A customer recently sent us a photo of their Oast house, and asked for a bespoke hanging sign design to be based on the building. Initially they had wanted a ‘front on’ view, but due to some large trees in the way, it was not possible to get a photo from this angle. I tried to draw the property from this angle using my imagination & details I could see, but in the end felt this corner view would be far more effective, which the customer agreed with. The decorative design around the top of the sign is based on Hop leaves and flowers, hinting at the building’s history, and we’ve laser cut two boxing hares from the plate to match a metal profile that sits on the cowl, but was to small to be cut as part of the house itself – a really personalised touch. It’s the second Oast House hanging sign we’ve produced, the first being quite a bit larger than this but with the cowls removed from the two conical roofs. It’s being electroplated today, & am looking forward to painting the text & getting it finished next week.
Last week we designed and forged this boot scraper from 12 mm round bar. It’s long legs are designed to go at least a foot into the ground, therefore keeping it sturdy when in use. Each leg is welded to a piece of flat bar with a sharpened top edge. It was a little difficult making the two legs match, but pretty happy with how this has turned out. Not at all bad for something I drew in chalk on the workshop floor! This piece could easily be personalised; the central flat bar could be laser cut with any bespoke design as long as it’s still strong enough to be used, and any name or word could be punched into the metal when hot.
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..
Here’s some photos of us at work, taken by our friends at Boka Print last week. There’s loads more on their facebook page, please check it out and give them a ‘like’! Photos here I think show us discussing the balancing of a Dragon weathervane, me welding it together, and Phiz plasma cutting the plate for a Cat & Bird house number.
This is what we’ve been making over the last couple of days! All going to be electroplated & powder coated tomorrow. Several new designs for weathervanes and house signs which is really exciting – can’t wait to get them all back next week. At least 5 of them need hand painting, along with the wedding sign post and Morgan weathervane so will be a busy week again! But thankfully it is largely work I can do at home and keep warm – the workshop has been unbelievably cold the last few days.
I love our Alsation house sign, ordered at a craft fair in Cheshire. We’re thinking about offering a range of ‘Beware of the Dog’ signs starting with this design. I think the most unusual product we’ve made is the rectangular Art Nouveau house name sign with an MGB GT welded on top. When the customer requested this bespoke design I was a little unsure as to how it would look but surprisingly works really well.
Another article telling the Black Fox story was featured in the Oldham chronicle last week.
The photo was taken in our showroom, and features our fox weathervane, and in the background our Aston Martin and Austin Healey 3000 weathervanes.
And here is a photo taken in our workshop – that’s me MIG welding.
Here’s a link to another article about the story behind Black Fox Metalcraft, this time in the Warrington Guardian. A really nice article! We’ve had a long and busy day today – made a cockerel weathervane for a customer in Bristol, started work on a bespoke flower arranging stand, designed a gothic hanging basket bracket after an enquiry through our website, and also started work on the products for our stand at the Trebaron garden centre.
Here’s a link to an article about Black Fox Metalcraft in today’s Manchester Evening News!
This is how we spent our weekend – welding up classic car weathervanes ready for the Tatton Park show. Here’s me enjoying a sunday afternoon bending and twisting scrolls, and above is Phiz about to weld the Morris Minor Traveller weathervane together. This was taken, along with the DB5, Austin Healey 3000 and E Type Jag weathervanes, to be electroplated and powder coated. Can’t wait to get them back later in the week!