A customer recently sent us a photo of their Oast house, and asked for a bespoke hanging sign design to be based on the building. Initially they had wanted a ‘front on’ view, but due to some large trees in the way, it was not possible to get a photo from this angle. I tried to draw the property from this angle using my imagination & details I could see, but in the end felt this corner view would be far more effective, which the customer agreed with. The decorative design around the top of the sign is based on Hop leaves and flowers, hinting at the building’s history, and we’ve laser cut two boxing hares from the plate to match a metal profile that sits on the cowl, but was to small to be cut as part of the house itself – a really personalised touch. It’s the second Oast House hanging sign we’ve produced, the first being quite a bit larger than this but with the cowls removed from the two conical roofs. It’s being electroplated today, & am looking forward to painting the text & getting it finished next week.
This sign was recently commissioned by a customer in Northumberland. The idea for the design came from the fact that the farm is very close to an old carriers way for lead miners to take the lead from the mines to Newcastle. When we researched images of lead carts, we realised that this would not translate particularly well into a laser cut silhouette; certainly not in a way that would be obvoius as to what the cart was supposed to be carrying anyway . The solution was to draw some old fashioned milk churns instead, as the farm had been a dairy in the past – great to be able to reference this part of it’s history.
Another 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!
A 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.
A 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!
Here are some photos of a fairly epic project that’s been nearly a year in the making. This week past couple of weeks we’ve taken a bit of a departure from our usual weathervanes and swinging farm signs, and filled the workshop with these enormous bespoke pieces of wall art. The theme for this project was ‘The Seasons’, and the sizes range from 160 cm high up to 210cm for the gate so there hasn’t been a lot of space for anything else recently!
We’re used to producing bespoke weathervanes drawings, where I’ll have to create a design based on a model of car, or breed of dog, but this project has been on a different scale altogether. The Spring mural shows a tree going from winter on the left, with all it’s branches bare, into Spring on the right of the piece, with buds, leaves and blossom developing. There’s a bird sat on a nest, and swallows returning from their winter migration. The focal point at the bottom of the piece is two star gazing Hares. The Summer mural shows an Oak tree in full bloom, with a design inspired by wildflowers around the base. Field mice, poppies and corn are also included as things associated with Summer, and the centre of the wall art depicts the legend of the Green Man. The Autumn Mural shows the leaves falling, and the full moon background suggests the nights closing in, with the Fox in the foreground as an example of a typically nocturnal animal.
The bespoke gate and side panel depict winter; a snow covered tree, the fox asleep below ground, and the whole piece decorated with snowflakes and holly. The top panel shows the phases of the moon. Phiz has done an amazing job in welding all these pieces together; it doesn’t look like it from the photos but the tolerances were actually very tight as it all needed to bolt together, and fit exactly in between the customer’s house and garage. The design work especially has taken absolutely ages, but we’re really proud of what we have created here, and it’s shown us what is possible both in terms of laser cutting and our skills in bringing a customers ideas to life. I’ve no doubt that these will look amazing on the wall in Carlisle when they are plated and powder coated, and would definitely take on another bespoke wall art project like this in the future.
And now back to the workshop where there are a large number of weathervanes and farm signs needing our attention!
Another fantastic photo sent in by a happy customer – our ‘Sheep, Collie & Shepherd Swinging Farm Sign’. Please check out our blog post from 30th August to see photos of this sign being manufactured in our workshop.
A swinging farm sign we’ve produced recently for a farm breeding Highland Cows. I love Highland Cattle so really enjoyed doing the design! The customer chose an unusual font called ‘Algerian’; we’ve never used this one before, and though it looks great and really stands out, it was a challenge to paint by hand and took a lot longer than the standard ‘Times New Roman’.
Here’s a swinging pub sign we produced just before Christmas, for an Inn in Hampshire. The name is based on the story of King William II of England, also known as William Rufus. He had organised a hunting trip in the New Forest, Hampshire, and among the party was Sir Walter Tyrrell. At some point, Walter Tyrrell became split up from the group and accidently shot the King in the chest, while aiming for a Stag. He panicked and fled to France, as you probably would at this point. So the design of the sign is based on this story – it was an interesting project to create an image that depicts a whole story. And from what I can remember I was doing this one at about midnight as it was a really last minute order that we needed to get out before Christmas, so delighted it has turned out so well! It hangs from one of our traditional style swinging sign brackets with a scroll.
Another challenge here was matching the text to the writing on a commemorative stone placed on the spot where King William died in the New Forest; the customer wanted it to be in keeping with this style.