The History of Cricket Forge

1987 → Francis Vega and Neal Carlton formed Vega Metals, Inc. in downtown Durham, NC. The company was prolific, conceptualizing and producing thousands of site-specific architectural metalworks. They were featured in numerous trade publications and received seven international awards for metalwork.

1999 → The Vega team formed Cricket Forge to branch out creatively, and focused on a production line of handcrafted indoor and outdoor furnishings. Many of the products quickly became nationally recognized, and still are to this day. Lifelong friendships and collaborations were forged in the spirit of creativity and the appreciation of sharing art. Sadly, in 2013, Francis passed away to cancer. The company continued on, lovingly, via Neal Carlton, and Francis’ wife, Cindy.

Cricket Forge was the name given to the product line created by blacksmith artists Neal Carlton and Francis Vega, back in 1999. Many cultures view the presence of a cricket in the household as a symbol of good luck, where the cricket is the bearer of wealth, companionship, and happiness. The “Cricket on the hearth” scenario is usually experienced in colder months, where crickets often seek warmth indoors, sometimes on or near a fireplace. The “Forge,” aspect is in reference to the crickets that tend to hang around the recently-used blacksmith forges in the Cricket Forge shop. 


Passing of the Torch

2018 → The Cricket Forge torch was passed to employees Jonathan Paschall, Aaron Earley, and James Dudley. They continue the decades-long focus on craftsmanship, creativity, and community.

2019 → After nearly 30 years downtown, Cricket Forge moved to a newer and larger facility in Durham. In this space, the team has newfound room and inspiration to keep producing the pieces you love, while also designing new and exciting products.