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.
A bespoke swinging sign we sent out this week with a design to reflect the property’s history! Our customer lives on a farm in a converted barn that used to be a puppet theatre when the farm was a childrens farm, and he contacted us with a sketch showing his idea. It was very good drawing actually; it looked great on paper but there was a bit of work to do in turning the puppets into silhouettes and making the design function in laser cut steel. I made a few minor alterations and added a couple of improvements to the design but this one is largely the customer’s work.
Initially, our customer contacted us asking for a bespoke weathervane for her daughter in law, based around a ‘nail varnish emoji’. Other than this she was not specific, and was unsure as to how it would come together. But we like a design based challenge! So, my initial idea was to take aspects of the nail varnish emoji, so the close up of fingernails and the bottle of polish, and frame these in an ornate, vintage style mirror, which would form the sail for a banner weathervane. I roughly photoshopped it together for the customer and emailed it over, but she wasn’t that keen on the design. We couldn’t think of a better way to depict the emoji, so decided to abandon this route. She then sent over a clip art of two ladies having their nails done, and wondered if we could produce something similar.
So the photo above is the idea we went with; initially I had drawn more traditional looking antique chairs, but we all felt that this made the design look too formal; the customer said she was after something a little more relaxed and fun. So I drew a couple of more modern looking stools, and relaxed the posture of the two women a little, and there you have the final design! A lot of work went into this bespoke weathervane design, partly because beauty salons and nail varnish emojis are not a strong subject of ours, but I think we’ve learnt quite a lot here and have ended up with a unique design that everyone was very happy, & the finished weathervane looks very classy.
A bespoke, personalised hanging basket bracket design with a Tortoise! I drew the Tortoise itself based on our Horsefield named Mr. Percy. I’ve highlighted some of the markings on his shell in the form of cutouts, and the same with his eye. I then printed several copies of this off the computer along with the basic shape of the bracket, which I’ve literally just doodled around in my sketchbook; the photo above shows an example. I felt this sketch worked pretty well, so I scanned it back into the computer to tweak and create the final design. I ended up altering it quite a bit; I felt the solid ground would be more suitable underneath the Tortoise than the plant based filigree you can see in the sketch.
The hook for the hanging basket bracket was made by hand in our coal forge, and the design cut using a nitrogen shrouded laser. It’s all TIG welded together, and the finish is a black powder coat, with a protective layer of zinc electroplate underneath.
We’ve produced this bespoke business sign for a shop in central Edinburgh. All the details were specified by the customer, such as the powder coat colour to match the existing colour of the shop front, the text style and colour, and the business logo in the centre of the sign. So it’s completely personalised to match the customer’s requirements. This was all painted by hand, and the final coat of paint is just drying now, ready to be sent out this evening.
The main difficulty we had with this sign was the bracket from which the sign will hang. Because the building is listed, the bracket had to fit in with planning laws, and approval was given on the condition that no new holes were drilled in the shop front. So when manufacturing the bracket, we had to make sure the holes matched up exactly with the holes aleady there.
I finished painting this Turkey swinging farm sign yesterday. It’s a big one at 3ft x 2ft and is on it’s way to a Turkey farm in Aberdeenshire. The bird we’ve used is a Bronze Turkey, which the farm breeds. We played about with adding a chick or two, but in the end the customer decided to have the adult bird alone. They have an existing signpost and frame, so we’ve not needed to make a bracket for it, but have welded rings on at the correct point on the top of the sign to match with the existing frame.
This Turkey design could be easily transferred onto a weathervane too.
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!
I’ve just finished painting this bespoke swinging farm sign for a farm in Cumbria. The customer asked for the sign design to include two specific breeds of Sheep, a Swaledale and a Rough Fell. We already have a Swaledale design, so I just needed to drawn the Rough Fell, which turned out to be pretty straightforward once I had found a couple of good images to base it on. I added the dry stone wall to add a bit of interest to the hanging sign, as they are a typical sight throughout Cumbria so it seemed appropriate and would complete the scene. The customer loved the idea, but asked could we replace our Swaledale with a Sheep based on her prize winning Tup. She sent over a great photo of him so was no problem at all, and the finished result is shown above. Really happy with it and I think it will look fantastic in its location – it will hang from a bracket like the one pictured above.
A bespoke weathervane we’ve produced in the last couple of weeks. When I sent the initial drawing over to the customer, she loved the dog straight away but asked for the man to be altered to look more like her husband (who the weathervane was a gift for). She sent a good quality image of him, so I was able to alter the build of the man, change for a more appropriate hat, and even copy the side profile of his face. It’s fantastic to be able to personalise designs down to tiny details like this! The customer was thrilled with the finished weathervane, as was the recipient. She has sent the following comments:
“I just had to let you know that my husband was thrilled to bits with his bespoke weathervane. The design was perfectly interpreted from the photo image I sent to you, which made it all the more personal.
I was very pleased with the quality of the item and with the service I received from you in the preparation of this gift.
We will, of course, send you a photo of the working weathervane once it is in position.
Once again, Jenny, many thanks for your help.”