“When I started, my shop was a 150-square-foot lean-to on the side of an old grist mill in Boone, North Carolina,” says Carley Ferrara over an early morning breakfast in the 5,000-square-foot Atlantic Mills space that now houses Iron Mountain Forge & Furniture. Owner and founder, and jack of all trades when it comes to furniture-making, Ferrara explains the shop’s southern origin story, from crafting pieces to ship out nationwide from a rural homebase, to relocating to Rhode Island where now most of her clientele is local – and often large-scale.
The small-but-nimble team of four craftspeople has tackled a range of projects, from hundreds of 4x6-foot windows for a restoration project to all the metalwork, down to the retaining walls, that goes into a Patsy Cline Memorial Garden Amphitheater opening in Virginia. “We have to do everything in rotation because we’re doing 24 nine-foot benches for that job,” says Ferrara, gesturing to the large – but deceptively so – space. “There’s nowhere to put 24 benches, so we’re doing it in batches of eight.”
But Ferrara explains that lately, “Most everything we’re doing is home stuff,” especially range hoods and railings. “People usually give us some design liberties when it comes to railings because that’s our niche.” Organic meets industrial in the fluid lines of these indoor or outdoor trimmings, and in some of their more whimsical, artsy works, too. “My graduate thesis was all furniture based on the original really messed up Tales of Red Riding Hood,” says Ferrara, who has designed several limited-run fairy tale-inspired pieces, including the White Rabbit’s clock from Alice in Wonderland, complete with numbers that run counterclockwise, and a Cinderella-themed fireplace toolset.
The shop is closed to the public for the time being, with custom orders placed online, so you’ll have to take our word for it when it comes to the magic happening in the belly of one of Olneyville’s many storied mill buildings. Fortunately, with a vaccine on the horizon, Ferrara hopes to bring back Sip & Smash events soon, which give folks a chance to visit the forge, craft their own bottle opener, and pop open a beer after to appreciate their handiwork.