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Meet the Makers: Netherton Foundry

Meet the Makers: Netherton Foundry


By Mela Baldock
15, October 2020

The story of how Netherton Foundry came into fruition dates all the way back to the 17th Century when Abraham Darby (1678-1717) worked in the village of Coalbrookdale. Abraham was working as an ironmonger, and in his work he discovered a new way to smelt iron, using coke from coal rather than charcoal, so that cast iron could be mass produced. In fact, Abraham was the creator of the world's first iron bridge. Fast forward a couple of centuries and Netherton Foundry's takes inspiration from the work that Darby did and began to produce cast iron casseroles and slow cookers have a timeless look to them that nods to the past whilst still being firmly rooted in the present.

As a family-run business, they sit right in the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Affectionally referred to as the 18th Century's version of 'Silicon Valley', the heavy iron and coal industries that grew there led the transformation of businesses during the revolution. Economies changed drastically to be  based on large-scale industry, mechanised manufacturing, and the factory system. Today, the world has moved on and the now busy centre of the industrial revolution has returned to a quieter way of life in this corner of rural England. The heavy iron and coal industries are all but a distant memory but Netherton Foundry, located in this rural idyll of Shropshire celebrates its links to the past in their wonderful pots and pans. Their wish is to to look again at the values that inspired this amazing period of creativity and energy during the industrial revolution. Their beautiful logo nods to this past era, as the Ironbridge near Coalbrookdale inspired our logo that is delicately branded on their woodn handles.However, they also wish to learn from their mistakes and avoid the misuse of this beautiful county.   

Netherton Foundry have been designing cooking products for over three decades. Over the years, as so much importance is placed upon being sustainable and working with the earth that surrounds us, Netherton Foundry has become more and more interested in the provenance of the materials that they use. Our objective is to build quality products made from materials principally sourced in Shropshire and its neighbouring counties. In their own small way, we are committed to reducing our impact on this fragile planet by building products that will last, from materials we trust.

Many pieces in their range are cast iron but others are made from spun iron, which is half the weight of cast iron but offers similar cooking benefits such as excellent heat conductivity with no hot spots. The spun iron wok is a whisper 1mm thick, so it heats up quickly and cools down quickly too. Other spun iron products include saucepans and frying pans. Ready to use, these pans, pots and dishes are not only visually beautiful, but they are a delight to use and are resplendent in their provenance. Exceedingly easy to repair with simple tools, Netherton Foundry's products are objects that we use should move and grow with us. Netherton Foundry ensures that all of their products use finishes and materials that can be restored and even improve with age

Netherton Foundry will continue to grow as more people learn about using products that are celebrations of the time and the artisans that have come before them.  The artisan work that Netherton is doing needs to be celebrated above anything else - in their own small way, they are committed to reducing our impact on this fragile planet by building products that will last, from materials we trust.

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