Beauty Salon Weathervane

Weathervane Photo

Weathervane Rough IdeaHere’s a weathervane we’ve produced recently for a Beauty Salon owner, along with a description and images showing how we reached the final design.

Initially, our customer contacted us asking for a bespoke weathervane for her daughter in law, based around a ‘nail varnish emoji’. Other than this she was not specific, and was unsure as to how it would come together. But we like a design based challenge! So, my initial idea was to take aspects of the nail varnish emoji, so the close up of fingernails and the bottle of polish, and frame these in an ornate, vintage style mirror, which would form the sail for a banner weathervane. I roughly photoshopped it together for the customer and emailed it over, but she wasn’t that keen on the design. We couldn’t think of a better way to depict the emoji, so decided to abandon this route. She then sent over a clip art of two ladies having their nails done, and wondered if we could produce something similar.

So the photo above is the idea we went with; initially I had drawn more traditional looking antique chairs, but we all felt that this made the design look too formal; the customer said she was after something a little more relaxed and fun. So I drew a couple of more modern looking stools, and relaxed the posture of the two women a little, and there you have the final design! A lot of work went into this bespoke weathervane design, partly because beauty salons and nail varnish emojis are not a strong subject of ours, but I think we’ve learnt quite a lot here and have ended up with a unique design that everyone was very happy, & the finished weathervane looks very classy.

Bespoke Hand Forged Bracket

Tortoise bracket photo Scan from sketchbookA bespoke, personalised hanging basket bracket design with a Tortoise! I drew the Tortoise itself based on our Horsefield named Mr. Percy. I’ve highlighted some of the markings on his shell in the form of cutouts, and the same with his eye. I then printed several copies of this off the computer along with the basic shape of the bracket, which I’ve literally just doodled around in my sketchbook; the photo above shows an example. I felt this sketch worked pretty well, so I scanned it back into the computer to tweak and create the final design. I ended up altering it quite a bit; I felt the solid ground would be more suitable underneath the Tortoise than the plant based filigree you can see in the sketch.

The hook for the hanging basket bracket was made by hand in our coal forge, and the design cut using a nitrogen shrouded laser. It’s all TIG welded together, and the finish is a black powder coat, with a protective layer of zinc electroplate underneath.

Bespoke Business Sign

Bespoke Shop Sign PhotoWe’ve produced this bespoke business sign for a shop in central Edinburgh. All the details were specified by the customer, such as the powder coat colour to match the existing colour of the shop front, the text style and colour, and the business logo in the centre of the sign. So it’s completely personalised to match the customer’s requirements. This was all painted by hand, and the final coat of paint is just drying now, ready to be sent out this evening.

The main difficulty we had with this sign was the bracket from which the sign will hang. Because the building is listed, the bracket had to fit in with planning laws, and approval was given on the condition that no new holes were drilled in the shop front. So when manufacturing the bracket, we had to make sure the holes matched up exactly with the holes aleady there.

Bespoke Swinging Farm Sign

Farm Sign Photo Metal Bracket photoI’ve just finished painting this bespoke swinging farm sign for a farm in Cumbria. The customer asked for the sign design to include two specific breeds of Sheep, a Swaledale and a Rough Fell. We already have a Swaledale design, so I just needed to drawn the Rough Fell, which turned out to be pretty straightforward once I had found a couple of good images to base it on. I added the dry stone wall to add a bit of interest to the hanging sign, as they are a typical sight throughout Cumbria so it seemed appropriate and would complete the scene. The customer loved the idea, but asked could we replace our Swaledale with a Sheep based on her prize winning Tup. She sent over a great photo of him so was no problem at all, and the finished result is shown above. Really happy with it and I think it will look fantastic in its location – it will hang from a bracket like the one pictured above.

Border Collie & Master Weathervane

Weathervane ImageA bespoke weathervane we’ve produced in the last couple of weeks. When I sent the initial drawing over to the customer, she loved the dog straight away but asked for the man to be altered to look more like her husband (who the weathervane was a gift for). She sent a good quality image of him, so I was able to alter the build of the man, change for a more appropriate hat, and even copy the side profile of his face. It’s fantastic to be able to personalise designs down to tiny details like this! The customer was thrilled with the finished weathervane, as was the recipient. She has sent the following comments:

“I just had to let you know that my husband was thrilled to bits with his bespoke weathervane. The design was perfectly interpreted from the photo image I sent to you, which made it all the more personal.

