Metalcraft Photo of the Year 2018

Yes, somehow it’s April already and we are only just getting round to choosing our photo of the year from 2018. We had so many photos of our weathervanes and signs sent in last year, making the decision all the more difficult! Here are some of our favourites. There is so much variety in them, which is fantastic to see. The weathervanes always look great with a bright blue sky behind them as they stand out so well and show off the often intricate laser cut design work, however we also love the amazing wintery scene of the Crows weathervane. And what a beautiful sunset shown highlighting our sheep and collie farm sign! Many of these signs and weathervanes are bespoke designs; the four witches springs to mind as being one that we are particularly proud of, largely because it was so challenging but the amount of work we put into it is reflected in the sucess of the totally unique, personalised and fun design. It’s also great to see some of our popular designs featuring, such as the crows weathervane and the sheep and collie farm sign. A very tough call!Farm Sign Photo Weathervane photos weathervane photos

Bespoke Hanging Sign

Swinging sign photo swinging sign photoWe’ve just had these excellent photos emailed in by a customer showing their bespoke hanging sign in situ outside their home in Cheshire. We wrote about the design of this swinging sign on a previous blog post (click here to read it) as it features the family’s pet pygmy goats and Labrador. We absolutely love the photos, especially with the colour of the sunset in the background. The design of the bracket was also a custom creation, as it needed to mount to the top of a large gate post, and be strong enough to support the weight of the chunky sign while also having a traditional look and feel to it. We’re really happy with how this project has turned out, as is the customer!

Bespoke Hanging Farm Sign

Workshop photoWe finished welding this bespoke swinging sign yesterday. The design shows two Pygmy goats and a Labrador, the customer’s pets. I’ve tried to show the goats in quite a playful light, reflecting their curious and mischievious personalities, so one has climbed onto a tree stump and the other looks up to him in an inquisitive manner. The Labrador is watching over them, as usual fascinated by what his two companions are up to. It’s great to be able to personalise a hanging sign design to this extent; as well as getting the look of the animals right, from speaking to our customers we can also get an insight into how their animals interact with each other, and allow that to inform the design.

As the sign will be mounted to the top of a chunky gatepost rather than a wall or the side of a post, we’ve produced a different bracket to our standard. We’ve used 50x50mm box section for the vertical, and 30x30mm for the horizonatal bar, so is very sturdy and built to last. The hand forged scroll on top adds to the traditional look of this bespoke hanging farm sign.

Bespoke Swinging Farm Sign

Bepsoke Sign photoA great photo of a bespoke swinging sign we produced for ‘Black Rock Farm’. When the customer initially approached us with their design idea, I wasn’t sure how well a large rock would work in silhouette form. I drew some jagged shapes which have worked well as cut outs, highlighting where light hits the rock face, which actually has turned out to be very effective. Rather than having the bracket mounting to the side of the post, as with most of our swinging signs, we suggested having the sign hanging within a frame on top of the post, as the customer had mentioned the location being on the side of a busy main road, and with a large hedge in the background. We felt this different style of hanging bracket would give the sign the extra height it needed to be noticed.

Swinging Sign for Cattery

Photo of cattery signJust got this great photo emailed through showing a swinging sign we recently produced for a Cattery. The intricate design, cut in chunky 5mm steel, features two cats stood in a patch of ferns. Beneath the bracket, following the curve of the oval, there’s also a laser cut design inspired by British wildflowers. With the curved plate, it’s a little more tricky to get it hanging straight when we weld the links on, but worth the extra bit of effort to produce something so unique. The customer was delighted, and has sent us this photo of the sign taking pride of place outside their cattery.

Bespoke Farm Sign

Photo of TurkeyTurkey Farm Sign PhotoWe 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!

Bespoke Swinging Sign Kingfisher Design

Kingfisher sign photo Kingfisher sign photoThis 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.

Bespoke Village Hanging Sign

Village sign photo Swinging Sign imageLast 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.

Bespoke Swinging Sign

Swinging Sign PhotoA 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.

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.