Some recent photos from the workshop, showing the process of cutting welding, forging & painting the component parts of a swinging sign. Hoping to get an ‘insitu’ photo of this one over the next few weeks…
Here’s a swinging pub sign we produced just before Christmas, for an Inn in Hampshire. The name is based on the story of King William II of England, also known as William Rufus. He had organised a hunting trip in the New Forest, Hampshire, and among the party was Sir Walter Tyrrell. At some point, Walter Tyrrell became split up from the group and accidently shot the King in the chest, while aiming for a Stag. He panicked and fled to France, as you probably would at this point. So the design of the sign is based on this story – it was an interesting project to create an image that depicts a whole story. And from what I can remember I was doing this one at about midnight as it was a really last minute order that we needed to get out before Christmas, so delighted it has turned out so well! It hangs from one of our traditional style swinging sign brackets with a scroll.
Another challenge here was matching the text to the writing on a commemorative stone placed on the spot where King William died in the New Forest; the customer wanted it to be in keeping with this style.
Love these photos of a swinging sign we made over summer! We met the customer at a show in Shropshire back in July – they admired our Black Fox swinging sign and asked us to produce something similar using an image of their dog, a Viszla called Tink. So this is the photo they sent – was actually quite tricky to work from as you can only really see three of her legs so had to be quite creative when drawing this one out. The cut outs below the text are Woodcocks; again the customer supplied the image to work from as they had a really clear idea of what they wanted. I think it was just a photo of part of a painting they had seen. We thought the cut outs were a really nice idea – we hadn’t done this before, but have used it in several farm signs since ( but with sheep not birds ). Its nice to be able to produce something so personal to the customer – they have emailed since to say how pleased they are with their sign so well worth all the time doing design work to get it just right!
We’re always surprised by how popular this design has become, both as a weathervane and a sign – thought it was very much a one off commission at the time of doing the original design. Looks great here as a swinging sign, I think the mounds of earth either side of the digger gives it a bit of context and brings the design to life. So a very contemporary design for a traditional style of swinging sign.
Here’s the finished sign we did for the Italian restaurant in Cheshire! We went to drop it off last week and they had already concreted the 15 ft pole into the ground, which looks fantastic and importantly feels very secure. The restaurant name means ‘The Old Village’, a look that I have tried to put forward in the design. The church is actually based on a photo I took of St George’s church in Poynton, and I’ve tried to add a slightly mediterranean feel with the little hamlet on the left. The grape leaf and vine design at the top came from the customers initial idea of having a bottle of wine and two glasses; we think this is much more subtle and adds a really nice decorative element to the sign. ( The focus of the design changed when the customers came to see us, and I was in the middle of painting our ‘Oast House’ swinging sign ). Looking forward to seeing this pub style sign in situ, I think it will really suit the village feel of the street the restaurant is on.
Our first export to Japan! This sign is for a bakery in the centre of Tokyo, selling traditional English baked goods like Eccles cakes and Battenburg.. The design is based on the company’s logo, though I had to make a few minor alterations to make it work as a laser cut profile. Putting the Battenburg logo in a circle came from our Wolf swinging sign, where the wolf is howling into a background of a full moon. Despite quite a contemporary design, this sign looks great with its traditional scroll bracket.
A couple of photos from the workshop at the end of last week.. We’ve almost finished doing a couple of jobs for an Italian restaurant in Poynton, Cheshire, a relatively local one which is nice. The photo at the top shows a frame we made for a wine glass chandelier, the three rings are made from 5 mm thick flat bar, and there are a total of 46 clips screwed on the outside, where the wine glasses will be mounted. The little clips had a bright shiny zinc coating, which we had to spend hours burning off in order to get the finish we wanted, so massively underestimated how long this job would take! The customer plans to mount this chandelier in the bar area of their restaurant, and use a variety of different coloured wine glasses for the lights to shine through.
The second photo shows the main sign for the restaurant in progress.. the pole is 15 ft high, which meant we had to produce an emergency roof rack for the van, and also find a different powder coater, as it wouldn’t fit in the normal powder coater’s oven. Two foot of this will eventually be dug into the ground outside the restaurant, and there needs to be 7 ft clearance at the bottom of the scrollwork to allow for tall people. So it ended up being pretty huge! I’m currently in the middle of painting the text ‘Il Borgo Antico’, meaning ‘The Old Village’. Its looking fantastic, and can’t wait to see it up. Will post a picture of the finished piece next week..
The fist car design we did and still one of the most popular – this photo of a Morgan weathervane was sent in earlier this week. A reasonably quiet week orders wise, we have had chance to book a few shows for summer, and start sorting our display out. Really looking forward to getting out there again, and hoping for some good weather!
Just about to pick up the latest batch of finished products from the powdercoaters, including a witch weathervane, something we’ve been meaning to design for ages so were delighted when a customer contacted us to commission one. There’s also a swinging sign with a design based around an Oast house, so will most likely be painting it this afternoon.
We’ve done a few signs and weathervanes based on customer’s business logos, that we can’t sell online as they are not our designs. Here’s the latest, for a Cattery in Exeter. It was a challenge curving the bar to follow the exact shape of the design, but I think well worth the effort for the end result. It makes a nice change to have the design as a part of the bracket and the name hanging underneath too, very simple but effective.
Here’s a prototype for a fire poker we’ve been working on this week.. the tight scroll is made from 12 mm round bar and fits perfectly in the hand so is ideal for its purpose. Its amazing how long a chunk of metal that size holds its heat!
Other than that we’ve been working on several bespoke swinging signs, all of which are being electroplated now. Hoping to get them back tomorrow so I can start painting the text on. Really look forward to seeing them finished and getting the new designs online! We’re also working on some large scale floral art stands for a wedding at the end of next week; they are nearly 2 metres high and will sit on the dinner tables, with strings of crystals and a floral display attached. We’re only doing a basic frame for them so would love to see photos of the finished pieces.