A work in progress this week; a set of hand forged coat hooks with a personalised design. The hooks themselves are forged from 6mm round bar, using traditional blacksmithing techniques on our coal forge, while in contrast the personalised design I’ve drawn is cut using the most up to date laser technology. The bespoke design itself features our customer’s dog; she sent us several photos of him so I was able to come up with a drawing that looks exactly like him. It’s a gift for her husband who loves gardening, hence the man with spade – this was something else she had specified.
We’ve just sent out this hanging farm sign with a bespoke, personalised laser cut design. The customer emailed us photos of himself, his wife and dog, and also their house and tractor so we could try to fit them all into a bespoke design! Having clear images of the individual elements was really helpful, but still quite complex to fit everything together and get the perspective right so the house looks as though it’s in the background. In the end though we’re really happy with how it has turned out. We always welcome bespoke comissions for those who cannot find the right sign in our existing range of swinging farm signs.
A laser cut metal house sign we designed and manufactured recently. The nature of this style of sign means that they are always bespoke one off pieces, as the house name is cut in steel so there is no way of producing a standard model. We’ve produced the sign with various breeds of dog in the centre, such as this Labrador design and also Deer and other wildlife. It’s a lovely sign as it’s so well set up for being personalised – this would make a great housewarming gift. As the design is drawn on a computer, the customer was able to see it before placing her order, and make minor alterations once I had drawn the initial design, so it’s nice that they are part of the design process too. In this case, she had sent me a photo of her dog (a Labrador cross, with spectacularly big ears!) so the process was fairly straightforward.
A bespoke sign we produced recently for a thatched cottage in Hampshire. The design is based on the cottage itself, and is mounted to a wall at the entrance to a long driveway. It’s a beautiful property so enjoyed the challenge of doing the design work. What I’ve learnt about drawing thatched roofs is that even if in a photo the roof line looks straight, it’s nowhere near as straight as the line a computer will produce, so I always make sure anything with thatch is drawn by hand or it really loses it’s character. The bespoke laser cut design also features a well, which sits in the garden of the cottage; lovely that the sign is so unique and personalised to our customer’s specification. They also chose the font I’ve used; as standard we hand paint text in ‘times new roman’, but always happy to do something different when it’s asked of us.
We love the effect created by the lights behind this bespoke business sign! The piece is approx 120cm long, and the Manchester based company’s name is cut from it. I like the organic, hand drawn style of writing and the soft edges of the outer shape – I copied this on the computer using a graphics pen. The finish is a clear powder coat, which is really beautiful as it shows where the heat of the laser has lightly blued the steel when cutting the design. We’ve welded bits of steel on the back so it can be raised off the surface it’s mounted to, in order to fit the lights behind it. I think the lightbox effect works brilliantly, so is fantastic to see a photo of this bespoke piece insitu.
We’ve just produced a set of 16 of these bespoke wedding flower stands for a customer in the midlands. The 6 horseshoes are TIG welded together from the back, and supported by a 75cm length of tube. The base is cut from 5mm steel so there is a decent weight to it, keeping the stand stable. Each floral art stand will sit at the centre of a table, forming a beautiful centrepiece. We’ve also produced a slightly larger pair of these wedding stands with an extra row of four horseshoes; these will be placed either side of the entrance. These flower stands are powder coated silver.
We recently produced this bespoke business sign for a Cattery in South Wales. The design is based on the business logo – to read about how we converted the logo to this striking, contemporary sign, and see photos from our workshop of the making process, check out our earlier blog post on the link below:
The customer has just sent in these photos of the sign insitu, it looks great! The design is very bold and it really stands out from a distance too, which is so important from a business point of view in terms of potential customers noticing you, and new customers being able to find the Cattery. We wish them all the best with their new venture.
A beautiful bespoke swinging sign we’ve produce recently featuring two deer and a barn owl, in a traditional woodland scene. The customer asked us to produce this design because they have just moved into a cottage that backs onto ancient woodland, and they love watching the wildlife there. Sounds Idyllic! Due to our own passion for nature, this was a lovely design to create, we’re really proud of the finished hanging sign; the customer was delighted too.
An interesting project we’ve been working on recently is this sign for a cottage in Cornwall. It is written into the deeds of the house that this sign must remain on the front of the property above the door, and given that it has been up for many years in a coastal location, many parts of the house sign had given in to rust, and the multiple layers of paint had taken away the sharpness of the design. The image below shows a close up of the old sign.Initially the customer had asked us to restore it, but given the fragility of the sign we felt we would be unable to do it justice, so decided it would be best all round to make an exact replica. So the first job was to photograph the sign, upload it onto the computer and trace the design. This was a lot more complex than it sounds, firstly because of the level of detail in the design, and secondly because of how the layers of paint had built up over the decades, some of this detail had been lost and as a result there was a little bit of guesswork involved. But after some minor alterations pointed out by the customer, we were ready to laser cut the house sign design. We’ve used 3mm steel, which is thicker than what was used originally so this should give it a longer lifespan.
The next stage was to fabricate the wavy scrolled border. We’ve used 13x3mm flat bar, which as far as I can tell is what was used initially. Though there was nothing difficult about the shapes we needed to forge, it took a lot of trial and error getting the full length of each piece to be the exact right size to all meet in the corners. I really enjoyed this process as it involved using the oxy propane torch which we don’t often have a reason to play with! We have then drilled holes in the troughs for the rivets to fit through, plus corresponding holes in the hidden square bar frame, before welding all the pieces together and fixing the rivets in place.
Though parts of this job were fiddly and time consuming, we feel we’ve been sucessful in producing a replica that’s as close to the original as is possible. Here is the house sign all welded up and ready to be electroplated and powder coated.And the finished piece, ready for collection!
We’re really proud of this bespoke hand painted Lambretta scooter weathervane we produced back in January. It’s a wedding present for our customer’s daughter as both her and her now husband are big Lambretta fans. When our customer comissioned the weathervane, he provided us with some good quality photographs of the scooter, and also of the couple dressed in their mod style riding clothes so I had a very good idea of what the finished product needed to look like. There’s a huge amount of detail on the bike, all of which I wanted to capture! It was extremely time consuming, but as the photos I worked from were a decent quality, I was able to zoom in and copy it all. The difficulty was in putting the right clothes on the rider and pillion, and getting them in the exact right position, it genuinely did take ages but once we’ve taken on a job we always make sure it’s done to the best of our ability. A fantastic and truly personalised wedding gift, I know the customer is delighted and hope the recipients will be too.