I was very pleased with the quality of the item and with the service I received from you in the preparation of this gift.

We will, of course, send you a photo of the working weathervane once it is in position.

Once again, Jenny,  many thanks for your help.”

Hand Painted Pub Sign

Jen painting a sign photo Photo of sign being paintedPhotos of a bespoke swinging sign being painted by hand. The sign is for a pub called the Scroggy dog. When the customer contacted us, the main specification for the design is that it should include a damp looking Spaniel. I knew from experience that wet long haired dogs are difficult to draw as a silhouette because their hair is all over the place and it’s not that straightforward to pick out the actual shape of the dog! Fortunatley though, I had a photo of one of my parent’s Springers, Ozzy, that works pretty well. It was taken at the beach when he had just come out of the sea, looking very ‘scroggy’. We came up with loads of ideas as to what else to include in the image, such as a beer barrel, wellies, a fireplace etc, anything that you might find in a traditional country pub scene, but the idea that stood out for us was the dog on the bar top, with ale pumps and a traditional looking pint glass. We love the design, and are really happy with the choice of fonts too. The Italic one flows nicely and was actually very easy to hand paint, whereas the main lettering used was quite challenging because of the thin shadow lines; I had to take my time and be very accurate with it. Just waiting for this to dry now and then it can be sent out!

Bespoke Firepit

Firepit photoFirepit Image  Firepit Photo Firepit Photo Firepit Image Firepit ImageWe designed and made this bespoke firepit based on a recent trip to the Highlands of Scotland. Hexagonal in shape and cut from 4 mm thick steel, this firepit is high quality, heavy duty and built to last. The six sides each have a different laser cut design; A Stag in a pine forest, a leaping Salmon, Balblair distillery with a background of stormy skies, mountains with Highland Cows in the foreground, Eilean Donan Castle, and an Owl flying in front of a full moon with snow capped pine trees in the foreground. When the fire was lit, the dancing flames made the laser cut designs appear to change and move, really mesmerising. The finish we’ve used is high temperature barbeque paint, which can withstand 650 degrees celcius. After the first use, (a long night with a very big fire!) we cleaned the firepit and there was no damage to the paint work.

These photographs were taken on the firepit’s first outing, on the coast at Toscaig, a remote village on the Applecross peninsula, with views looking out to the island of Skye. We could produce a bespoke firepit based on any theme, and personalised to make a wonderfully unique gift.

Laser Cut Lillies Sign

Photo of laser cut Lillies signA bespoke, two layer sign laser cut from 3 mm steel. The design is based around Lily pads and flowers, with a Dragonfly central at the bottom. Both layers are powder coated black, and the detail highlighted by beign hand painted in white. We love this style of two layer sign, and are happy to re design to suit a number instead of a name. We’ve produced several varieties including Roses, vines with Swallows, and even leaf shapes that are entirely made up.

Bespoke Motorbike Weathervane

Weathervane IMageWe love this photo sent in by a customer! Partly because it’s a great photo but also because the design is so funny & unusual; was certainly a challenge designing it. Our customer had asked for a weathervane featuring a vintage Sunbeam motorcycle, and wanted the scene to show a windy day. We tried a few ideas, none of which I was entirely happy with, so we ended up adding the comedy element of the rider struggling to stay on his bike. We’ve put a lot of work into the detail of this design; for example we have tried to keep the rider’s clothing in keeping with the age of the bike, ie a flat cap, scarf and boots rather than modern safety gear and helmet. It’s great to be able to personalise a weathervane down to details like this as you end up with something truly unique.

Check out our current range of motorcycle weathervanes on the link below; we are always happy to work out bespoke designs at no extra cost. https://www.blackfoxmetalcraft.co.uk/motorcycles

Vintage motorbike on a windy day

weathervane photoOne of the more unusual weathervane designs we’ve done! The customer wanted us to create a weathervane based on a vintage Sunbeam motorcycle being ridden on a windy day. Initially we tried ideas such as trees blowing  & a signpost bending in the wind, and even a cartoon cloud physically blowing towards the motorcyclist. In the end though, we felt that that all of this took away from this very cool vintage motorbike, so decided to keep the bike and rider alone. Having the rider hunched down trying to avoid the worst of the weather didn’t seem to get the point across very clearly, so decided to add a bit of a comedy element to the design. The customer loved it so this is what we’ve gone for!