Traditional values aren’t about focusing entirely on the past; they are about using the best of the past to light the way into the present and future. Anyone looking to combine the best of today’s values with yesterday’s craftsmanship should look no further than the Hubbardton Forge selection available at your nearest McLaren Lighting showroom. It’s all part of McLaren Lighting’s mission to be your one-stop shop for any and all your lighting needs on Vancouver Island.
The Hubbardton Forge Story
The Hubbardton Forge story began in a Vermont barn back in 1974 when George Chandler and Reed Hampton, a couple of college buddies with a vision, came up with a new idea for what to do with themselves. After scouring the state for everything from forges to trip-hammers and anvils, they eventually relocated the business to the small town of Castleton, Vermont, a few miles to the south.
Hubbardton Forge is more than just a local lighting manufacturer. Not only does the company sell all over the world, but it’s a vital part of the economic health of both its community and its region. No longer limited to its two founders, Hubbardton Forge employs over two hundred people locally. In addition to its own employees, the company also has a number of partnerships with other artisans in the region. Everyone from local leather workers to glass blowers benefit from their partnerships with Hubbardton Forge.
Hubbardton Forge Design
It’s important to remember that Hubbardton Forge is at heart a fairly small local business. One reflection of this is the close connection between design and production. With both design and production in house, the two sides can work in concert rather than butting heads due to a lack of communication between them. This ensures that every design is practical to produce rather than forcing the designers to cut corners at the last minute.
The company also takes advantage of its relationships with local artisans by adding unique elements to its designs. As you can tell from the name, Hubbardton Forge makes no secret of its origins; origins that define its style. Many Hubbardton Forge pieces feature strong American Traditional design elements with wrought iron or polished aluminum holding pride of place.
Hubbardton Forge and the Environment
As befits a company founded by young and idealistic college students, Hubbardton Forge has always been concerned about the environment. On one level this is seen through partnerships with other local businesses; on another level, it’s seen through the use of sustainable materials and processes throughout the production line. Hubbardton Forge takes advantage of a number of sustainable and eco-friendly approaches including:
- Bioremediation: Every product is cleaned before the final finish is applied, but that leaves the problem of what to do with the used cleaning solution. Hubbardton Forge employs bioremediation where specialized microbes digest both oils and soil particulates left behind from the cleaning process. Not only does this produce much less wastewater than conventional processes, but it’s also phosphate-free.
- Powder Coating: An alternative to traditional paints and stains, powder coating involves the use of electrostatic powders to cover the work piece. Once the piece is covered, the powder is cured to permanently bond it to the surface. This gives a much tougher surface than traditional paints, and also eliminates outgassing as there is no carrier fluid to evaporate.
- Reuse: Hubbardton Forge has supported reuse and recycling from the very beginning, when the founders scoured the state for two-century old tools of the trade. Almost half a century later, the company now relies more on reusing materials rather than tooling, but the principle remains the same. Metals like iron can be reused for centuries; unlike plastics, which often find themselves on a one-way trip to the landfill.
The Craft of Hubbardton Forge
Hand-forged isn’t a term you normally associate with luminaires, but it’s part of the thought process that goes into every Hubbardton Forge product. Other companies and designers may move to the latest production technology as quickly as they can retool, but Hubbardton Forge has a different approach. Skilled craftspeople don’t have to retool; they can rise to any challenge by applying their existing skills to any new design. This gives Hubbardton Forge products a number of key features:
- Forged with Fire: The majority of Hubbardton Forge lighting products start their lives in the heat of the forge. North American blacksmiths hammer out the shapes that will later hang in your home. Smithing isn’t something that lends itself to easy automation and that shows in everything Hubbardton Forge makes.
- Hand Crafted: Every Hubbardton Forge piece passes through multiple sets of hands before it leaves the production floor. This human touch means every piece is examined multiple times throughout production, and also receives that personal touch. These aren’t identical duplicates spat out of a machine at the end of an assembly line–they’re hand-crafted with care.
- Custom Design: One huge advantage of Hubbardton Forge’s devotion to hand crafted luminaires is that the presence of a skilled labor force makes custom designs much easier than they would be at a more automated production facility.
Why Go to McLaren for Hubbardton Forge?
There’s more to illuminating your home than just flipping a light switch. Lights express your personal style, and affect everything from your health to your emotions. Making McLaren Lighting your source for Hubbardton Forge fixtures makes sense; we’re local to Vancouver Island, and have the expertise you need to choose the right fixtures for your home or office. Our Hubbardton Forge experts will answer questions you didn’t know existed. You may not think about fixture weights, wiring, or switch placement; but McLaren Lighting staff do. Trust McLaren to bring your next fixture home from the forge.