Classic Jaguar Weathervanes

We were recently updating our website, to make sure that all of our new designs are available (weathervanes and signs) which was a great opportunity for us to take stock of the sheer amount of designs we have now done!  In a way what is on our website is almost the tip of the iceberg, as in order to prevent the website becoming un-navigable, quite a few of our designs don’t actually make it online.​

One area that really stood out for me was the classic Jaguar weathervanes we have now done.  I think they work so well as they are so distinctive and indeed timeless.  There are very few manufacturers where their cars are considered classics as soon as they roll out of the factory, but I think, with regards to Jaguar this is definitely the case.​house sign photo

As with a few of the classic car marques, there are several we have completed which are not on our website, mainly the variety of E-Type Jaguars, we have done both Roadsters and coupes and designs based on series 1,2 and three cars!  To keep things simple we have kept the series one coupe on our website, but we always encourage potential customers to get in touch, if we have not done a design based on their specific model we certainly can.  Along with the E-Type Weathervane we have also used this design on swinging signs, wall mounted house name plates and sets of coat or key hooks.​
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Jaguars reputation is not just based on their sportscars, and this, the Mark 2 Jaguar is almost the archetypal Jaguar Saloon.  It was luxurious and elegant, whilst also being quick and powerful.  The size and power of them gave them a reputation as bank robbers cars, being more than capable of outrunning the police cars of the era.  Amusingly we did produce a weathervane for one customer who owned a Mark 2 Jaguar and was also a keen hunter.  The slightly suspect look of a man with a shotgun stood in front of his Mark 2 Jaguar did add a tongue in cheek element of humour to the whole thing!  The only Police car capable of keeping up with a Mark 2 Jaguar was probably the Mark 2 Jaguar, with the 3.2 litre model capable of 125mph.  The car was also immortalised in the TV series Inspector Morse, leading to even more fans of the car.  The distinctive lines make this car instantly recognisable from its silhouette on a sign or weathervane and I’m proud of the way our design picks out all the key details.​  Our Mark 2 Jaguar weathervane can be found here.jaguar weathervane image weathervane photo weathervane image

While I did mention that not all new weathervane designs make it on to the website, as some are very close to other models of car, we could not help but have all three of these weathervane designs listed.  We often get requests for new designs to be created, which are very similar to existing designs as people searching for one will inevitably find the other.  This is almost certainly the case here.  Having created a weathervane based around the Jaguar XK120, a customer got in touch about having a weathervane made with an XK140 on it.  The customer wanted the design to represent them, enjoying the car and though the car in silhouette form is very similar to the XK120 I think this completely changes the design and does work really well as a weathervane, as the car, moving in the wind, does look like it is in motion.  By the time the XK150 came in, the split windscreen had gone and the body line from the wing stayed higher along the side of the car.  It definitely merited a completely new design and for anyone familiar with these cars, even from a distance, I think our weathervane makes it immediately identifiable.  ​These three weathervane can be found following the three links below:

Jaguar XK120, Jaguar XK140, Jaguar XK150

At the moment, this is the extent of our Jaguar metalwork but given the number of models produced over the years and both the following they have and deserve and the distinctive shapes lending themselves to use as a silhouette in bespoke metalwork I’m sure we will produce many more.  From the 1935 SS Jaguar 100, right up to the current range, if you would like a unique and personal sign or weathervane for yourself or as the perfect gift for a Jaguar enthusiast, please get in touch and we can get to work on a new design for you.

Personalised Hanging Sign

Farm Sign imageWe’ve just sent out this hanging farm sign with a bespoke, personalised laser cut design. The customer emailed us photos of himself, his wife and dog, and also their house and tractor so we could try to fit them all into a bespoke design! Having clear images of the individual elements was really helpful, but still quite complex to fit everything together and get the perspective right so the house looks as though it’s in the background. In the end though we’re really happy with how it has turned out.  We always welcome bespoke comissions for those who cannot find the right sign in our existing range of swinging farm signs.

Bespoke Metal Sign


house sign photo
A laser cut metal house sign we designed and manufactured recently. The nature of this style of sign means that they are always bespoke one off pieces, as the house name is cut in steel so there is no way of producing a standard model. We’ve produced the sign with various breeds of dog in the centre, such as this Labrador design and also Deer and other wildlife. It’s a lovely sign as it’s so well set up for being personalised – this would make a great housewarming gift. As the design is drawn on a computer, the customer was able to see it before placing her order, and make minor alterations once I had drawn the initial design, so it’s nice that they are part of the design process too. In this case, she had sent me a photo of her dog (a Labrador cross, with spectacularly big ears!) so the process was fairly straightforward.

