Gilded Weathervanes

Gilding Close Up Gileded Weathevane ImageWe regularly gild the cardinal points (letters) on our weathervanes in 23.5 carat gold leaf, an optional extra that can be selected when ordering through the website. It’s a really special touch that is guaranteed to stand out and be noticed as it sparkles in the sunlight. Last week we gilded an entire laser cut Sun; at first a challenging prospect as it’s such a large, flat area with several fiddly curves and cut outs to work around. It did take ages and used an entire book of gold leaf, but think the finished result is fantastic. We’ve played about with gilding this design before, but just highlighting the rays around the edge and the arrow too.

Personalised Hand Forged Poker

Poker ImagesThis week we’ve designed and made this hand forged poker from 12mm square bar. The customer’s initials are laser cut into an oval shaped handle; a great way of adding a personalised touch to a functional piece. The sharp, contemporary laser cut design contrasts, yet blends well with the traditional forged twist and drawn out end, and the black beeswax finish helps bring the two styles together. Will look great next to any log burner or fireplace and would make a fantastic personalised gift! Any design as long as it’s not too conmplex could be laser cut into the handle, whether that be a logo, an image, or letters as shown here. It is cut from 5 mm thick steel giving it a really chunky look and feel.

Red Kite Weathervane

Red Kite Weathervane Image

 

Two different Red Kite weathervanes! The photo below shows our original Red Kite weathervane in situ, a design that’s been quite popular over the last few years. The distinctive silhouette of the bird in flight is raised off the sail by rods painted grey, so on a typical British day you cannot see them at all! Our crescent moon tail makes this a really unique weathervane. At the end of 2016 we were asked by a customer to produce a design that combined out Red Kite, plus apples or an apple tree, to be mounted on her house named ‘Appletrees’. So basically I just printed our red kite design several times and doodled around it until I was happy with the result, adding in a few apples after scanning the design back onto the computer. This design could look great with any pretty much any other tree in place of the Apple, showing the Red Kite as if flying over it. Another great one to have in the portfolio and really distictively our style.

Weathervane Insitu

Personalised Swinging Pub Sign

Swinging Sign PhotoResearch photoAnother bepsoke swinging sign we produced at the end of last year. The customer sent in the photo above, and asked us to design a sign to hang outside her Dutch style barn, pictured. Part of it was going to be turned into a pub so they wanted a suitable swinging sign that included a likeness of the barn. She had also asked for a background of fields, so I’ve used a bit of artistic licence and created a setting similar to that shown in the photo. I’ve tried to include the paving flags, a wooden fence at the side, and the decorative urn just near the barn. The background shows ploughed fields, rolling hills and trees, as this was how I imagined the area might look. The vine design around the top is loosely based on hop leaves and flowers; I thought this might be appropriate given the building will be used as a pub. We enjoyed the challenge of creating such a unique and personalised swinging sign!

Traditional Farm Sign

Farm Sign ImageA new style of farm sign that we were asked to create at the end of last year. Like our range of swinging signs, this piece has the text painted by hand on both sides, and is designed to mount to a post, wall or other vertical surface. However, instead of swinging from a bracket above, it is fixed in place by one bracket above and another below. It was a bit tricky to make as there is very little tolerence in the positioning of the horizontal arms; this needed to be spot on or the sign would not have fitted & took a bit of trial and error getting it right. Got there in the end and think this style will make a great addition to our range. Any of our existing swinging sign designs can be made to fit this style – it’s just a matter of taste as to which you prefer… this fixed style would make a great shop front sign as well as a traditional farm sign.Blacksmithing photo

Hooks forged from reclaimed garden shears

Reclaimed Shears PhotoWe made this set of hooks from a pair of broken garden shears. The blades are forged by hand each with a rats tail end and the blades welded together to keep them in position. Mounted flat against a wall or door, the wooden handles are also effective for hanging coats. Perfect for an allotment shed! We’ve produced several pairs as Christmas presents for friends and family this year, all of which have gone down very well. Just need to stockpile a few pairs of broken / blunt / never used shears and we can upload this product to the website so it’s available to purchase.

