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!
A bespoke weathervane we’ve recently designed; based on a Norfolk Wherry boat! These distinctive boats were designed for carrying passengers and small cargoes around the broads in Norfolk and Suffolk. We did a lot of work in making the shape of the sail exactly as the customer imagined it, and she’s just sent in this photo of the weathervane insitu. Looks great!
Have a look at the link below to see our ever expanding range of Boat Weathervanes, and if you have a design idea you’d like to discuss please contact us on 0161 681 4293 – remember there is no charge for design work and these can all be painted by hand in full colour if required.
Often at this time of year we find ourselves starting to think about Christmas gift ideas, wanting to buy gifts that are not only unique and personal, but will be kept for many years rather than hidden away at the back of a cupboard before going in the charity shop pile. These days more and more people are moving away from mass produced imported goods, favouring the quality of craft products designed and hand made in the UK. In this blog post we’ll focus on gifts for gardeners for a wide range of budgets.
Hand forged Hooks
Almost all of us will know someone who takes a lot of pride in their shed, either on the allotment or in the garden at home. Why not go for a set of hand forged hooks – a gift that is both practical and unique. Below are photos showing examples of our reclaimed garden shears and vintage garden fork hooks – an idea which came about from clearing broken tools out of my parents allotment shed, and thinking that although they were past being used for their original purpose, it seemed such a shame for them to not be given a new lease of life! There is a link to our website where these items can be purchased below each photo.
The fantastic thing about the hooks below is the way in which they can be personalised to suit the recipient. The designs are cut by a computer guided laser, therefore it’s relatively straightforward to make minor alterations. We’ve designed a huge number of variations on this design, for example including different breeds of dog, a Cat, a lady gardening rather than a man, and also a couple. We can even change the style of their clothing if you like! The hooks are forged by hand from 6 mm round bar, with a traditional rats tail end to avoid clothing being snagged.
Hand Forged Hanging Basket Brackets
Though it’s the time of year when most gardens are dormant, it’s refreshing in the depths of winter to be able to start thinking about spring and preparing your garden for summer. Why not check out our range of stunning & unique hanging basket brackets:
As with the laser cut hooks, our weathervanes can be easily personalised and therefore make wonderful Christmas gifts for someone special. There is no charge for design ammendments, so if you have a cat rather than a dog let us know and we’ll swap it over! We offer four standard sizes, to suit buildings from the smallest garden shed right up to a mansion, with fixings made to order depending on requirements.
Our weathervanes can also be produced in miniature to sit on top of a garden obelisk; with it’s hexagonal frame and hand forged curves this piece is guarenteed to stand out.
And last but by no means least, what about a personalised shed sign? As with the weathervanes, there is no additional charge for design work, and text is painted by hand to order. Please do contact us on 0161 681 4293 to discuss your ideas. As all of our products are designed and made to order in the UK, they generally take 3 – 4 weeeks to produce, so it’s best to leave plenty of time!
A local fabrications company recently got in touch as they knew we have done a lot of gilding for our weathervanes. They were doing a large restoration job for a church, including all of the railings and this finial which sits on top of the spire. The finial is clearly very old; the centre part being wrought iron but a lot of the scroll work being more recent repairs done in mild steel. We collected the finial from the company once the welding work was complete, and have had it electroplated and powdercoated, before applying several layers of paint to give it a very solid, non porous base to apply the size & gold leaf to. I’ve used extra thick 23.75 carat gold leaf so it’s suitable for the exposed location it will be situated. The photo above shows me brusing off any excess gold leaf bfore the job was finished.
Our LMS Jubilee Steam Train weathervane was recently featured on Channel 4′s ‘Amazing Spaces – Shed of the Year’ Competition! The shed it is mounted on was shortlisted in the summerhouse category, and features various pieces of railway memorabilia including a section of railtrack outside and all sorts of vintage posters decorating the walls inside. Our weathervane takes pride of place on the front gable of the building, and can be seen on the following link:
It’s series 4 episode 1, and the summerhouse with our weathervane on is featured between about 17 and 20 minutes in. Unfortunatley it didn’t win the category, but fantastic that it was shortlisted in the competition!
Here’s a great photo of our new Golf weathervane in it’s new home. I don’t know much about golf myself, so did a bit of research about what a good swing looks like when creating the design. We added the Golf bag later to give the design a bit of context and also to help the weathervane balance, therefore improving it’s functionality. We decided to have this laser cut profile mouted centrally on the weathervane with a tail at the end, as the Golfer himself does not have a lot of surface area for the wind to catch. We’re really happy with how it turned out, and love this photo that the customer has just emailed in!
Our laser cut Ducks house sign insitu. The customer asked for a family of Mallards as the design for a hand painted house name sign, and I added a small patch of reeds and bits of grass to complete the scene. When I sent the initial design over, the only change they asked for was to add the distinctive curled tail feathers to the male, which was no problem. It looks great, thanks for sending this in!
We designed and made this bespoke firepit based on a recent trip to the Highlands of Scotland. Hexagonal in shape and cut from 4 mm thick steel, this firepit is high quality, heavy duty and built to last. The six sides each have a different laser cut design; A Stag in a pine forest, a leaping Salmon, Balblair distillery with a background of stormy skies, mountains with Highland Cows in the foreground, Eilean Donan Castle, and an Owl flying in front of a full moon with snow capped pine trees in the foreground. When the fire was lit, the dancing flames made the laser cut designs appear to change and move, really mesmerising. The finish we’ve used is high temperature barbeque paint, which can withstand 650 degrees celcius. After the first use, (a long night with a very big fire!) we cleaned the firepit and there was no damage to the paint work.
These photographs were taken on the firepit’s first outing, on the coast at Toscaig, a remote village on the Applecross peninsula, with views looking out to the island of Skye. We could produce a bespoke firepit based on any theme, and personalised to make a wonderfully unique gift.
A Rugby ‘line out’ weathervane we designed and made at the end of last year. The design was a challenge because line outs are, by their nature a bit chaotic, which does not translate well into silhouette form. I wanted each figure to be distinguishable from the next, while still looking realistic, which took a suprising amount of time to acheive! We decided to mount the design centrally & use a tail in order to improve the balance, as it is quite a tall but not very wide profile. Delighted with the finished result, as was the customer. We have even gilded the rugby ball for an extra special touch.
We love this photo sent in by a customer! Partly because it’s a great photo but also because the design is so funny & unusual; was certainly a challenge designing it. Our customer had asked for a weathervane featuring a vintage Sunbeam motorcycle, and wanted the scene to show a windy day. We tried a few ideas, none of which I was entirely happy with, so we ended up adding the comedy element of the rider struggling to stay on his bike. We’ve put a lot of work into the detail of this design; for example we have tried to keep the rider’s clothing in keeping with the age of the bike, ie a flat cap, scarf and boots rather than modern safety gear and helmet. It’s great to be able to personalise a weathervane down to details like this as you end up with something truly unique.
Check out our current range of motorcycle weathervanes on the link below; we are always happy to work out bespoke designs at no extra cost. https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/motorcycles