Fox and Badger Weathervane

Fox & Badger Wv

Here is our Fox and Badger Weathervane.  We’re really happy with how well the badger silhouette has worked and as with many of our more nature inspired pieces we have added some ferns and grasses, which we think really adds to the feel of the design.

This design can also be used on swinging farm signs, wall mounted house name plates and sets of forged hooks.

This weathervane is photographed with gold leaf on the Cardinal points, which really works well with the more traditional designs like this and, as gold does not lose its shine, should remain bright and untarnished for many years.


Dachshund Weathervane

dachshund weathervane
We took this photo of our Dachshund weathervane on a regular customer’s garage today, looking great against the light blue autumn sky. It’s probably the most popular of our range of Dog weathervanes, and would make an amazing gift for any Dachshund owner. I’ve gilded the letter bars in 23.5 carat gold leaf which is a really special touch; when the sunlight hits it directly it glistens beautifully.

For more information and to purchase this weathervane, check out the Dachshund Weathervane Page. We are more than happy to make alterations to the design, for example we’d love to add a wire haired Dachshund weathervane, sign and set of hooks to our range!

Initially we drew the Dachshund with his ear down, but a customer asked if we could make it look like it is blowing in the wind, and we’re really happy with the result as it’s very appropriate for a weathervane. The ear is still down in our house name or number sign design though.Dachshund Sign Photo


Bespoke Cattery Swinging Sign

We’ve just produced a large scale bespoke swinging sign for a Cattery in south wales. When the owner of the business contacted us, he sent an image of the Cattery logo as a basis for the design. Initially we weren’t at all sure how to approach this as it’s far more of a contemporary design than the style I naturally seem to draw in. Because the use of colour is part of what makes it such an effective piece of graphic design (something that we would not be able to replicate without painting it by hand, which due to the time it would take would make the sign prohibitively expensive), we did not know how sucessful it would be as a black and white silhouette. We tried a number of different ways of showing the interlocking circles but none seemed quite right, until we highlighted the edge of each shape; quite simple really but it took ages to get there!logo graphicThe photo below shows the business sign and it’s frame in our workshop; at this stage most of the welding work had been done, here we were just making sure the sign links fitted together nicely so the sign would hang straight. The bottom of the frame fixing does nearly touch the ceiling of the workshop! The frame is made from 60x60mm box section, so really chunky and heavy duty which adds to the high quality of the sign. It’s absolutely huge so will definitely stand out and be noticed.Workshop welding photoAs with most of our hanging signs, the text is painted by hand to the customer’s specification. I’ve copied the text from the Cattery business logo, I really like painting Italic style fonts as the brush flows really nicely plus its good to have a change from the standard ‘Times New Roman’ every now and again. This photo shows the text at the primer stage – after this two coats of Ivory cream were applied to finish it.Signwriting PhotoThe customer is delighted with both the finished result and the process of working with us to create his bespoke business sign, which is fantastic to hear:
“I just wanted to let you know how absolutely delighted we are with the sign.
Throughout the process you guys have been an absolute pleasure to deal with …… your advice and patience during the design phase was appreciated, the sign itself has surpassed all expectations, it is stunning and is a reflection of true craftsmanship. I hope that Blackfox Metalcraft continues to be as successful as it deserves to be. Thanks again.”

Blacksmiths Swinging Sign

Bespoke Sign photo

This photo shows another example of a swinging sign being customised to reflect the former use of a customer’s home. Initially, I had wanted to show a small selection of tools such as hammers and tongs hanging in the workshop scene. This had to be left out in the end because when I drew them as if in the background, they were too tiny and delicate, but when I tried to draw them larger as if in the foreground, they looked disproportionally huge in comparison to the Blacksmith, so would not work either way. We love this photo of ‘The Forge’ insitu; this is what the customer had to say about it:

‘Finding Black Fox Metalcraft on line  I approached for a bespoke sign and forwarded a design to Jenny. The draft she came back with was a perfect solution to our description. Jenny kept us informed all the way and the quality of her work was exceptional. Delivery was within the stated time scale.

I have no hesitation in recommending anyone for the quality and craftsmanship from Black Fox Metalcraft.’

After all the hard work that goes into designing and producing a swinging sign, it’s fantastic to have happy customers at the end of the day!

Boat Weathervane

Boat Weathervane ImageA bespoke weathervane we’ve recently designed; based on a Norfolk Wherry boat! These distinctive boats were designed for carrying passengers and small cargoes around the broads in Norfolk and Suffolk. We did a lot of work in making the shape of the sail exactly as the customer imagined it, and she’s just sent in this photo of the weathervane insitu. Looks great!

Have a look at the link below to see our ever expanding range of Boat Weathervanes, and if you have a design idea you’d like to discuss please contact us on 0161 681 4293 – remember there is no charge for design work and these can all be painted by hand in full colour if required.



Gifts for Gardeners

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.

Photo of garden shears hooks

Garden Shears Hooks

Gardener weathervane image

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.

Obelisk WeathervaneAnd 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!

Village Sign

Allington Sign imageHere’s a large village sign we recently produced for Allington, Lincolnshire. The parish council ran a competition to design a sign for the village, and the winning image was sent to us in sketch form. The final piece is pretty true to the original drawing – I made a couple of alterations to add strength in a few places, and also altered the perspective of the well to suit the scene better, but other than that is very much as it was. The design includes various well known local sights such as the old salt well and manor house. The path and walker depicted represents the Viking way, which used to run through the village, and the plant in the foreground is a Teasel, a large thistle that is plentiful in the area. Is great to see a design go from a rough sketch on a piece of paper all the way through to a finished sign like this!

Bespoke Farm Sign

Farm Sign image Bespoke Farm SignA bespoke Farm Sign we designed and made last summer. The brief for the design was to include Swallows, wildflowers and a pond, to reflect the customer’s garden. Drawing the individual Swallows and wildflowers, including Cranesbill Geranium and Oxeye Daisy was straightforward enough, but working out how to show a pond as part of a black silhouette image was far more of a challenge… In the end, I reflected the flower pattern across the diagonal, as if shown in reflection, so the water idea is more of a subtle suggestion rather than literally being pictured. We love how this design has turned out.

The other challenge with producing this bespoke sign was the bracket. It is an unusual one because it is fixed into the dry stone wall, beneath the coping stones. So its got a very unique bracket, mostly hidden from view, welded to the bottom of the sign itself. It is bolted to the wall, and the weight of the coping stones ensure it will be there for a very long time!

Thatched Cottage Sign

Another swinging sign design based on a photo of a customer’s house – a beautiful listed thatched cottage. I found the design quite challenging because the outline of a thatched roof is not a straight line, its very organic, and it was hard to draw a slightly wobbly line without making it look wonky! The rose design around the frame of the sign is based on Roses, to match the name of the cottage. We’re both really pleased with the end result, as was the customer, and it was nice to be painting in such an unusual style of text as well.Bespoke Swinging Sign Image Swinging Sign Image