Gifts for Gardeners

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.

Photo of garden shears hookshttps://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/forge-forged-hooks/garden-shears-hooks.html

Garden Fork Hooks photohttps://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/forge-forged-hooks/garden-fork-coat-hooks.html

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.

Gardener Hooks Image

https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/indoor-metalwork/gardening-coat-hooks.html

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:

Fox Bracket Photo

https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/hanging-baskets-brackets

Weathervanes

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.

Gardener weathervane imagehttps://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/weathervanes-dogs-hobbies/couple-gardening.html

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.

Obelisk WeathervaneAnd 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!

https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/wall-mounted-names-numbers

Bespoke Swinging Sign

Swinging Sign PhotoA 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.

Bespoke Business Sign

Bespoke Shop Sign PhotoWe’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.

Turkey Farm Sign

Photo of Turkey Farm SignI 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.

Ducks House Sign

Ducks Sign photoOur 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!

Bespoke Swinging Farm Sign

Farm Sign Photo Metal Bracket photoI’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.

Hand Painted Pub Sign

Jen painting a sign photo Photo of sign being paintedPhotos of a bespoke swinging sign being painted by hand. The sign is for a pub called the Scroggy dog. When the customer contacted us, the main specification for the design is that it should include a damp looking Spaniel. I knew from experience that wet long haired dogs are difficult to draw as a silhouette because their hair is all over the place and it’s not that straightforward to pick out the actual shape of the dog! Fortunatley though, I had a photo of one of my parent’s Springers, Ozzy, that works pretty well. It was taken at the beach when he had just come out of the sea, looking very ‘scroggy’. We came up with loads of ideas as to what else to include in the image, such as a beer barrel, wellies, a fireplace etc, anything that you might find in a traditional country pub scene, but the idea that stood out for us was the dog on the bar top, with ale pumps and a traditional looking pint glass. We love the design, and are really happy with the choice of fonts too. The Italic one flows nicely and was actually very easy to hand paint, whereas the main lettering used was quite challenging because of the thin shadow lines; I had to take my time and be very accurate with it. Just waiting for this to dry now and then it can be sent out!

Laser Cut Lillies Sign

Photo of laser cut Lillies signA bespoke, two layer sign laser cut from 3 mm steel. The design is based around Lily pads and flowers, with a Dragonfly central at the bottom. Both layers are powder coated black, and the detail highlighted by beign hand painted in white. We love this style of two layer sign, and are happy to re design to suit a number instead of a name. We’ve produced several varieties including Roses, vines with Swallows, and even leaf shapes that are entirely made up.

Bespoke Swinging Sign for Cattery

Cattery Sign PhotoA bespoke swinging sign we produced for a Cattery recently. I love the style of this sign, in the way that the design is a part of the bracket, with the text plate hanging below. Though it added complications to the making process, having this as an oval rather than rectagular adds to the originality of the sign. I’ve used our distinctive fern designs to add further interest to the playful Cat design, as it reflects the business name perfectly. This sign is a great example of how a traditional style of metalwork can be combined with contemporary design to produce a really unique and outstanding bespoke business sign.

Bespoke Swinging Sign Owl and Oak design

Owl swinging sign imageA sign we produced in the mad rush leading up to Christmas. Not the greatest photo I have ever taken, but at least gives a decent impression of how the design has turned out. The customer asked for a swinging sign with a design similar to our Owl & Moon weathervane. He sent a rough sketch illustrating what he was after, but felt the left side of the sign looked completely empty, and wanted me to come up with something decorative to fill this space and compliment the other side. Initially, I printed off the design as it was and doodled around it, as is often the techique for bespoke designs like this. Scanned back into the computer, I was able to add Oak leaves & acorns, and tweak any areas that still needed work. I think the silhouette of the Oak tree works particularly well here because of the night time impression of the Owl and crescent moon background, and the shooting star gives a hint of something magical.