Here’s our finished window grille along with the original sketch I emailed to the customer. It is to be fitted over her basement window, and as she was concerned that black would look too gloomy in an already quite dark space, we had it powder coated white. We’ve been meaning to see what our metalwork would look like in white for a while, and we are really pleased with how this has come out; the customer loved it too. White does seem to have become very fashionable recently, so we are thinking about possibly having one of our hanging basket brackets powdercoated in this colour. I don’t know if it showing the dirt very easily would be a problem or not but think it is definitely worth a try and could open up a whole new range of products for us.
This is the latest design added to our range of classic car weathervanes. The customer had seen our Morgan weathervane at a classic car show over summer, and wanted an MG TD in a similar style for her fathers birthday. This design picks out the solid rather than spoked wheels that are distinctive to this model. Its great to have this classic British sports car to add to our range, and it can also be produced as a house name or number sign.
Our large bespoke farm sign, ready for collection tomorrow morning! We put a lot of work into the design and making of this swinging sign so its fantastic to see it finished. I chose to use high quality outdoor silver paint for the half scrolls on top in the end, rather than silver leaf which would tarnish as soon as it rains, or imitation silver leaf which I was unsure of how weather resistant it would be in the long term. The design is based on photos that the customer sent of his gates and the path leading up to Whitegate Farm. The wrought iron gates themselves were made by a local Blacksmith and are absolutely stunning, and I think the perspective works perfectly in this design. Hand painting the text took ages because it has been so cold in our workshop that the consistency of the paint has thickened to such an extent that it’s been really difficult to work with, but the sign was too big and heavy to be taking home every night to paint. Despite this, it’s been a really exciting project and we would love to work on more large scale swinging signs for farms or pubs!
This bespoke hanging basket bracket was collected yesterday by a customer from Oldham. Having bought one of our art nouveau brackets for a friend’s Christmas present, they wanted something similar themselves, and asked if they could have a laser cut design welded on top as well. We used the design from the Cat & Bird weathervane – I wasn’t sure how these two different designs would work together as they are very similar in style, but not similar enough to look like a continuation of the same piece. Luckily the size of the two laser cut profiles allows them to flow into each other quite naturally, and I think this is a truly stunning and unique bracket.
We made this window security grille for a customer in Leeds. She wanted a grille for her basement window that would prevent anyone from getting in, but that would also be quite decorative and not just look like prison bars. So I sent four or five different designs over, and this is the one she picked out.
We drilled holes in the two horizontal bars for the vertical bars to sit in, before TIG welding the whole thing together, making this grille as secure as it possibly can be. The main difficulty we had with this project was in making the scrolls exactly the same – because they are hand forged there will always be slight differences, but the symmetry of this design made it vital to get them as precise as we could. Welding around the two central half bars was difficult because of the position of the scrolls being exactly where the welding torch wanted to be. Took ages but is now finished and on its way to be electroplated and powder coated, so should be completely ready by the middle of next week.
It is welded to four hinges, and the whole grille will open over 180 degrees. In order to keep the cost down for the customer, Phiz made a simple hasp and staple rather than buying in expensive locks. We’ve also made it a few inches larger than the opening it will cover so that the full weight of the grille will not be on the edge of the bricks.
These were our best selling metalcraft products in 2012: The Sheep and Collie Farm Sign, Gun Dogs Weathervane and Black Fox hanging basket Bracket. This bracket, often ordered by people with the Sir name ‘Fox’ was the first design I did after setting up the business so really pleased that it has become so popular. The Sheep and Collie Farm sign was initially ordered as a bespoke design at the Hodder Valley Agriculture Show back in September, and based on its popularity we’re definitely going to work on other farm related designs such as Pigs in time for the next season of shows. The Gun Dogs weathervane was also an early design, and has been consistently popular and always commented on at all the shows we have been to. Really looking forward to the year ahead!
I’ve been painting the text on this large swinging farm sign this morning and I’ve now got the heater on it in the hope that it will dry in time to do the last coat before we go home tonight. And the frame that it will swing from should be getting powder coated today, so when we pick it up I just need to paint / silver leaf the little horns at the top. I’m currently looking into whether a high quality silver paint would be more durable than imitation silver leaf. Looking forward to seeing the whole thing put together!
We’ll be finishing the design for an owl weathervane today – the customer has sent a couple of suggestions for improvements to my initial design, and were also working on finishing a decorative window security grille for a customer in Leeds.
Our Horse trials design, ordered as hand forged coat hooks just before Christmas, is now also available as a weathervane. Doing the horse design was quite straightforward, but I spent ages getting the look of the jump right. We have plenty of imaginary, art nouveau inspired plant designs, and I originally started putting these together to form the jump. This really didn’t work, so ended up going for something much more natural looking.
We think that this design, either on coat hooks or a weathervane, would make a great gift for someone with a passion for eventing.
The middle photo here shows the finished frame for the first in our range of large swinging farm signs. It’s gone to Oldham to be electroplated & powder coated now, while the actual sign part, that we finished last week, should be coming back ready for hand painting. This large scale sign was a challenge just in terms of working out all the fixings, getting all the angles right, but now we’ve done one successfully, we are definitely confident that we could produce pub signs or other large business signs. I think the horns on top look fantastic – took a lot of work getting this unique design looking right. It was the customers idea to add these on, as they mirror the top of his beautiful gates.
The top photo shows another swinging sign, this horse design was ordered at a show in Worseley just before Christmas. It will be mounted at a local stables & riding centre.