Today we’ve been welding together this bespoke weathervane design – based on a working cocker spaniel. The customer sent us several photos of her dogs after seeing our ‘Gun Dogs’ weathervane online, and I was pleased to be able to use one of these images in my designs as it was taken at exactly the right angle. See photo above. I also offered an alternative – more of an action image, with both the dog and man walking. She preferred the first image, and just asked for a minor alteration to the decorative scroll bit in the undergrowth. As we’re fairly quiet at this time of year, we’ve been able to get the last few weathervanes out in under two weeks which is fantastic as they are all made to order.
We were contacted by a customer in New Jersey regarding our Dachshund weathervane design. They really liked it but wanted the ears and tail to appear as if blowing in the wind. So here it is, welded together last night! Our original Dachshund weathervane design started out as a house name sign, but I think the new one is far better suited to living on top of a roof as a weathervane. Much more of a playful image, I think it brings life to the dog with just a simple change.
Our latest set of forged coat hooks – this profile started off as a weathervane design ordered at a craft fair in Penrith. Our range of decorative hooks has been quite popular, especially in the run up to Christmas – I think the bestseller is currently the Dinghy, which also started off as a weathervane design, and only actually became coat hooks after a sizing issue with the laser cutting. In order to keep the price of these smaller items down, we’re using our more popular standard designs that we can have laser cut in bulk. These ‘Cockerel Hen and Chicks’ hooks will be part of our new 2013 display stand, and were uploaded into our online shop yesterday. Hopefully they’ll sell as well as our other designs – I can see them looking great in a country kitchen possibly hanging tea towels, and would make a fantastic gift for someone who keeps chickens.
A new bespoke house name plate design, commissioned through our website by a customer in London. She had seen our ‘Art Nouveau’ house name plate online, and wanted something similar for her house, named ‘The Nest’. She wanted the design to reflect a bird’s nest, and also preferred our Swallows design to the birds in the original Belmont sign. I based the design on ideas from our Black Fox swinging sign, and incorporated the two Swallows as well. I think the chaos of the ‘twig like’ design is really suitable in suggesting a birds nest, while retaining the beauty and symmetry of the original laser cut design.
In other news, today we recieved confirmation of our place at the Arley Hall Spring Plant fair in Cheshire on 14th April, and also an invitation to exhibit at their Garden festival towards the end of June.
Here’s our newest farm sign; ordered by a Border Collie breeder in Holland. The idea for the design was based around a combination of our very popular sheep and collie farm sign, and our own Black Fox Metalcraft swinging sign. We’d love to incorporate this idea into a weathervane design in the near future.
I just have one more coat of paint to do on the other side and then we’ll be packaging it to send out, which I’m not looking forward to as its really quite heavy!
Our latest weathervane design shows the distinctive silhouette of a Barn Owl sat in an Oak tree, with the crescent moon in the background. We’ve had a few enquiries about Owl designs and as a result I’ve been thinking about this one for a while. When the customer asked for an Owl design, I chose to work from various Barn owl images, and use Oak leaves and acorns to decorate the image because I wanted it to look very much like a British woodland scene. After sending the initial design to the customer, I made a couple of minor alterations at their request (I think the Owl faced the other way originally). We’re really pleased with it and hope it will be quite popular as we’ve had a few people already asking about owl weathervanes.
We have chosen this Cat and Bird weathervane photo as the winner of our 2012 photo competition. Thanks to everyone who sent images in – it was a really tough choice but this one stood out as the favourite. I think its taken at a really good angle and shows the intricate design off beautifully. Our online gallery shows a full display of our products in situ, and we will be constantly adding to it as photos come in. Please do have a look, there are loads more great photos of our weathervanes and other metalwork on there!
We have just booked a stand at this years Cheshire County Show! Our pitch is right near the main show area, and this two day event is expected to attract 80 000 visitors, which is by far the biggest show we have done. We’re currently working on designing a new stand with a 6 metre frontage to display our weathervanes, farm signs, floral art stands and much more. Loads to do in preparation but so excited about this one!
Today I have been discussing a weathervane design with a customer based on her working cocker spaniels, and we have also picked up our latest swinging farm sign from the electroplaters. Its a really nice bespoke design showing a sheep, collie and shepherd, and will be going to Holland as soon as I have painted it.
We sent out this house name and number plate yesterday to a customer we met at an agriculture show in Derbyshire at the end of last summer. They loved our ‘Black Fox Metalcraft’ swinging sign, and wanted a similar design wall mounted featuring a Border Collie. It’s based on our logo and is similar in style to a swinging farm sign we produced recently.
We exhibited at our first show of the year on Sunday – a farmers market and craft fair in Littleborough. We were outside with the farmers rather than inside with the craft stalls, and in about the most exposed location possible. The rain and show was horizontal and we had no sides on our gazebo. Unsurprisingly there weren’t too many people about, so was not the most successful show we’ve ever done!
We’ve produced several metalwork designs involving Labradors, including weathervanes, house signs and coat hooks – more than we have for any other breed. These are great gifts for Labrador owners or anyone with a passion for this well loved breed, and the ‘Gun Dog’ design and the ‘Gardener with Dog’ are especially popular. There is a graphic link at the bottom of this post to the Labrador Forum – its a great resource including information about every aspect of Labrador ownership and care.