Bespoke Swinging Sign for Smugglers Cottage

Bespoke Sign PhotoA Bespoke swinging farm sign we designed and made in the run up to Christmas. The customer lives in a historic smugglers cottage on the south coast, and having recently seen the ‘Poldark’ series on TV, wanted a sign inspired by this subject. Our initial brief was to include a figure wearing a tri-corn hat, an owl, some sort of diamond shapes, and if possible tea barrels to reflect her husbands occupation. This sounded really complex at first and I did wonder how we would fit it all in! After a bit of discussion, we came up with the idea for this night time scene, showing some smugglers bringing barrels from a small fishing boat onto the beach, watched over by a Poldark type figure in the foreground. I think the cut outs on the tea barrels & horse showing the reflection of the moonlight work really well in adding atmosphere to the scene. The customer loved the idea, and we just needed to make a few tweaks, playing about especially with the position of the Diamond shapes to come up with this final design.

The customer was delighted with the finished sign, leaving the comments below in an email:

“Thank you so much for the smugglers housesign. It is amazing and exactly what we wanted. We are really pleased with it.”

We’re thrilled to hear this as we love the design too, and are very much looking forward to the challenge of bringing more swinging sign design ideas to life in 2017!

Personalised Weathervane

Bespoke Train Weathervane imageThis design is a great example of how easily a weathervane can be personalised. The sail shows the LMS Jubilee steam train; we’ve mounted it centrally and added a tail as its such a long & low profile; this allows the design to be slightly larger and also function better. The customer had asked for a signal box to be incorporated into the design, but we felt that this could not really fit on the arrow bar with the train, so we’ve welded it to one of the letter bars instead of scrolls. A completely unique weathervane!

Contemporary Church Flower Stand

Church Floral Display Church Flower Stand

Great photos of our spiral flower stand insitu! The matt black powder coat finish gives this stand a smart, contemporary feel to it, while retaining the look of classic black ironwork. It has three 20 cm platforms, each with a rim; the top one is welded onto the box section upright, while the two on the side are removable, making this a really versatile stand. The 10mm square bar spiral sweeps around the platforms, drawing the eye over the whole piece. The base is cut from chunky 5 mm steel, so there’s a decent amount of weight at the bottom of the stand in order to keep it stable.

This display was done as part of a memorial service last weekend; I think they’ve done a fantastic job of it. Love how the bright colours contrast with the black metal, and the three tiers almost look to be floating.

These stands can be made to any size, though this one was 4’10″, in order for us to keep the final package under the 5ft limit for our regular courier. That’s the only problem with these stands – if I’m honest they are a bit of a nightmare to package!

The Perfect Gift for Motorcyclists

Bonneville Painted

This hand painted weathervane was ordered by one of our customers for her partners birthday.  This is the first hand painted motorcycle design we have produced, it did create some new challenges but we are very proud of the finished result.  Though this example is on a weathervane there is no reason we could not do a piece such as this on a house sign or even as a stand alone peice of wall art.  As you can see the level of detail included stands up to very close inspection.

This weathervane is based on a Triumph Bonneville, we had already done the initial siloutte design, which we have been producing both as a weathervane and house sign for a number of years now but in order to get the hand painted detailing correct we needed to do quite a bit more research.  Fortunately the customer started us off in the right direction by providing a couple of photographs of their bike so we could match the colour scheme.  One of the issues we had was how sucessful Triumph had been with the Bonneville over the years and as such how many variations have been produced.  The initial silhoutte was taken from a modern Hinckley built bike so there were various subtle differences we had to allow for, for example the kickstart was gone and the carbs. have now been replaced with fuel injection (albeit designed to look as close to the original as possible).  The other big difference with working on a motorcycle design (as oppose to a car or even animal) is the difference between one side of the bike and the other.  Not only in terms of the controls but also the engine casings, which were very different from one side to the other.  I hope we have done it justice and the customer has already been in touch to say how thrilled they are with it so we can get on with the next design with the satisfaction of a job well done.

We can do designs based on any motorcycle and with the correct photos or information can even colour match it to your bike and allow for any customisations to make it unique to you.  We have done a number of motorcycle designs in silhouette already, including a Harley Davidson, a Brough Superior, a Velocette and a number of designs based around TT legend Joey Dunlop.  The designs can be found using the link below, if you would like a different bike doing then please get in touch, we do not generally charge for design work as this is how we have built up our portfolio and will be more than happy to work with you to get the design just right.
www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/motorcycles