Our witch weathervane, pictured above, has been really popular for a couple of years. We’ve created several variations on it including swapping the cat for a dog or even a rabbit, adding in a cauldron and changing the angle of the broom. So I wasn’t suprised when we had an enquiry asking if we could put four witches on the broomstick rather that one. When he first suggested the idea, I could not imagine how we’d make it work in terms of the balance point, never mind it looking good as well. Thankfully he’d given us plenty of time so we were able to go away and think about it for a week or so…
The majority of our weathervanes are balanced by an arrow cut in 8mm steel, and on our standard witch, the cat acts as this counterbalance to the profile. Here, we have cut the 4th witch in thicker steel instead, with a cauldron to seperate her from her sisters.
Below shows the finished result (which both we and the customer LOVE), plus how we got to the end result. It was actually loads of fun. We decided that rather than trying for hours to draw what I wanted from my imagination, it would be much quicker if I posed in the stance I wanted and drew around the silhouette. So a tuesday morning of dressing up a little bit witchy and posing on a bar stool in our kitchen and we had all the research needed for the design! I’ve added a few warts and bigger noses to the ladies, plus made the hats more pointy than mine, and they look like they are having a great time. The significance of the design is that it was as a gift for a lady who is one of four sisters, a great idea to celebrate a special birthday.
This photo shows another example of a swinging sign being customised to reflect the former use of a customer’s home. Initially, I had wanted to show a small selection of tools such as hammers and tongs hanging in the workshop scene. This had to be left out in the end because when I drew them as if in the background, they were too tiny and delicate, but when I tried to draw them larger as if in the foreground, they looked disproportionally huge in comparison to the Blacksmith, so would not work either way. We love this photo of ‘The Forge’ insitu; this is what the customer had to say about it:
‘Finding Black Fox Metalcraft on line I approached for a bespoke sign and forwarded a design to Jenny. The draft she came back with was a perfect solution to our description. Jenny kept us informed all the way and the quality of her work was exceptional. Delivery was within the stated time scale.
I have no hesitation in recommending anyone for the quality and craftsmanship from Black Fox Metalcraft.’
After all the hard work that goes into designing and producing a swinging sign, it’s fantastic to have happy customers at the end of the day!
Another great design to add to our range of Motorbike weathervanes! We’ve produced this Harley Davidson Road King weathervane in black before, but this is the first hand painted in full colour. It was a really challenging paint job, partly because of the level of detail around the engine, but also because when the customer sent us a photo of their bike so we could match the colour, we realised it is actually a slightly different model of Road King. So fairly minor differences in the wheels for example turned out to be quite difficult to match up in terms of cut outs already there in the original design. But after much perseverence, both us and the customer are delighted with the result, and it’s great to see these fantastic photos of the weathervane insitu.
We love this photo of our Crows weathervane insitu in a perfect wintery scene in Cumbria; it looks fantastic & might even use it on Christmas cards this year!
We had a letter from a very happy customer on the Isle of Wight today; she had ordered our witch and cat weathervane shortly before Christmas. She said that when Pigeons sit on her roof, even though there is plenty of clearance above their heads, every time the weathervane spins they all duck!
We produced this bespoke swinging sign for a Turkey farm last year. The Turkey design was done based on the image above; I’ve picked out the lighter coloured feathers as cut outs, showing the distinctive markings of the ‘Bronze’ Turkey, and have also highlighted areas where the light is shining on the bird. We’re really pleased with how the farm sign has turned out, and absolutely love this photo sent in by our customer – a beautiful wintery scene!
Swallows weathervane, painted by hand in full colour. Really enjoyed painting this one and we’re very proud of the result! We’ve used paint specifically design for outdoor use too – it is thick, oily and difficult to mix, but gives the weathervane a very tough finish to withstand the British weather.
A couple of different bespoke weathervanes we’ve designed and produced recently – both showing all the family pets! We love the action show of the dogs being put in their place by the cat – a difficult design to achieve while keeping the breeds (Labrador, Pointer and Spaniel) recognisable too. The other design was more straightforward to create as the animals are a little more relaxed, having the bat beneath the bar with wings painted brown was the customer’s idea and we think it’s worked so well, really unusual and definitely stands out.
A great gift for anyone who loves their menagerie of pets!
This bespoke swinging sign shows a beautiful Kingfisher sat on a branch at the waters’ edge, hoping for something to eat. When the customer contacted us asking for a bespoke swinging sign for her property, ‘Kingfisher Cottage’, I was reminded straight away of a holiday cottage we stayed in a few years ago on the bank of the river Esk, where we watched four Kingfishers following a group of Otters up and down the river, obviously after some left overs. Our customer did not have a clear idea in mind as to how she wanted the swinging sign to look, so I just drew a Kingfisher in a scene as I remembered it from our holiday in the north east, with Reeds growing by the waters’ edge and branches overhanging. A really enjoyable one to do and we are delighted with the finished sign.
All of our swinging signs come with a bracket to mount to a wall, post or other suitable vertical surface. The sign is connected to its bracket using bolts fastened with nylock nuts, so it is very difficult to remove once in place.
Last year we produced a bespoke swinging sign for a village in Lincolnshire. The village had run a competition to design the sign, and a local artist won. It shows things the area is known for such as the well in the foreground, and an old manor house in the background. We especially liked the Thistle like plant in the bottom right corner – the way she had drawn it translated well into silhouette form. The design was sent to us as a sketch on a piece of paper, which I then re drew on the computer. We made a few little alterations to add strength to the design, and also improved the shape of the well to give it a bit of perspective. The village commitee were keen to keep the ‘hand drawn’ look to it, therefore did not need much input from us. We supplied the sign with a hand forged bracket, and they sourced the pole locally as it would have been difficult to deliver from Manchester.
Another great photo sent in via email showing one of our bespoke weathervanes insitu! The customer had ordered our ‘Cat chasing dogs’ weathervane, featuring a Labrador and Border Terrier, but then realised there was no extra charge for bespoke designs. So he asked if we could alter the design he’d ordered to feature his dogs; a Spaniel, Pointer and Labrador. Though I found it quite difficult to draw the specific breeds in action poses, this was a really fun one to do and I love the result as I think it shows the personality of all the animals. Fantastic to be able to personalise a weathervane in this way!