yes ... we can supply custom cabinets on their own if you want to make your own doors
Yes ... we can supply doors on their own to odd sizes if that's what you need 
Yes ... we can fit it all for you or supply it for you to fit
Yes ... we can make custom worktop sizes, depending on material

 We take that attitude that, no matter how odd or unusual, if you can imagine it and give us a sketch, we can make absolutely anything you need to equip your kitchen and, importantly, we can do it for sensible cost, after all .... it's what we're extremely good at !

If that's not bespoke then I don't know what is !

All the best for the new year, Jules.