Giraffe Weathervane

Giraffe and Tree Weathervane Giraffe weathervaneWe’ve just received some great photos of a bespoke Giraffe weathervane we produced recently. It’s nice to see photos taken from two different angles on two very different days weather wise! It also shows the Gable bracket very clearly which is great in terms of showing customers how our fixings go together. We wrote a post about the design of this personalised weathervane last week; to read about it have a look at the link below:

http://blog.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/2019/05/giraffe-weathervane/

Dog Weathervanes

dachshund weathervane photo retriever weathervane weathervane image collie weathervane photoHere’s a small selection of our favourite dog weathervanes! We’re going to be selling some weathervanes and a few other metalcraft products through a dog gifts website in the very near future, you can see what else they sell on the link below:

https://www.inyourdoghousegifts.com/

I found these while searching through the computer for suitable images for the new website, so thought I’d get a few on the blog today. The Dachshund weathervane is one of our best sellers, and rightly so; I love how his ear is blowing in the wind! They are an increasingly popular breed these days, and this weathervane makes a great gift for any owner. The Border Collie weathervane is probably my personal favourite, as we have a nearly year old Collie so we may be a little biased. I love this design as it’s so easy to personalise – customers can email us a photo of their dog, and we can alter the weathervane to match the white markings on their collie, to be either cut out or painted.

I enjoyed designing the Labrador and Jack Russell weathervane as it was actually quite a challenge getting the stance of both dogs right while keeping the shape distinctive of breed characteristics. It’s a really fun one as it shows off the personality of both breeds, especially the determination of the little Terrier! The Flat Coated Retriever weathervane has made this list as they are such lovely friendly dogs, and I think this design shows off their happy personality and love of life. I think it’s fantastic that we have produced a range of dog weathervane designs that are not just flat side profiles, but action shots that show a moment in the dogs life, reflecting each individual personality and what they love to do. In this way we can create a bespoke, personalised weathervane based on any breed, or breeds, of dog to suit an individual customer’s idea. An amazing personalised gift for a dog lover!

Giraffe Weathervane

giraffe weathervane photoThis bespoke weathervane depicts a typically African scene. The design depicts a Giraffe seeking shade under an Acacia tree, reaching down to take a drink. The weathervane is based on a house sign design we produced for the same customer last year. The house name is Kisima, which means ‘watering hole’ in Swahili. The house has a well, and our customer says she loves to feed and water friends and family, so this weathervane represents that – a great idea for a personalised design.

Due to the relatively large surface area at the top of the Acacia tree combined with the thin trunk, we’ve welded a support rod from the base of the tree to where the branches split off. This supports the trunk, which could be quite vulnerable without it.

Bespoke Weathervane Design

weathervane photo photo of gilding weathervane photoWe were recently asked to produce a weathervane design based on our customer’s two little girls and their Lurcher dog. She said in her initaly email that the children and their dog are very fond of each other, and she wanted to commemorate their wonderful relationship. She had provided a decent side on view of Harry the dog, so this part of the design was fairly straightforward, with only a minor alteration to his tail needed. Drawing the two girls was a little more complex, though she was able to give a good description as to what she wanted the image to look like, which helped, and some photos of the children gave me a clear idea as to how they dress, their hair and their size in relation to each other. It was just getting their positioning and interaction with each other, and with Harry the Lurcher looking right that was challenging; having their dresses hanging naturally and their arms at an angle that appears normal is more challenging than you might think when there is no photo to copy! The most difficult part was drawing their curly hair; I needed to make it obviously wavy as it’s quite distinctive of them, but in silhouette form it was difficult to make it work without looking like a tangled mess!

The customer had selected the Celtic style arrow and scrolls under the cardinal points, see photo above. She’d also chosen the gilded letters option; there’s an image above showing the end of this process where I’m brushing off the excess gold leaf with a very fine paintbrush. Finally a great photo of the weathervane insitu at the top of this post; timing was very important as the family had scaffolding up while some work was being carried out at their property so they needed the weathervane delivered before it came down, which we did manage to do in the end. A truly unique and personalised weathervane design, and a wonderful way to celebrate a happy memory of two young children and their pet dog.

Austin 7 Ulster Weathervane

car weathervane photoA fantastic photo sent in by a customer this week, the angle is perfect as you get a great view of the laser cut design as well as the cardinal points! We designed this Austin 7 Ulster weathervane based on images he provided, and he is delighted with the results. We’ve actually produced several different Austin 7 weathervanes now, (you can read about the others in this blog post we wrote last month) so were pleased to add this 1930s two seater sports car to the range. In his email our customer commented on the quality of our work, which makes all the effort worthwhile as we do take a lot of pride in doing beautiful little TIG welds!

“I also wanted to comment on the quality of the welding and overall finish.   At one time I used to manage a fabrication shop and, although they were certainly functional, not that many of the welders could manage to achieve such visually good welds as those on the wind vane.”

Dancers Weathervane

Dancers Weathervane ImageA great photo we’ve just received from a customer showing our Rock n roll dancers weathervane insitu. They had seen our Charleston weathervane online, and contacted us to see if we could make some changes, which as usual we were happy to do at no extra cost. These are the only two dancing themed weathervanes we’ve created so far, but would love to extend our portfolio on this theme! It would make a great personalised gift for anyone who shares this hobby, as we can create a design based on any style of dance.

