This week I’ve been working on a few bespoke weathervane designs, including a Bentley Continental Fastback, and a group of three Barn Owls, as shown above. I began by drawing 5 or 6 different Owls using my graphics pen, and selecting the three that fitted together best. I love how distinctive Barn Owl faces are; this will make a fantastic weathervane when the design is finished! The only problem I have with it is in highlighting the features of the face – this part of the design looks very delicate so I’ll have to thicken these lines without affecting the look of it, or it won’t be practical to cut in steel. Initially I had thought that the 3rd Owl should be a baby, but they are such fluffy little things, when I try to draw one in silhouette they end up looking like a bit of a mishapen blob! I’ve sent a couple of initial weathervane designs to the customer, so he can give some feedback and we can make any alterations before coming up with the final design.
We love the effect created by the lights behind this bespoke business sign! The piece is approx 120cm long, and the Manchester based company’s name is cut from it. I like the organic, hand drawn style of writing and the soft edges of the outer shape – I copied this on the computer using a graphics pen. The finish is a clear powder coat, which is really beautiful as it shows where the heat of the laser has lightly blued the steel when cutting the design. We’ve welded bits of steel on the back so it can be raised off the surface it’s mounted to, in order to fit the lights behind it. I think the lightbox effect works brilliantly, so is fantastic to see a photo of this bespoke piece insitu.
A new hanging basket bracket design we’ve created recently. After uploading our Manchester Bee bracket onto the website and the various social media channels, it’s been really popular, especially locally to our workshop in Manchester, unsuprisingly. We had an enquiry from a customer who had seen this, but with no ties to Manchester themselves, wondered if we could create a laser cut hanging basket bracket design featuring a Bumble Bee. I played about with several versions of this design, but the customer chose the one with our trademark filigree that I like to doodle on many of our designs. I think the laser cut Bumble Bee has worked great as a silhouette!
A great example of a personalised weathervane, given as a birthday gift. Our customer contacted us asking if we could produce a bespoke weathervane featuring her husband and the things he loves; this included playing the guitar, fishing, walking their Border Collie, and drinking good wine. At first it seemed a little challenging as to how on earth we would fit all of these seemingly quite different interests into one image, but we did it! We’re really proud of the design, especially as these are pretty well all things we enjoy ourselves so it was a fun one to draw despite initally having no idea how to go about it. The customer and the recipient were both delighted with their personalised weathervane; she even sent us a video of her husband opening the suprise gift, which was genuinely fantastic for us to see, as we never normally get to see people’s reactions to what we have designed and made for them!
We’ve just packaged and sent out this bespoke George and Dragon weathervane – the design was based around an image provided by the customer. This week I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the sail and letter bars, including gilding the NSEW, and various small areas on the sail itself, like the tongue and the tip of the sail in 23.5 carat gold leaf. I’ve also painted St. George’s sheild in the colours of the English flag, some really nice highlights to finish off an already striking design. Any of our weathervanes can be personalised in this way; it’s a bit of extra work but the result is something truly unique that will stand out and be noticed anywhere.
A lot of trial and error went into the design of this bespoke swinging sign. It was produced for a new B&B opening in Pembrokeshire, and the concept for the design was given to us by the customer. They had a pretty clear idea in mind of what they wanted which was helpful, though I found it challenging getting the shape of the wings to suit the curve of the circle, while also ensuring that there were enough contact points between the two that the dragon would be properly connected and not a weak point. The hint of rocks and waves at the bottom was an idea we had partly to give the dragons tail something to join to, but also to connect the sign to the location; we felt this would perfectly suit the dramatic, rocky scenery of the stunning Pembrokeshire coast.
The customer’s were delighted, and gave us the following feedback:
“Black Fox Metalcraft captured the essence of our dreams and future in the sign they designed and created for us. Awesome communication, simply wonderful artwork, lovely, genuine people. So proud every time we return home to see this. And such positive comments from all passers by too! Thanks Richard and Jenny for exceeding all our expectations!”
Here’s a small selection of our favourite dog weathervanes! We’re going to be selling some weathervanes and a few other metalcraft products through a dog gifts website in the very near future, you can see what else they sell on the link below:
I found these while searching through the computer for suitable images for the new website, so thought I’d get a few on the blog today. The Dachshund weathervane is one of our best sellers, and rightly so; I love how his ear is blowing in the wind! They are an increasingly popular breed these days, and this weathervane makes a great gift for any owner. The Border Collie weathervane is probably my personal favourite, as we have a nearly year old Collie so we may be a little biased. I love this design as it’s so easy to personalise – customers can email us a photo of their dog, and we can alter the weathervane to match the white markings on their collie, to be either cut out or painted.
I enjoyed designing the Labrador and Jack Russell weathervane as it was actually quite a challenge getting the stance of both dogs right while keeping the shape distinctive of breed characteristics. It’s a really fun one as it shows off the personality of both breeds, especially the determination of the little Terrier! The Flat Coated Retriever weathervane has made this list as they are such lovely friendly dogs, and I think this design shows off their happy personality and love of life. I think it’s fantastic that we have produced a range of dog weathervane designs that are not just flat side profiles, but action shots that show a moment in the dogs life, reflecting each individual personality and what they love to do. In this way we can create a bespoke, personalised weathervane based on any breed, or breeds, of dog to suit an individual customer’s idea. An amazing personalised gift for a dog lover!
We’ve just produced a set of 16 of these bespoke wedding flower stands for a customer in the midlands. The 6 horseshoes are TIG welded together from the back, and supported by a 75cm length of tube. The base is cut from 5mm steel so there is a decent weight to it, keeping the stand stable. Each floral art stand will sit at the centre of a table, forming a beautiful centrepiece. We’ve also produced a slightly larger pair of these wedding stands with an extra row of four horseshoes; these will be placed either side of the entrance. These flower stands are powder coated silver.
We recently produced this bespoke business sign for a Cattery in South Wales. The design is based on the business logo – to read about how we converted the logo to this striking, contemporary sign, and see photos from our workshop of the making process, check out our earlier blog post on the link below:
The customer has just sent in these photos of the sign insitu, it looks great! The design is very bold and it really stands out from a distance too, which is so important from a business point of view in terms of potential customers noticing you, and new customers being able to find the Cattery. We wish them all the best with their new venture.
This bespoke weathervane depicts a typically African scene. The design depicts a Giraffe seeking shade under an Acacia tree, reaching down to take a drink. The weathervane is based on a house sign design we produced for the same customer last year. The house name is Kisima, which means ‘watering hole’ in Swahili. The house has a well, and our customer says she loves to feed and water friends and family, so this weathervane represents that – a great idea for a personalised design.
Due to the relatively large surface area at the top of the Acacia tree combined with the thin trunk, we’ve welded a support rod from the base of the tree to where the branches split off. This supports the trunk, which could be quite vulnerable without it.