Lotus Elan Weathervane

So here we have another of our new weathervanes created in the run up to Christmas, we cannot wait to get them all loaded up on to the website and for general sale.  This bespoke weathervane design was done for a customer with a 1969 Lotus Elan +2, the relatively rare variant with an additional 2 smaller seats in the back, apparently there are approximately 1200 still on the road today, though this figure is somewhat vague and unsubstantiated!  Hopefully we will be able to add the standard 2 seater Elan to our portfolio soon too.  The customer has kindly sent in a photo of the weathervane in situ, set off with gold leaf on the cardinal points, I think the photo speaks for itself.

The challenge for us in terms of creating a silhouette to use on a sign or weathervane was capturing the essence of a car with such clean lines.  Fortunately we were able to find a good selection of images of the car to work from (including a couple provided by the customer), in order to make sure we got the shape just right and didn’t miss out on any critical detail.  It was a harder design to do than some older vintage cars, just due to the simplicity and smooth curves of the fibreglass body work but we are very happy with the end result.

The design brief for the car itself was to create a larger more luxurious version of the 2 seater Elan, capable of transporting 2 adults, 2 children and their luggage 1000 miles in comfort.  While this made for a heavier car than the original 2 seater design Lotus still stuck to the classic Chapman design ethos of ‘add lightness’, weighing in at less than 900kg.  This combined with the fibreglass body adding rigidity to the steel chassis means the Elan plus 2 maintained much of the remarkable handling characteristics which made its smaller stablemate a legendary car to drive.  Not surprisingly Lotus stuck to this construction formula for many years.Lotus Elan Weathervane Photo

Bespoke Penguins Weathervane

Penguins Weathervane ImageHappy New Year to All! After a busier than ever Christmas, I thought I’d kick off the New Year blog with one of the bespoke weathervane designs we produced last month. The customer specified that the design shold feature two Penguins, and that they should either be Gentoo, Adelie, or Chinstrap. I chose to use Adelie Penguins, simply because their markings lend themselves better to being laser cut from steel than the other two. Given the amount of white on the Penguins, which would be cut out, we decided the profile would work better if mounted centrally on the sail, with a tail at the back to catch the wind. We added rocks to create a bit more of a scene; showing the environment you would typically see these birds in. This also had the advantage of adding a bit of strength to the wing where it touches the rock – without this it would have been a bit of a weak point. We loved creating this bespoke weathervane as the Penguins have so much character, something that I hope has come across well in the design.

Bespoke Dolphins Weathervane

Weathervane PhotoWe’re really proud of this stunning Dolphins weathervane, sent out this week. When the customer contacted us asking for a bespoke design featuring several Dolphins, I originally imagine the laser cut design sitting at the back of the sail. The customer had imagined it centrally mounted with a tail at the end, which meant the design I had done would have too much surface area at the front of the weathervane, meaning it would not function correctly. We’ve overcome this misunderstanding by using a larger tail than normal, so now there is enough surface area at the back of the design to catch the wind and spin the sail correctly. We love the gilded arrow and tail; it draws the eye to the playful Dolphins design, and looks really classy. Our weathervanes are gilded by hand with 23.75 carat gold leaf, and beneath this is a layer of zinc electroplate, powder coat, primer, and four coats of base layer outdoor paint so it’s an extremely solid finish that should look beautiful for many years.

Hand Forged Obelisk

Metal Obelisk PhotoLast week we made this uncomplicated yet beautiful obelisk. It consists of three uprights made from 12mm pole, tapered and forged with scrolled ends. The triangular structure is joined by lengths of 8mm square bar, with a central twist. The brief was for it to be ‘traditional looking but not too fussy’, which I think we’ve definitely acheived here. As usual it is zinc electroplated to protect against rust, and finished in a matt black powder coat, so is well prepared to withstand the worst of the North West weather! I look forward to seeing some photos of this next summer when the Clamatis has grown around it.

Hand Forged Hooks

Hand Forged Hooks Pointer HooksOur popular hand forged hooks can be customised with any laser cut design at the top, making them a fantastic personalised gift. We’ve produced loads of variations on both of the designs shown here, including several different breeds of dog, a female gardener, different plants, and the man hunting wearing all sorts of different hats! The hooks themselves are forged from 6mm round bar, with a rats tail end so they won’t snag on any clothes hung on them. The whole piece is powder coated matt black, giving a durable finish with a traditional look.

Bespoke Swinging Farm Sign

Bepsoke Sign photoA great photo of a bespoke swinging sign we produced for ‘Black Rock Farm’. When the customer initially approached us with their design idea, I wasn’t sure how well a large rock would work in silhouette form. I drew some jagged shapes which have worked well as cut outs, highlighting where light hits the rock face, which actually has turned out to be very effective. Rather than having the bracket mounting to the side of the post, as with most of our swinging signs, we suggested having the sign hanging within a frame on top of the post, as the customer had mentioned the location being on the side of a busy main road, and with a large hedge in the background. We felt this different style of hanging bracket would give the sign the extra height it needed to be noticed.

Gifts for Farmers

Collie weathervane photo collie weathervane photosA great personalised gift idea for any farmer with a working Border Collie – these bespoke weathervanes can be cut or painted to match the markings on their dog. All we’d need is a side on photo of the dog and then we can get to work. The stance we’ve drawn the dogs in really shows off their personality, and with them being so customisable, these weathervanes make a truly unique gift. We love the photo above, sent in earlier this year – it’s definitely a strong contender for photo of the year 2018!

Bespoke Layered Sign

Bespoke Sign and BracketThis photo shows a bespoke sign we’ve produced recently. The customer had been inspired by our popular Climbing Roses sign ( below), and wanted something similar based around Ivy and Dragonflies. These signs are cut in 3 mm steel, and consist of a backplate powdercoated black, and an ornate, laser cut front plate. This is also powder coated black, but the detail is painted by hand in cream so it stands out beautifully against the background. Producing bespoke designs in this style is quite challenging, as there is such a defined space that everything must fit into, and as a result re designs do take a while. But we’ve produced a fair few different versions of this now, and I think they’re popular because they are such a unique product – both functional and a piece of art in it’s own right. The customer who commissioned this bespoke sign also purchased a pair of brackets to compliment it (pictured above). This style of sign would make a wonderful house warming gift for anyone who loves quirky and unique design, as they can be re designed and personalised to suit the recipient’s taste and interests.Bespoke Sign Photo

Bespoke Hare Weathervane

Bespoke Weathervane PhotoWe recently produced this bespoke weathervane based on a childrens book called ‘Guess how much I love you’. The customer commissioned it with her grand daughter in mind, who loves to have the book read to her when she visits. Initially she suggested having a tree above the Hare and baby, to reflect the design on the book cover, but we recommended against this as it would mean the Hares being very small, when really they are the main focus of the story so would be better being more prominent on the weathervane. The customer was delighted with the finished piece, and has sent us this wonderful photo.

Bespoke Hand Forged Brackets

Hanging basket bracket PhotoBlacksmithing PhotoTortoise Hanging Basket BracketThis week we’ve been making loads of hanging basket brackets. The horizontal arm is forged by hand from 10mm square bar into the scroll to hold the basket. The laser cut design beneath both supports the bracket while also being stunning and unique. This bit can be as personalised as you want – the two featured here are a Horsefield Tortoise design, and the other (in situ) shows a Patterdale Terrier. The leafy design framing them was designed to fit around each subject, and is just something I doodled in my sketchbook before transferring it onto the computer. An amazing bespoke gift!