Red Kite Weathervane

Red Kite Weathervane Image


Two different Red Kite weathervanes! The photo below shows our original Red Kite weathervane in situ, a design that’s been quite popular over the last few years. The distinctive silhouette of the bird in flight is raised off the sail by rods painted grey, so on a typical British day you cannot see them at all! Our crescent moon tail makes this a really unique weathervane. At the end of 2016 we were asked by a customer to produce a design that combined out Red Kite, plus apples or an apple tree, to be mounted on her house named ‘Appletrees’. So basically I just printed our red kite design several times and doodled around it until I was happy with the result, adding in a few apples after scanning the design back onto the computer. This design could look great with any pretty much any other tree in place of the Apple, showing the Red Kite as if flying over it. Another great one to have in the portfolio and really distictively our style.

Weathervane Insitu

Traditional Farm Sign

Farm Sign ImageA new style of farm sign that we were asked to create at the end of last year. Like our range of swinging signs, this piece has the text painted by hand on both sides, and is designed to mount to a post, wall or other vertical surface. However, instead of swinging from a bracket above, it is fixed in place by one bracket above and another below. It was a bit tricky to make as there is very little tolerence in the positioning of the horizontal arms; this needed to be spot on or the sign would not have fitted & took a bit of trial and error getting it right. Got there in the end and think this style will make a great addition to our range. Any of our existing swinging sign designs can be made to fit this style – it’s just a matter of taste as to which you prefer… this fixed style would make a great shop front sign as well as a traditional farm sign.Blacksmithing photo

Hooks forged from reclaimed garden shears

Reclaimed Shears PhotoWe made this set of hooks from a pair of broken garden shears. The blades are forged by hand each with a rats tail end and the blades welded together to keep them in position. Mounted flat against a wall or door, the wooden handles are also effective for hanging coats. Perfect for an allotment shed! We’ve produced several pairs as Christmas presents for friends and family this year, all of which have gone down very well. Just need to stockpile a few pairs of broken / blunt / never used shears and we can upload this product to the website so it’s available to purchase.

Personalised Weathervane

Bespoke Train Weathervane imageThis design is a great example of how easily a weathervane can be personalised. The sail shows the LMS Jubilee steam train; we’ve mounted it centrally and added a tail as its such a long & low profile; this allows the design to be slightly larger and also function better. The customer had asked for a signal box to be incorporated into the design, but we felt that this could not really fit on the arrow bar with the train, so we’ve welded it to one of the letter bars instead of scrolls. A completely unique weathervane!

Contemporary Church Flower Stand

Church Floral Display Church Flower Stand

Great photos of our spiral flower stand insitu! The matt black powder coat finish gives this stand a smart, contemporary feel to it, while retaining the look of classic black ironwork. It has three 20 cm platforms, each with a rim; the top one is welded onto the box section upright, while the two on the side are removable, making this a really versatile stand. The 10mm square bar spiral sweeps around the platforms, drawing the eye over the whole piece. The base is cut from chunky 5 mm steel, so there’s a decent amount of weight at the bottom of the stand in order to keep it stable.

This display was done as part of a memorial service last weekend; I think they’ve done a fantastic job of it. Love how the bright colours contrast with the black metal, and the three tiers almost look to be floating.

These stands can be made to any size, though this one was 4’10″, in order for us to keep the final package under the 5ft limit for our regular courier. That’s the only problem with these stands – if I’m honest they are a bit of a nightmare to package!

Witch Weathervane

Witch Weathervane Image

Another great photo of our Witch Weathervane! I initially designed this for a lady in Spain; the design went back and forth a few times until it was just right, and now it’s one of our most popular weathervanes. Shown here on a sunny October day in Cheshire with gilded cardinal points (letters). Our witch weathervane can be ordered here.

Bespoke Wall Art Murals

Bespoke Wall Art Custom Gate Photo Bespoke Mural Bespoke Wall ArtBespoke Gate

Here are some photos of a fairly epic project that’s been nearly a year in the making. This week past couple of weeks we’ve taken a bit of a departure from our usual weathervanes and swinging farm signs, and filled the workshop with these enormous bespoke pieces of wall art. The theme for this project was ‘The Seasons’, and the sizes range from 160 cm high up to 210cm for the gate so there hasn’t been a lot of space for anything else recently!

We’re used to producing bespoke weathervanes drawings, where I’ll have to create a design based on a model of car, or breed of dog, but this project has been on a different scale altogether. The Spring mural shows a tree going from winter on the left, with all it’s branches bare, into Spring on the right of the piece, with buds, leaves and blossom developing. There’s a bird sat on a nest, and swallows returning from their winter migration. The focal point at the bottom of the piece is two star gazing Hares. The Summer mural shows an Oak tree in full bloom, with a design inspired by wildflowers around the base. Field mice, poppies and corn are also included as things associated with Summer, and the centre of the wall art depicts the legend of the Green Man. The Autumn Mural shows the leaves falling, and the full moon background suggests the nights closing in, with the Fox in the foreground as an example of a typically nocturnal animal.

