We created this bespoke weathervane to match the markings of a customer’s horse, using cut outs to show the areas of white. It’s a great way to personalise a weathervane design, and is not difficult to do if a clear photo is provided. We’re currently working on a version of this design where one of the horses has a lot more white on his coat – this makes it a little more challenging in making sure the design is strong enough with there being so much cut out. Our current range of horse weathervanes can be found here, and we are always up for the challenge of bringing a bespoke design idea to life!
Earlier this year we donated a weathervane to an ITV programme called Love your Garden. The idea of the show is that they re design a garden for a deserving member of the public, in this case a 90 something year old D-Day veteran who had been a keen gardener but was now unable to manage. He had been a dispatch rider during the war, hence the motorcycle weathervane. We’ve produced a good range of different motorbike weathervanes now, but the editor chose the ‘Windy Day’ design based on a vintage Sunbeam, due to the light hearted nature of the design. We were glad to give one of our weathervanes to such a worthy cause.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
A great photo of our George and Dragon weathervane insitu, a perfect gift for any proud English person. I’ve painted the St George’s Cross on the shield by hand, and gilded the Dragon’s tongue, tip of his tail and the tip of the spear to match the letters. This helps the weathervane to stand out beautifully; the customer is absolutely thrilled with it. A truly unique piece!
We now have a large number of weathervane designs available on our website but always welcome bespoke comissions.
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 look forward to having another owl weathervane design to add to our existing owl and moon weathervane and owl hunting weathervane designs.
It’s great to finally have a weathervane and house sign design based on the classic mini, hopefully in the future we can look to add the Clubman, traveller and even Wolsley Hornet/Riley Elf designs to our collection to. There can be few cars that are held in such high affection by so many people as the mini, in part due to its truly unique design and personality, along with the sheer volumes produced.
The brainchild of Alec Issigonis, who had previously designed the Morris Minor before briefly leaving BMC to work on a shelved Alvis saloon project (how history and indeed cars for years to come could have been different), the mini was a design which would revolutionise cars for many years to come.
Designed during the Suez oil crisis, the world needed a compact efficient car, Rootes group came up with the Hillman Imp and BMC the mini. With its transverse mounted engine and front wheel drive layout (almost unheard of at the time but now pretty well industry standard) Issigonis managed to make a very compact car with a very reasonable sense of space inside (though not by modern standards).
So the question then is how did a car born out of necessity during the Suez crisis gain such a following? In my opinion this is in part due to its utterly unmistakeable and British identity, it is hard now with hindsight to imagine the mini as a new cutting edge design, to in effect imagine a world without them but when you think of the cars that came before it, it truly was a revolutionary car, which changed the direction of the automotive industry forever. Then there is the way the car handled, with the compact design pushing the wheels right out in to each corner and with such minimal weight the mini out-handled all of its contemporary competitors and a great deal more. The A Series engine, though lacking in power was always willing and easily tuneable, leading to the iconic John Cooper works cars. The final factor is as mentioned earlier in the post, the number of them produced, it is estimated that there were around 5.3 million classic shape minis made between 1959 and 2000, so everyone has some memories and nostalgia linked to the mini. Like jeans they were affordable (too affordable, reportedly so much so they were accidentally making a loss for some time!) and fashionable, so people of all classes and backgrounds had them.
Sadly by the year 2000 the classic mini had had its run, keeping up with the safety and comfort of more modern machines (when though there had been changed and the engine had been updated even to include fuel injection), at the age of 41, was no longer possible and British Leyland called an end to production. It even outlived its intended successor, the sadly much less loved Metro by two years.
If you would like a mini weathervane it is available here. Alternatively if you would like a sign based on this design, or any of our products with a different mini variant (or any other car for that matter) then please fill out our online contact form and we will get in touch as soon as possible.
Just had this great photo sent in showing a Schnauzer weathervane we’ve produced recently; the angle of the sail is perfect as it shows the laser cut design so clearly, plus the lovely blue sky really helps it to stand out! We’ve done a couple of variations on this design, where customers have asked us to make minor alterations to make the Schnauzer look more like their dog, so for example we’ve docked the tail in the past, and made the dog male, or a little scruffier. So if you cannot find a weathervane suitable amongst our dog designs, whatever your specification, feel free to contact us as we can usually accomodate most design requests at no extra cost.
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. Though we have created fishing weathervanes, border collie weathervanes and even a few with people drinking on them, 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!
Though these days the Beetle is more often remembered fondly as a car of the swinging sixties, it was initally designed in pre WW2 Germany by Ferdinand Porsche, at the request of a Mr Hitler. It needed be a ‘car of the people’; to seat two adults and two children, with space for their luggage, and cruise at 60mph. Importantly, it also needed to be affordable, and could be purchased through a savings card system. By the time the second world war broke out in 1939, only a handful of consumer cars had been produced, and all customer orders had been cancelled as production was switched from civilian vehicles to that of military vehicles. One of these was an amphibious vehicle, delightfully named the ‘Schwimmwagen’.
Our portfolio of weathervane and sign designs has grown over the past few years, based mostly on customer requests for new designs. Fairly early on we created a design based on the iconic Flying Scotsman but it was some time later before the LMS Jubilee was finally added to our design portfolio. Now the design work is done we can also incorporate these into house signs and decorative steel panels made to a customer’s specifications. Hopefully other rail enthusiasts will see these current designs and might want to commission other designs based around other locomotives. We have already done a great design based on a customer’s traction engine too.
The Flying Scotsman is world famous, in part due to its record setting top speed (reaching 100mph in 1934) and probably more significant in terms of actual usage its record for the longest non-stop run for a steam locomotive when it covered 422 miles in Australia. When the Scotsman became key in the rivalry between the LMS West Coast service and the LNER East coast service up to Edinburgh it was not the phenomenal top speed that really mattered, but the ability to run non-stop. This was achieved in part due to a corridor through the tender to allow the crew to change over without stopping. The significance of this is not to be understated, when you consider that during the London-Edinburgh trip the fireman would need to shovel around 7 tons of coal! The other key thing required for a non-stop run is a lot of water, which was often supplied by use of water troughs between the rails and scoops, especially in Britain. The later Flying Scotsman tender could hold 5,000 gallons of water. The LMS Jubilee class locomotives were initially built from 1934 1936 and were designed for mainline passenger work, with 191 built in total. They were a very common sight on the LMS lines right through until they were eventually decommissioned in the 1960’s. Their length of service and indeed numbers does mean the Jubilee class does have a nostalgia factor for a lot of rail enthusiasts, coupled with the fact there are four preserved examples still running on heritage lines in the UK today.
As a great little personal touch, one customer asked if we would be able to add a signal box to their weathervane. We thought about this a little as we did not want to affect the balance and function of the weathervane itself and eventually concluded the best option would be to have the signal box on the letter bars (North, South, East, West) beneath the sail, so the train appears to be flying past it. I think a house sign could look great with a bit of a landscape scene in it featuring both a locomotive and signal box… perhaps a project for the not too distant future.
Our LMS Jubilee weathervane was featured on channel 4′s ‘Shed of the Year’ programme, as one of the entries into the competition was a railway enthusiast with a shed beautifully done up to house his collection of memorabilia, with our weathervane as the finishing touch to his roof. This weathervane can be found on the link below: