This set of hand forged coat hooks features a bespoke laser cut design, created at the end of last year. The dog is based on a photo of the customer’s own working border collie, so it’s a really unique and personalised piece. Because her legs are mostly white, I was initially concerned about the design being too delicate, but with a generous black outline, the profile cut in 3 mm steel and a could of blades of grass supporting at the back, this was not an issue. We love the stance of the Border Collie as she herds the sheep; I think the design feels very life like and fluid. The hooks are forged by hand from 6mm steel bar, with decorative ‘rat’s tail’ ends to prevent clothes snagging.
Last 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.
Our treble clef hooks are forged by hand using a long length of 6mm round bar. I have no jig so each one will be slightly different, making them even more unique. I’ve flattened an area at the top, and another just above the hook part to enable two small holes to be drilled, so the hook can be securely fastened to a door or wall. We love these two photos showing the hooks in use; one in holding a violin and bow, the other keeping leads and cables for guitar amps tidy. A traditional forge finish of beeswax is used. A fantastic hand made gift for any musician!
This 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!
Often at this time of year we find ourselves starting to think about Christmas gift ideas, wanting to buy gifts that are not only unique and personal, but will be kept for many years rather than hidden away at the back of a cupboard before going in the charity shop pile. These days more and more people are moving away from mass produced imported goods, favouring the quality of craft products designed and hand made in the UK. In this blog post we’ll focus on gifts for gardeners for a wide range of budgets.
Hand forged Hooks
Almost all of us will know someone who takes a lot of pride in their shed, either on the allotment or in the garden at home. Why not go for a set of hand forged hooks – a gift that is both practical and unique. Below are photos showing examples of our reclaimed garden shears and vintage garden fork hooks – an idea which came about from clearing broken tools out of my parents allotment shed, and thinking that although they were past being used for their original purpose, it seemed such a shame for them to not be given a new lease of life! There is a link to our website where these items can be purchased below each photo.
The fantastic thing about the hooks below is the way in which they can be personalised to suit the recipient. The designs are cut by a computer guided laser, therefore it’s relatively straightforward to make minor alterations. We’ve designed a huge number of variations on this design, for example including different breeds of dog, a Cat, a lady gardening rather than a man, and also a couple. We can even change the style of their clothing if you like! The hooks are forged by hand from 6 mm round bar, with a traditional rats tail end to avoid clothing being snagged.
Hand Forged Hanging Basket Brackets
Though it’s the time of year when most gardens are dormant, it’s refreshing in the depths of winter to be able to start thinking about spring and preparing your garden for summer. Why not check out our range of stunning & unique hanging basket brackets:
As with the laser cut hooks, our weathervanes can be easily personalised and therefore make wonderful Christmas gifts for someone special. There is no charge for design ammendments, so if you have a cat rather than a dog let us know and we’ll swap it over! We offer four standard sizes, to suit buildings from the smallest garden shed right up to a mansion, with fixings made to order depending on requirements.
Our weathervanes can also be produced in miniature to sit on top of a garden obelisk; with it’s hexagonal frame and hand forged curves this piece is guarenteed to stand out.
And last but by no means least, what about a personalised shed sign? As with the weathervanes, there is no additional charge for design work, and text is painted by hand to order. Please do contact us on 0161 681 4293 to discuss your ideas. As all of our products are designed and made to order in the UK, they generally take 3 – 4 weeeks to produce, so it’s best to leave plenty of time!
We’ve just produced a bespoke branding iron for a customer who makes rifle stocks. He asked for a really simple logo to be drawn out and laser cut – he brought the sketch in on a post it note so I could draw it on the computer there and then. Once the piece had been laser cut, I forged the handle from 8 mm round bar, with a long taper to weld to the back of the tiny laser cut brand. We tested it out on an offcut of timber we had in the workshop, see above! A personalised branding iron would make a fantastic & unique gift for a woodworker of any kind.
A local fabrications company recently got in touch as they knew we have done a lot of gilding for our weathervanes. They were doing a large restoration job for a church, including all of the railings and this finial which sits on top of the spire. The finial is clearly very old; the centre part being wrought iron but a lot of the scroll work being more recent repairs done in mild steel. We collected the finial from the company once the welding work was complete, and have had it electroplated and powdercoated, before applying several layers of paint to give it a very solid, non porous base to apply the size & gold leaf to. I’ve used extra thick 23.75 carat gold leaf so it’s suitable for the exposed location it will be situated. The photo above shows me brusing off any excess gold leaf bfore the job was finished.
A stunning candelabra we forged from an old reclaimed garden fork! The wooden handle had snapped off the fork, and the prongs were incredibly rusty so had been retired from the purpose it was originally intended. I’ve bent out the prongs in 4 different directions so it stands very stable, and I’ve curved the ends around forming the start of a decorative scroll. The texture was quite pitted due to the amount of rust and dirt covering the tool; some of this has smoothed out through being hammered at a yellow heat, but we didn’t want to lose all of it as we felt it added character to the Candelabra, and reminded you of it’s original use. The finish is just natural beeswax, applied when the piece was at a black heat.
We’ve recently designed and produced a bespoke branding iron for a Canoe paddle maker. I designed the logo, and due to it’s complexity, we cut it in 3 mm steel, with a backplate welded behind it to help take some of the heat away. These paddles look fantastic (the Union Jack one is particularly impressive!) and is great to see our branding iron being so well used. We’ve just cut ourselves a branding iron based on our Fox logo; looks great but as we don’t really do any woodwork I’ve yet to brand anything with it…
Last week we designed and forged this boot scraper from 12 mm round bar. It’s long legs are designed to go at least a foot into the ground, therefore keeping it sturdy when in use. Each leg is welded to a piece of flat bar with a sharpened top edge. It was a little difficult making the two legs match, but pretty happy with how this has turned out. Not at all bad for something I drew in chalk on the workshop floor! This piece could easily be personalised; the central flat bar could be laser cut with any bespoke design as long as it’s still strong enough to be used, and any name or word could be punched into the metal when hot.