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.

Fox Garden Art

Fox Garden Art photoWe’ve just created this metal Fox silhouette as a piece of garden art. The Fox profile is laser cut from 3mm steel, and has chunky 12mm round bar legs welded to the base so it can be securely fixed into the ground without risk of falling over. We could cut any animal to any size as a piece of metal garden art, and can personalise the design to whatever extent your imagination allows! They are electroplated with zinc to protect against rust, and finished in a durable matt black powder coat so will look great for many years to come. A wonderful gift for a nature lover! Contact us to discuss your ideas.

Dachshund Weathervane


dachshund weathervane
We took this photo of our Dachshund weathervane on a regular customer’s garage today, looking great against the light blue autumn sky. It’s probably the most popular of our range of Dog weathervanes, and would make an amazing gift for any Dachshund owner. I’ve gilded the letter bars in 23.5 carat gold leaf which is a really special touch; when the sunlight hits it directly it glistens beautifully.

For more information and to purchase this weathervane, check out the Dachshund Weathervane Page. We are more than happy to make alterations to the design, for example we’d love to add a wire haired Dachshund weathervane, sign and set of hooks to our range!

Initially we drew the Dachshund with his ear down, but a customer asked if we could make it look like it is blowing in the wind, and we’re really happy with the result as it’s very appropriate for a weathervane. The ear is still down in our house name or number sign design though.Dachshund Sign Photo

 

Personalised Coat Hooks


coat hooks photo
blacksmithing photoA work in progress this week; a set of hand forged coat hooks with a personalised design. The hooks themselves are forged from 6mm round bar, using traditional blacksmithing techniques on our coal forge, while in contrast the personalised design I’ve drawn is cut using the most up to date laser technology. The bespoke design itself features our customer’s dog; she sent us several photos of him so I was able to come up with a drawing that looks exactly like him. It’s a gift for her husband who loves gardening, hence the man with spade – this was something else she had specified.

Check out our current range of hand forged coat hooks, and if you fancy commissioning a bespoke design feel free to contact us!

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.

George and Dragon Weathervane

weathervane insituA 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.

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 Barn Owl Weathervane


owl weathervane drawings
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.

Classic Mini Weathervane

We took a couple of photos of our classic Mini weathervane on our workshop the other week, believe it or not these two pictures were taken only a couple of minutes apart!mini weathervane photo mini weathervane

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.

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.