Bespoke Cottage Sign

Bespoke metal sign photoA bespoke sign we produced recently for a thatched cottage in Hampshire. The design is based on the cottage itself, and is mounted to a wall at the entrance to a long driveway. It’s a beautiful property so enjoyed the challenge of doing the design work. What I’ve learnt about drawing thatched roofs is that even if in a photo the roof line looks straight, it’s nowhere near as straight as the line a computer will produce, so I always make sure anything with thatch is drawn by hand or it really loses it’s character. The bespoke laser cut design also features a well, which sits in the garden of the cottage; lovely that the sign is so unique and personalised to our customer’s specification. They also chose the font I’ve used; as standard we hand paint text in ‘times new roman’, but always happy to do something different when it’s asked of us.

Hand Forged Business Sign

hand forged scroll photo female blacksmith photo close up photo of hand forged scrollA bespoke swinging sign we produced recently for a Tattoo studio in North Wales. I loved this project; the company who commissioned it specialise in Celtic and Nordic tatto designs – their work is incredible. The laser cut design that forms the sign is the business logo – it’s translated perfectly into metalwork, very bold and eyecatching. The customer specified how they wanted the bracket to look, with a design involving three large hand forged scrolls, forming a roughly triangular shape to mirror the logo. I initially drew this out on the floor next to the forge, and bent the steel to follow this. I’ve used 12mm square bar so it’s relatively chunky. As the scrolls are quite tight, I needed a length of steel over 2 metres long to form the largest piece – this meant I needed a helper to stand behind me and support the long length while I heated and worked the end. We really enjoyed creating this piece, and the customer was very pleased with the result too. It’s great that we were able to reproduce the hand forged bracket exactly to the customer’s sketch, so their bespoke business sign is exactly as they wanted it.

Bespoke Lightbox Sign

Lightbox Sign photoWe 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.

Bespoke Hanging Sign

B&B swinging signA 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!”

Bespoke Business Sign

Cattery Sign photoBusiness Sign PhotoWe 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:

http://blog.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/2019/05/bespoke-cattery-swinging-sign/

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.

 

Stag and Deer Swinging Sign

swinging sign photoA beautiful bespoke swinging sign we’ve produce recently featuring two deer and a barn owl, in a traditional woodland scene. The customer asked us to produce this design because they have just moved into a cottage that backs onto ancient woodland, and they love watching the wildlife there. Sounds Idyllic! Due to our own passion for nature, this was a lovely design to create, we’re really proud of the finished hanging sign; the customer was delighted too.

Bespoke Cattery Swinging Sign

We’ve just produced a large scale bespoke swinging sign for a Cattery in south wales. When the owner of the business contacted us, he sent an image of the Cattery logo as a basis for the design. Initially we weren’t at all sure how to approach this as it’s far more of a contemporary design than the style I naturally seem to draw in. Because the use of colour is part of what makes it such an effective piece of graphic design (something that we would not be able to replicate without painting it by hand, which due to the time it would take would make the sign prohibitively expensive), we did not know how sucessful it would be as a black and white silhouette. We tried a number of different ways of showing the interlocking circles but none seemed quite right, until we highlighted the edge of each shape; quite simple really but it took ages to get there!logo graphicThe photo below shows the business sign and it’s frame in our workshop; at this stage most of the welding work had been done, here we were just making sure the sign links fitted together nicely so the sign would hang straight. The bottom of the frame fixing does nearly touch the ceiling of the workshop! The frame is made from 60x60mm box section, so really chunky and heavy duty which adds to the high quality of the sign. It’s absolutely huge so will definitely stand out and be noticed.Workshop welding photoAs with most of our hanging signs, the text is painted by hand to the customer’s specification. I’ve copied the text from the Cattery business logo, I really like painting Italic style fonts as the brush flows really nicely plus its good to have a change from the standard ‘Times New Roman’ every now and again. This photo shows the text at the primer stage – after this two coats of Ivory cream were applied to finish it.Signwriting PhotoThe customer is delighted with both the finished result and the process of working with us to create his bespoke business sign, which is fantastic to hear:
“I just wanted to let you know how absolutely delighted we are with the sign.
Throughout the process you guys have been an absolute pleasure to deal with …… your advice and patience during the design phase was appreciated, the sign itself has surpassed all expectations, it is stunning and is a reflection of true craftsmanship. I hope that Blackfox Metalcraft continues to be as successful as it deserves to be. Thanks again.”