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Behind The Scenes

Delve into Fort Standard’s Mind-Blowing Array of Products

Though they recently did a deep dive into jewelry, the super-talented duo behind Fort Standard—Greg Buntain worked as a carpenter and Ian Collings as a welder before launching their own business—have pretty much done any kind of design you could think of, from toys to furniture to lighting. Here, just a handful of their awesome creations. —raquel laneri Now’s your chance to score one of their latest creations: a so-cool brass cage bracelet. Balancing BlocksGreg: “This is probably the first thing we made together. We were renting a temporary shop space, but we had no money—just basic tools and a bunch of scrap wood. There was this holiday pop-up shop opening up in the neighborhood…”Ian: “And we thought, ‘Great! An opportunity to make rent!’”Greg: “So we just started messing around, and we ended up with these balancing blocks. Then things got crazy. Within six months we couldn’t keep up with the orders anymore. We went from 0 to 70 retailers in less than a year. We were cutting blocks non-stop. There wasn’t even enough scrap wood in New York to keep up with demand; we started going to Philly.”Ian: “So when Areaware approached us and asked if they could take over production, we were like, ‘Please!’” Elevate Side TableGreg: “The design of this table came from the idea of ‘elevating’ a beautiful piece of stone in a simple and elegant manner, allowing it to be the focus of the design. We like the idea of letting materials and their inherent qualities help guide our designs.”Counterweight Dining LightGreg: “Roll & Hill approached us about doing a line of lights. We designed four lights for them, and they’re going to launch in April in Milan. The counterweight on the dining light is actually on a pulley system, so you can raise and lower the light in relation to your dining table. If you raise the stone, the light gets lower. It’s actually pretty fun to play with.” Sprue CandelabrasIan: “We make these candelabras the same way we make our bracelets. [Ed: Like the one they created for Of a Kind.] We did this for an art installation, so we were free to be really creative and make these really heavy things. It really inspired us and made us want to do more with bronze casting—and made us launch our line of bottle openers and jewelry. “ Cage NecklaceGreg: “This is one of our favorites! It’s bold and unapologetic. Our initial idea was to create brass cage-like beads that we could then put on different cords, but this piece was a bit of a departure. We were experimenting a bit with more sculptural ideas.”
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Fort Standard Whips Up a Batch of Hard Apple Cider

Talk about DIY kings: In addition to handcrafting furniture, jewelry, and toys for their design label Fort Standard, Greg Buntain and Ian Collings brew their own hard cider every year. “It’s super easy,” shrugs Ian. “And super cheap, which was the main incentive to do it.” The boys are so serious about their (alcoholic) juice, in fact, that they throw an annual fall cider fete at their studio. Here, Ian shares their recipe so you can get in on the fun. —raquel laneri Ingredients: Five gallons of local, unpasteurized apple cider: “The most important thing is getting the right kind of juice. We get all our cider at the farmers’ market. And you want unpasteurized apple cider—if it has preservatives and it’s been heated, that kills all the yeast and all the good stuff.”Brewer’s sugar, 1 to 4 pounds: “You could also brew the juice without sugar, but then your alcohol content will be really low, and we like our cider strong!”Dry ale yeast or champagne yeast, one packet: “The yeast develops the flavor: Champagne yeast renders this very wine-like flavor, and ale yeast brings out a hardy, more round flavor. You’ll want to check packet instructions for exact amounts, but usually one packet is designed for a five-gallon batch.” Directions: Prime the yeast by putting it in warm water. In a large pot, heat up one gallon of the apple cider. Add the desired amount of sugar—the more sugar you use, the higher the alcohol content. Warm until the sugar is just dissolved. Don’t heat it up too much, or you’ll kill all the important stuff in the cider! Combine the sugary solution and the remaining cider in a five-gallon glass jug. Add the yeast—it will start to violently bubble—and seal everything off with an airlock. Store the jug in a dark place that’s below 60 degrees so the mixture can ferment, but don’t put it in the fridge because it’s too cold. Let it stand for 30 to 40 days, until the mixture stops bubbling. Come back tomorrow to score another Fort Standard concoction—this time one you can wear. Get on our email list so you don’t miss it!
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