Our contemporary style Bellows are designed to help get your fire started and to breathe life into dying embers.
This ancient tool has been used for millennia by blacksmiths. A roaring fire needs a good air supply as the availability of oxygen limits the process of combustion. Bellows force oxygen into the fire to make it burn hotter and faster.
Beautifully made from seasoned Herefordshire Oak or Ash, our Bellows started out life in Herefordshire woodland. They are crafted into shape by traditional joiner David Malone, who chamfers the solid lines and incorporates a ‘breathe hole’ into the back for maximum efficiency.
The Nozzle is handmade by local Engineer Steve Methven out of a solid steel bar. Working on a 1960’s monster of a lathe, Steve tapers down the cylinder before boring it out. An amazing process to watch, as the metal swarf exiting the nozzle, goes from a light straw to bright blue colour depending on the temperature and air conditions.
The leather for our bellows is Hereford Bull Skin. Born and bred on a local farm, the hide has been tanned for a month by farmer’s wife and traditional tanner, Hayley Hanson, in her micro-tannery. Soft and flexible it moves perfectly between the oak and ash.
To hold the leather to the wood, blacksmith Derek Lloyd hand forges miniature nails. A tricky process; each nail must face the forge before being headed up, but due to their size, they are incredibly difficult to hold in the fire. Sixty years’ experience gives Derek the patience and perseverance needed.
Derek also hand forges the bellows handles. From a length of mild steel, he calls out the bends and hammers the ends into either a leaf fixing for the Oak Bellows or a rounded fixing for the Ash Bellows.
With all the components made, the bellows are assembled by our traditional upholsterer. The Oak bellows have a traditional folded leather finish, the Ash, a slightly paler wood, has a straight-edged leather finish which gives a more contemporary look.