Another 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!
A 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
And 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!
We’ve just produced a bespoke branding iron for a customer who makes rifle stocks. He asked for a really simple logo to be drawn out and laser cut – he brought the sketch in on a post it note so I could draw it on the computer there and then. Once the piece had been laser cut, I forged the handle from 8 mm round bar, with a long taper to weld to the back of the tiny laser cut brand. We tested it out on an offcut of timber we had in the workshop, see above! A personalised branding iron would make a fantastic & unique gift for a woodworker of any kind.
A 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.
Our 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.
A 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.
A photo showing two of a set of bespoke flower stands we’ve made this week. This idea is that the central column will be filled with oasis and the display will work outwards from there. There are two candelabra platforms holding a total of 14 candle dishes; I can imagine these looking pretty spectacular when decorated. We put a lot of work in to them though and it almost seems a shame that the steel frame will be hidden!
Our customer had a pretty clear idea of what they were after, so we just needed to create a functioning final design for the stands and then make a prototype, which we did a few weeks ago. They loved the look of this first stand, and the only issue with it was the weight, as once it’s full of soaked oasis it will be very heavy. So in order to reduce this, we’ve cut the base from thinner steel, and cut holes in the platforms to try and save a little bit more as it all adds up. These still weigh a fair bit but are considerably lighter than the prototype so should be much easier to work with. Look forward to seeing photos of them decorated!
We’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:
We can create weathervane designs based on any fish at no extra cost – please contact us on 0161 6814293 to discuss your ideas.
Our 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:
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!