Bespoke Horse Weathervane

horses weathervane photoWe produced this weathervane based on a customer’s two Welsh Cobs a couple of years ago. I love this design, it’s great how the markings can be cut out to distinguish the pair from each other. In terms of the functionality of the weathervane there is a little bit of science there; the horse with the cut outs needs to be the one at the centre of the weathervane, and not the one at the back. This is because in order to work, there needs to be a considerably greater amount of surface area at the back in order to turn the sail into the wind; having the two horses the other way around just wouldn’t function very well.

At the end of last year we had an enquiry from a customer asking if we could produce a very similar design but based on a photo of her horses. Of course this is exactly what we like to do, so took on the challenge and she sent some good quality images over. I was a little concerned by the amount of white on the horse, as this would mean having a huge amount of steel cut out, possibly causing the design to be quite delicate. I got around this by drawing quite a thick outline, and as this horse would be in the centre of the weathervane, the force exerted on it by the wind should be minimal anyway so it should be fine. Below is the new design we created. You can check out our current range of Horse Weathervanes here, or contact us to commision a bespoke weathervane design at no additional cost. horse weathervane photo

 

Bespoke Cottage Signs

Bespoke Metal Sign Photo Bespoke metal sign Bespoke Apple tree sign photoWe recently produced these bespoke signs for a group of holiday cottages set within an Orchard. Each cottage is named after a variety of apple they produce. The customer asked for a bespoke design based on an Apple tree, but did not really have a clear idea in mind as to how she would like it to look. The challenge I faced at the design stage is that I usually like to draw things quite realistically, but in this case that would have resulted in the silhouette of a tree, with no apples being really visible, therefore not clearly an Apple tree. Being a little wary of the design looking too cartoony, as I think it can look quite childish and didn’t feel that would suit the classic black iron work, I decided to go for a sort of styalised effect that shows off the shape of the Apples. So I drew the basic shape of an Apple tree, and placed several apples of varying sizes within that outline. I then joined them all together using the leaves and swirls typical of Black Fox designs. The customer was thrilled with the result, so we went ahead with the set of signs and also a weathervane with the same design.

As with all of our house signs, these are laser cut from steel, TIG welded, electroplated to prevent rust, and finished in a durable but tradtitional looking black powder coat. The text is painted by hand using cream outdoor paint.

Bespoke Horse weathervane

horses weathervane photoWe created this bespoke weathervane to match the markings of a customer’s horse, using cut outs to show the areas of white. It’s a great way to personalise a weathervane design, and is not difficult to do if a clear photo is provided. We’re currently working on a version of this design where one of the horses has a lot more white on his coat – this makes it a little more challenging in making sure the design is strong enough with there being so much cut out. Our current range of horse weathervanes can be found here, and we are always up for the challenge of bringing a bespoke design idea to life!

Personalised Coat Hooks


coat hooks photo
blacksmithing photoA work in progress this week; a set of hand forged coat hooks with a personalised design. The hooks themselves are forged from 6mm round bar, using traditional blacksmithing techniques on our coal forge, while in contrast the personalised design I’ve drawn is cut using the most up to date laser technology. The bespoke design itself features our customer’s dog; she sent us several photos of him so I was able to come up with a drawing that looks exactly like him. It’s a gift for her husband who loves gardening, hence the man with spade – this was something else she had specified.

Check out our current range of hand forged coat hooks, and if you fancy commissioning a bespoke design feel free to contact us!

Personalised Hanging Sign

Farm Sign imageWe’ve just sent out this hanging farm sign with a bespoke, personalised laser cut design. The customer emailed us photos of himself, his wife and dog, and also their house and tractor so we could try to fit them all into a bespoke design! Having clear images of the individual elements was really helpful, but still quite complex to fit everything together and get the perspective right so the house looks as though it’s in the background. In the end though we’re really happy with how it has turned out.  We always welcome bespoke comissions for those who cannot find the right sign in our existing range of swinging farm signs.

Bespoke Metal Sign


house sign photo
A laser cut metal house sign we designed and manufactured recently. The nature of this style of sign means that they are always bespoke one off pieces, as the house name is cut in steel so there is no way of producing a standard model. We’ve produced the sign with various breeds of dog in the centre, such as this Labrador design and also Deer and other wildlife. It’s a lovely sign as it’s so well set up for being personalised – this would make a great housewarming gift. As the design is drawn on a computer, the customer was able to see it before placing her order, and make minor alterations once I had drawn the initial design, so it’s nice that they are part of the design process too. In this case, she had sent me a photo of her dog (a Labrador cross, with spectacularly big ears!) so the process was fairly straightforward.

Bespoke Cottage Sign

Bespoke metal sign photoA bespoke sign we produced recently for a thatched cottage in Hampshire. The design is based on the cottage itself, and is mounted to a wall at the entrance to a long driveway. It’s a beautiful property so enjoyed the challenge of doing the design work. What I’ve learnt about drawing thatched roofs is that even if in a photo the roof line looks straight, it’s nowhere near as straight as the line a computer will produce, so I always make sure anything with thatch is drawn by hand or it really loses it’s character. The bespoke laser cut design also features a well, which sits in the garden of the cottage; lovely that the sign is so unique and personalised to our customer’s specification. They also chose the font I’ve used; as standard we hand paint text in ‘times new roman’, but always happy to do something different when it’s asked of us.

Personalised Weathervane


weatehraven photo
A great example of a personalised weathervane, given as a birthday gift. Our customer contacted us asking if we could produce a bespoke weathervane featuring her husband and the things he loves; this included playing the guitar, fishing, walking their Border Collie, and drinking good wine.  Though we have created fishing weathervanes, border collie weathervanes and even a few with people drinking on them, at first it seemed a little challenging as to how on earth we would fit all of these seemingly quite different interests into one image, but we did it! We’re really proud of the design, especially as these are pretty well all things we enjoy ourselves so it was a fun one to draw despite initally having no idea how to go about it. The customer and the recipient were both delighted with their personalised weathervane; she even sent us a video of her husband opening the suprise gift, which was genuinely fantastic for us to see, as we never normally get to see people’s reactions to what we have designed and made for them!

Bespoke Dog Weathervane


Dog weathervane photo
We love this photo of our Labrador and Jack Russell dogs weathervane! We’ve done several variations on this doggy tug of war theme including loads of different breeds. They’re challenging to draw in comparison to designing a flat side profile of a dog, as you want to capture the movement and personality while also keeping the physical characteristics of the breed instantly recognisable. I love how the determination and stubborn nature of the little Terrier comes through here in contrast to the calm and gentle Labrador playmate! A wonderful unique gift for dog lovers that can be personalised to reflect your pets.

For more information on this weathervane, have a look at the link below:

https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/weathervanes-dogs/dogs-tug-war-weathervane.html

Art Deco Hanging Basket Brackets

Hanging Basket Metalwork PhotoWe’ve just had this photo sent in showing a pair of our Art Deco inspired hanging basket brackets, looking fantastic now it’s summer and the plants are flowering! The customer bought a set of four brackets, and asked for them to be powdercoated dark blue, which we did for only a small extra charge. The design was inspired by an Art deco sun motif, it looks like it suits this house perfectly.