Bespoke Weathervanes

Weathervane photo weathervane photoA couple of different bespoke weathervanes we’ve designed and produced recently – both showing all the family pets! We love the action show of the dogs being put in their place by the cat – a difficult design to achieve while keeping the breeds (Labrador, Pointer and Spaniel) recognisable too. The other design was more straightforward to create as the animals are a little more relaxed, having the bat beneath the bar with wings painted brown was the customer’s idea and we think it’s worked so well, really unusual and definitely stands out.

A great gift for anyone who loves their menagerie of pets!

Bespoke Weathervane

Bespoke Weathervane ImageAnother great photo sent in via email showing one of our bespoke weathervanes insitu! The customer had ordered our ‘Cat chasing dogs’ weathervane, featuring a Labrador and Border Terrier, but then realised there was no extra charge for bespoke designs. So he asked if we could alter the design he’d ordered to feature his dogs; a Spaniel, Pointer and Labrador. Though I found it quite difficult to draw the specific breeds in action poses, this was a really fun one to do and I love the result as I think it shows the personality of all the animals. Fantastic to be able to personalise a weathervane in this way!

Boat Weathervane

Boat Weathervane ImageA bespoke weathervane we’ve recently designed; based on a Norfolk Wherry boat! These distinctive boats were designed for carrying passengers and small cargoes around the broads in Norfolk and Suffolk. We did a lot of work in making the shape of the sail exactly as the customer imagined it, and she’s just sent in this photo of the weathervane insitu. Looks great!

Have a look at the link below to see our ever expanding range of Boat Weathervanes, and if you have a design idea you’d like to discuss please contact us on 0161 681 4293 – remember there is no charge for design work and these can all be painted by hand in full colour if required.

https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/boats

 

 

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

Gilding a Restored Church Finial

Gilded finial photo Jenny gilding photoA 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.

Collie Weathervane

Collie weathervane photoOur Border Collie weathervane just about to be packaged and sent out. The customer wanted us to show some of the detail of their dog’s markings, but wasn’t too keen when I suggested cutting them out, so I have painted them instead! Looks great, and will stand out better than cut outs would. We could paint the markings of any collie if a photo is provided – a fantastic way to personalise a weathervane.

Fish Weathervanes

Grayling Weathervane Photo Marlin Weathervane PhotoWe’ve recently been asked to create two fish weathervanes; first a Grayling and then a Marlin. Both were gifts for our customer’s fishermen husbands. We didn’t want to have the laser cut fish welded flat on the bar as is the style with most of our weathervanes, so it took a bit of work finding the best way to show off a distinctive fish profile while making a functioning weathervane. After a bit of trial and error, we’ve ended up with the tube being welded into the body of the fish, which is raised well above the arrow bar. Really happy with how they have turned out! These will both be available to buy in our online shop as soon as I have time to update the website:

https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/weathervanes

We can create weathervane designs based on any fish at no extra cost – please contact us on 0161 6814293 to discuss your ideas.

Steam Train Weathervane on Shed of the Year

Weathervane screen shotOur LMS Jubilee Steam Train weathervane was recently featured on Channel 4′s ‘Amazing Spaces – Shed of the Year’ Competition! The shed it is mounted on was shortlisted in the summerhouse category, and features various pieces of railway memorabilia including a section of railtrack outside and all sorts of vintage posters decorating the walls inside. Our weathervane takes pride of place on the front gable of the building, and can be seen on the following link:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/amazing-spaces-shed-of-the-year/on-demand/65677-001

It’s series 4 episode 1, and the summerhouse with our weathervane on is featured between about 17 and 20 minutes in. Unfortunatley it didn’t win the category, but fantastic that it was shortlisted in the competition!

Beauty Salon Weathervane

Weathervane Photo

Weathervane Rough IdeaHere’s a weathervane we’ve produced recently for a Beauty Salon owner, along with a description and images showing how we reached the final design.

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.

Golf Weathervane

Golf weathervane photoHere’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!