Alex Pole Ironwork was established in 2006 to deliver high quality functional products for the home and garden, it has slowly evolved over the years and now specialises in hand forged kitchenware and utensils.
Forge Kitchenware est. 2015
Only traditional techniques are used at the forge. All work is forged by hand and, wherever possible, materials are sourced from the local area.
One of the primary aims is to promote blacksmithing, and the makers movement, across the UK and to show it’s relevance in the 21st century.
"I have always had a fascination with metals for as long as I can remember. From sitting with my mum watching her make jewellery as a 4 yr old to casting lead soldiers in my pre-teens, it feels like I've always been drawn to this material.
I started back in 1991 with attendance to art college to first study jewellery making, then architectural ironwork. After that came the wandering years - filled with travel, training, exploration, experimentation and a beer or two !!
In 2013 I travelled to Sweden to attend a course at Gransfors Bruks, the world renown axe making centre, and discovered a great love of tool making. From then on I moved my work in a new direction - this included knife and axe making, as well as developing a wide range of kitchenware.
Blacksmithing is not just a craft to me , but a way of life, and one that gives great satisfaction not only to me but I hope others as well."
"I have been blacksmithing since 2014 and have been making things with different materials my whole life but got into blacksmithing through knife making - and haven’t been able to stop since!
My primary role within the company is to manage production. I make a lot of our products and work with Alex on the development of new ones. It is an on-going process ; finding more efficient ways to make higher quality products, while maintaining the ethos of how we work, by hand and by eye.
What I enjoy about blacksmithing is the functional nature of it. From very simple drawings there is a puzzle solving process to produce a finished item that can be used again and again to make more beautiful things. If we have done our job right, our work will last longer than we will."
"I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands, growing up on a farm I used to always help with fixing things but getting into blacksmithing around 2015 really changed the direction my life was heading, from corporate to craft. There’s something wonderfully fascinating about being able to manipulate and squish a material that’s normally so unyielding.
My main role at The Forge is running the classes we hold, as well as comparing and demonstrating at the live events we attend, plus working under Joe in the production area of the workshop. I also make films of what we do for social media and education.
There are so many things to love about the craft of blacksmithing, from the folklore surrounding it, the possibilities of design work, the sound, sight and smell of a roaring coal forge to the tactile nature of a finished product. Above all though for me is the sense of fascination and wonder that it seems to spark in the public's eye, whether that’s a child seeing their first demonstration at a festival or a retiree getting to make their first nail after a lifetime of working at a desk, it’s a privilege to be involved."
"Coming from a background covering the creative arts I strive to bring creativity into my everyday life, be that through my own outlets of practicing music and leathercraft or by surrounding myself with creative people who have true passion for their craft.
Drawing on my extensive experience in hospitality and admin (I do love a list), I began helping the company at festivals with sales and have progressed to helping manage the shop and class admin both at The Forge and events, and of course keeping three blacksmiths on track at a festival is a challenge all of its own!
From working closely with the team I have discovered a keen interest in, and good knowledge of blacksmithing from its folklore and history to modern applications - taking the everyday and redefining it to create beautiful and tactical yet wholly functional pieces of work."