Bespoke Welsh Weathervane

Weathervane photoWe created this bespoke weathervane in time for St Davids day last year. Our customer commissioned the design for her tenth wedding anniversary; they were married on the Welsh saints day so wanted the weathervane design to reflect this. She asked us to keep the design fairly simple as her husband does not like anything with too much fuss.

I couldn’t imagine a bunch of Daffodils welded to the weeathervane sail working particularly well aesthetically; plus done this way a lot of the design might have ended up with weak points due to thin stems and large flower heads. So we felt a banner style weathervane would work best in this case, as a simple Daffodil motif could be cut from the sail. With this style of weathervane we often use hand forged scrollwork for a traditional look, but in this case we felt that this would make the design too ornate as simplicity had been specified. We’re really happy with the result, and fantastic to see such a great photo of the finished piece in situ.

When the time came to dispatch this weathervane last year, we were in the middle of a massive snowstorm and everything, especially courier services, had ground to a halt. Timing had been fairly tight on this bespoke design anyway, and we needed to meet the deadline of St David’s day. We did consider driving it down to our customer ouselves as I think she’s only about an hour or so from Manchester, but thankfully the following day the weather had eased off a little and the courier was able to deliver in time!

Motorbike Weathervanes

 

We just thought we would write a post about a couple of the new designs we have done as bespoke weathervanes for customers.  These two motorcycle designs are a nice contrast, with the simplicity of the Panther M100 and the VFR800, with its fully faired wind tunnel design.  While we have created both of these designs for weathervanes, now we have done the design work we could incorporate them into a sign or even a hanging basket bracket!  Generally getting a design done based on a vintage bike is much easier than more modern faired bikes as, with all their components exposed, there is much more definition in silhouette.  The key with the VFR was picking out the distinctive lines without making it look like there are holes in the bike!

Motorbike weathervane image

The Panther model 100 has become a popular choice as a classic bike, with the very characteristics which made it less desirable when new really lending themselves towards making a great classic bike.  While its long stroke 600cc single cylinder was not as ‘exciting’ as some of the multi cylinder bikes of the same era its lazy characteristics, along with reliable overhead valves makes it the perfect choice for bumbling along country lanes.  Besides there are plenty of more modern machines out there for those that want something a little more lively.  The M100 was in production from 1932-1967, with the earlier bikes (like this one) having a rigid frame, so no suspension on the rear!

motorcycle weathervane

The VFR800 we based this weathervane on is very much at the other end of the scale in terms of performance, though it is very popular as a touring bike.  The Honda V4 engines fitted to the VFR has (other than very early on when ‘chocolate cams’ was an issue) a legendary reputation for reliability and has great performance and a very distinctive engine note.  This particular model was the first 800, where the change was made from carbs to fuel injection, along with having radiators mounted on both sides, rather than the previous 750 models, completely changing the style of the bike.  Unlike the Panther the VFRs were recognised as classics from the off, winning countless accolades as bike of the year and proving the perfect balance between performance and comfort.

Despite these bikes representing different ends of the motorcycle spectrum they are both bikes I would love to have in my garage, though in terms of the Honda I do have a soft spot for the last VFR750 built from 1994-1997… fingers crossed someone will ask us to make a sign or weathervane based on one soon!

 

Metalcraft Photo of the Year 2018

Yes, somehow it’s April already and we are only just getting round to choosing our photo of the year from 2018. We had so many photos of our weathervanes and signs sent in last year, making the decision all the more difficult! Here are some of our favourites. There is so much variety in them, which is fantastic to see. The weathervanes always look great with a bright blue sky behind them as they stand out so well and show off the often intricate laser cut design work, however we also love the amazing wintery scene of the Crows weathervane. And what a beautiful sunset shown highlighting our sheep and collie farm sign! Many of these signs and weathervanes are bespoke designs; the four witches springs to mind as being one that we are particularly proud of, largely because it was so challenging but the amount of work we put into it is reflected in the sucess of the totally unique, personalised and fun design. It’s also great to see some of our popular designs featuring, such as the crows weathervane and the sheep and collie farm sign. A very tough call!Farm Sign Photo Weathervane photos weathervane photos

Fell Pony and Spaniel Weathervane

Weathervane ImageA bespoke weathervane we designed and manufactured to the customer’s specification at the end of last year. It’s a really personalised design as it features two of her pets; a Fell Pony and cocker spaniel. We’ve produced plenty of different Spaniel weathervanes so that part of the design was pretty well there – I think I just altered the dog’s tail slightly to match her spaniel. The Fell Pony took a little more work as I couldn’t find a good quality image from the right angle, so this part of the design went back and forth a few times via email in terms of getting the muscular build (they are a fairly tough, working breed originating in the fells of Cumbria) just right. We also made a few alterations to depict the shaggy mane and forelock, so it’s a really distinctive silhouette -as always at this point we were happy to be guided by the customer, as she knew exactly how she wanted it to look. We love the end result; it’s great that the design is so personal to our customer.