We produced this bespoke swinging sign for a Turkey farm last year. The Turkey design was done based on the image above; I’ve picked out the lighter coloured feathers as cut outs, showing the distinctive markings of the ‘Bronze’ Turkey, and have also highlighted areas where the light is shining on the bird. We’re really pleased with how the farm sign has turned out, and absolutely love this photo sent in by our customer – a beautiful wintery scene!
This bespoke swinging sign shows a beautiful Kingfisher sat on a branch at the waters’ edge, hoping for something to eat. When the customer contacted us asking for a bespoke swinging sign for her property, ‘Kingfisher Cottage’, I was reminded straight away of a holiday cottage we stayed in a few years ago on the bank of the river Esk, where we watched four Kingfishers following a group of Otters up and down the river, obviously after some left overs. Our customer did not have a clear idea in mind as to how she wanted the swinging sign to look, so I just drew a Kingfisher in a scene as I remembered it from our holiday in the north east, with Reeds growing by the waters’ edge and branches overhanging. A really enjoyable one to do and we are delighted with the finished sign.
All of our swinging signs come with a bracket to mount to a wall, post or other suitable vertical surface. The sign is connected to its bracket using bolts fastened with nylock nuts, so it is very difficult to remove once in place.
Last year we produced a bespoke swinging sign for a village in Lincolnshire. The village had run a competition to design the sign, and a local artist won. It shows things the area is known for such as the well in the foreground, and an old manor house in the background. We especially liked the Thistle like plant in the bottom right corner – the way she had drawn it translated well into silhouette form. The design was sent to us as a sketch on a piece of paper, which I then re drew on the computer. We made a few little alterations to add strength to the design, and also improved the shape of the well to give it a bit of perspective. The village commitee were keen to keep the ‘hand drawn’ look to it, therefore did not need much input from us. We supplied the sign with a hand forged bracket, and they sourced the pole locally as it would have been difficult to deliver from Manchester.
Another great photo sent in via email showing one of our bespoke weathervanes insitu! The customer had ordered our ‘Cat chasing dogs’ weathervane, featuring a Labrador and Border Terrier, but then realised there was no extra charge for bespoke designs. So he asked if we could alter the design he’d ordered to feature his dogs; a Spaniel, Pointer and Labrador. Though I found it quite difficult to draw the specific breeds in action poses, this was a really fun one to do and I love the result as I think it shows the personality of all the animals. Fantastic to be able to personalise a weathervane in this way!
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.
Our Border Collie weathervane just about to be packaged and sent out. The customer wanted us to show some of the detail of their dog’s markings, but wasn’t too keen when I suggested cutting them out, so I have painted them instead! Looks great, and will stand out better than cut outs would. We could paint the markings of any collie if a photo is provided – a fantastic way to personalise a weathervane.
A bespoke swinging sign we sent out this week with a design to reflect the property’s history! Our customer lives on a farm in a converted barn that used to be a puppet theatre when the farm was a childrens farm, and he contacted us with a sketch showing his idea. It was very good drawing actually; it looked great on paper but there was a bit of work to do in turning the puppets into silhouettes and making the design function in laser cut steel. I made a few minor alterations and added a couple of improvements to the design but this one is largely the customer’s work.
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.
A 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.