We 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.
A Basset Hound weathervane we designed and manufactured at the end of last year. As our designs go, this one was reasonably straightforward as the dog is standing in side profile, though at the research stage we needed to look into specifics of the breed standard to make sure everything was exactly right. After showing the design to the customer we made a few tweaks to get the angle of the tail correct, but other than that we were ready to go with it. This bespoke weathervane was produced for a customer who’s Basset Hound had recently passed away; it’s nice that he is now looking down on the family and makes a lovely tribute to a much missed pet.
We designed and produced loads of bespoke weathervanes in the run up to Christmas, so thought we’d write a post showing the process involved in welding the sail. Firstly the bar is cut to size for the weathervane sail and cleaned with the angle grinder, removing any mildscale and dirt that could contaminate the weld. The customer had chosen the Celtic arrow, so this is clamped to the bench along with the bar, making sure they are straight and in line with each other.Once TIG welded on all four sides, the arrow and bar can be left to cool, which in our freezing cold workshop does not take long in December! The Irish Terrier profile is cleaned to remove any burrs from the cutting process, as is the top of the bar where the profile will be welded. This is then clamped tightly to the bench to ensure it is straight; if it’s leaning to one side the wind will catch the sail & just spin continuously rather than pointing into the wind as it should. Both sides of this are TIG welded.Once cool, we need to find the balance point on the weathervane sail. Because the arrow is cut from much thicker steel than the Irish Terrier profile, this point is usually somewhere in the centre, though it’s important to be precise or the weathervane won’t function correctly. This point is marked with chalk, and the mildscale cleaned off.A length of tube is now cut to size, and both ends cleaned to remove burrs and any grease or dirt, and finally a light sanding smooths off any grinder marks.The tube needs to be welded on at exactly 90 degrees, so we use a magnet to hold this angle while it is tacked in place. A set square is used to keep checking the angle as metal has an annoying tendency to pull one way or another as it heats and cools! It also needs to be straight in the other direction so it’s in line with the Irish Terrier profile, otherwise it would lean to one side when mounted & therefore not catch the wind properly. The photo below shows the weathervane sail welded completely, and ready to be zinc electroplated & powdercoated with whichever fixing and letter bar option the customer has chosen.