The bespoke gate and side panel depict winter; a snow covered tree, the fox asleep below ground, and the whole piece decorated with snowflakes and holly. The top panel shows the phases of the moon. Phiz has done an amazing job in welding all these pieces together; it doesn’t look like it from the photos but the tolerances were actually very tight as it all needed to bolt together, and fit exactly in between the customer’s house and garage. The design work especially has taken absolutely ages, but we’re really proud of what we have created here, and it’s shown us what is possible both in terms of laser cutting and our skills in bringing a customers ideas to life. I’ve no doubt that these will look amazing on the wall in Carlisle when they are plated and powder coated, and would definitely take on another bespoke wall art project like this in the future.

And now back to the workshop where there are a large number of weathervanes and farm signs needing our attention!

Designing a bespoke Weathervane

This post aims to give you some ideas & advice for designing a bespoke weathervane, either for yourself or as a gift. Please have a look at the photos below, there are explanations about each one in the text further down the page.

Bespoke Weathervane Images 1 Bespoke Weathervane
I think the most difficult thing about designing a bespoke weathervane is choosing the subject, simply because the choice is so vast. Common themes are Hobbies such as gardening or sports, Vehicles are a great choice for classic car or bike enthusiasts, while a favourite Pet can be perfect for an animal lover. If the local area is famous for a particular type of wildlife, this can be a really nice touch. We’ve recently sent a Red Kite weathervane to an area of Wales where these rare birds can be seen.  You could also focus on the history of the area, or even the past use of the building the weathervane will be mounted on, if it is particularly interesting.

The list of subjects is pretty much endless which I realise does not make it any easier to decide! If you are thinking of buying a weathervane as a gift, why not have a bit of a brainstorming session, focusing on aspects of the person receiving the gift such as their hobbies & interests, do they have a favourite place or holiday destination?  A customer recently commissioned a ‘Bear catching a Salmon’ design for his Canadian wife, to remind her of home. Do they have a favourite book or film? Our Mr Toad from The Wind in the Willows is quite a popular design. If the person has a collection of anything this can be a great light hearted option; one of my favourite designs was a gentleman in old fashioned dress pushing a vintage lawn mower; it was given to a man who has a collection of over 300! It does not need to be serious, it can be something to make you laugh and can be as silly as you like. We have even produced a flying pig weathervane for a lady who just felt that she needed a bit of luck.

Another possibility could be based around their working life. We produced an Argosy aeroplane design ordered as a gift for a man who had flown them during the war, and also designed a banner style weathervane with a chemical symbol laser cut into it for a man who had been some sort of industrial chemist, and this formula had been an important part of his career. Quite a funny one was a ‘Pig in a Pipe’ design, which literally showed a Pig running into a pipe, but represented the machine that cleans industrial pipes, known as a ‘Pig’.

A few other things to consider:

1. It’s important to ensure that the design will function – weathervanes work based on balance. The surface area needs to be much larger at the back than the front so that the sail will catch the wind and spin into it, but the weight at either end must be equal. We can make pretty much any design function as a weathervane so don’t dwell on this too much, but is worth bearing in mind.

2. Bold designs work best; the more different components a design has, the smaller each individual component will be. Remember it needs to balance. The letter bars can always be decorated with a design other than the hand forged scrolls – for example we recently produced a design based on a customer’s boat. She wanted her two Jack Russells to be in it, but given the difference in scale, they were barely visible at all aboard the boat. So we put them on the North / South Bar instead, which looked great. Another example of this is a bespoke car weathervane we did for a mechanic; beneath the letter bars were laser cut spanners with his initials.  There is an additional cost for custom letter bars, but well worth it if you want a really personal touch that cannot be incorporated into the sail itself.

3. If buying the weathervane as a gift, do consider where the recipient will put the weathervane – though we are happy to swap fixings later, it’s best to at least have an idea of the size they will need. There is some advice on choosing sizes on our weathervanes information page.

4. We are happy to work from as little as an idea discussed over the telephone, or as much as a computer jpeg image showing exactly what you want. There is no charge for design work, though the more information you can give us about what you want the design to look like, the less time it will take, therefore enabling us to keep design work free of charge. Rough sketches are welcome, as are images or links from the internet. Anything to help us get an idea of what you are after! For those of you with an artistic side, why not have a go at designing your own, like the whale weathervane pictured above; it was designed by a lady who is a professional Illustrator.

5. Make sure you allow enough time. Design work is not an instant process, especially when an image goes to and fro a couple of times getting it just right. A bespoke weathervane can take up to four weeks to manufacture from when the design is confirmed, so make sure you contact us in plenty of time.

When your ideas have been discussed, we will then come up with a design or two, & email them over (we can post to those who do not have an email address). You then have the chance to suggest any minor alterations or improvements to the design. We are happy to do this, so don’t worry we won’t be offended! It’s important to get the design just right.

If you have a design you’d like to discuss, please feel free to phone us on 0161 681 4293, or fill out our online contact form.