Saturday, 23 November 2013

On your Bike!

Our newest weathervane, created for Oxford University's  Harris Manchester College, is one of our most elaborate weathervanes to date. Originally the architect's drawings for the tower indicated only a large simple arrow, but clearly something with more character was in order. Oxford is home to the wonderful Elephant weathervane on Broad arrow was not enough. The concept had been upgraded to a bicycle by the time Greens Weathervanes got involved, but there were issues with surface area. Working collaboratively with the architect & the school's Principal, this was finally amended to...a Professor riding a bicycle (inspired by the logo for "the Oxford Experience"...and by all the cycling Professors in Oxford!).

early concept design for Harris Manchester University weathervane

This vane required a complex infrastructure, and the full-scale drawing allowed an opportunity to fine tune not just the character of the cyclist, but to decide the most sympathetic way of introducing the mainshaft and create support for details like the "spoke-less" wheels and the flying gown.
laying out copper, brass & bronze elements on the full-scale drawing.
The full weathervane took just over 6 weeks to construct, and totally dominated the studio. Like our Liberty vane, we  did much of the final brazing either off a stepladder, or on our knees. The hardest part was adding the arrow at the end...maybe we will do that first next time!

Obviously, getting the figure just right was a huge focus in the latter stages, but there were some fun details along the way; creating elements like his book, shoes, cap with tassel & of course the gown.
small brass "Oxford" tag with copper rivets
"Harris Manchester College" stamped onto the chain wheel. Shoe lace detail.
The final hurdle was the photo shoot. The vane was actually too big for a photo shoot anywhere in or around the studio, so even the client had to wait until the vane arrived to see the finished product. Some pictures of  the components where emailed to tantalise them, but of course the weather took a turn for the worse in the final days, so only indoor shots were possible.
The cycling Professor!

Cardinal letters with 8 inch spun copper ball.

Luckily (as planned) the sun showed it's beautiful face en route to Oxford. We didn't want to cause an accident, but the first available lay-by proved our only choice for a few final reference shots. Ta-dah!
Full Cyclist weathervane including the book in his right hand.

...and then one for scale.

Gordon Green holds the Oxford vane assembled!

Friday, 25 October 2013

A Maker's Mark

Banner Weathervane, repaired
A break in the clouds allowed a last shot of the repaired copper weathervane. The copper rivets, used to restore the pointer to it's original position, can clearly be seen.

Brass plate with hand-hammered copper rivets

The original signature on the antique weathervane for the local church was probably the nicest "find". We stamp all our work with "GREEN" and the date and number (if the design has been repeated). In the case of the repair above (note the original patina on the copper...beautiful!) Gordon stamped his initials and "2013". Loving the hand-hammered copper rivets, allowing the repair to be undertaken without the use of the torches. I assume the original maker's mark is from 1880, but what if it's 1720!
Original Maker's Mark:

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Elephant in the room

New! Elephant Weathervane
Our newest copper weathervane is just complete; a young elephant playing ball. The design was created with lots of input from the client as a special 80th birthday present to her husband.

Also in the studio is the banner weathervane from our village church, needing some attention. The oak timber which had been holding the heavy wrought iron mainshaft, had rotted out leaving the vane to list. Once a weathervane is no longer plumb, the wind can do considerable damage. Luckily the parish raised the money for scaffold and the banner was saved. This antique copper weathervane, which has a beautiful verde gris, has been repaired a few times over the years, giving it a great deal of history, and should probably have been retired and displayed for all to enjoy, a replica produced to go up on the church roof. In this case however the parish wished to put the original back on it's perch. The pierced inscription reads:

Sunday, 1 September 2013

as part of Herefordshire art week, GREENS is hosting 9 days of art
come see our new stable gallery,
see demonstrations & tour the studio

5pm daily, Sept. 7th – 15th
5:30 – 8 PM
drinks, nibbles & live music

Friday, 12 July 2013

Pheasant Weathervane

Copper Pheasant Weathervane

 Many of our weathervanes are commissioned as gifts to commemorate the end of a build,  a wedding, or a big birthday (as is the case with the pheasant weathervane pictured above). He's a reworking of a classic design from the portfolio, with ornately chiseled plumage and bronzed legs.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Peacock Weathervane

We were recently commissioned to remake our peacock weathervane with an upgraded mainshaft and more robust tail feathers. This new design is hot off the workbench.

Peacock Weathervane

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Themes in Art: (Modern sculpture) The Hare

 Barry Flanagan RA OBE - 'Nijinski Hare' 
Beth Cavener Stichter - Husk, stoneware based mixed media sculpture
Nouveau Lapin de Victoire (grand) by Claude Lalanne
Francois-Xavier & Claude Lalanne

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Themes in Art: Horse & Riders

Susan Halls 'Horse and Jockey', wheel thrown and altered paperclay. Raku fired with colloidal slips.

Marino Marini, b. 1901

'Lucerne' by Croatian photographer Stanko Abadžić (b. 1952). The sculpture is Svaty Vaclav (Saint Wenceslas) by Czech sculptor David Cerny. It is located at the Lucerna Palace, Switzerland.

antique copper Horse & Rider weathervane  c. 1860 by J. Howard & Co.
Sold at Sotheby's in 1990 for $770,000.

from the collection of the late Bernard M. Barenholtz

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Save that Date: Art in Action 2013

Everyone who enjoys watching artists and craftspeople at work, won't want to miss Art in Action  at Waterperry House, Oxfordshire  this year (July 18th- 21st). 

Once again we will be transporting our workshop to the Metalwork and Jewellery section of the event, and hope old clients and new will visit and watch us "in action". Both Gordon and I will be on hand to explain our techniques, talk about possible commissions, and show off new work from the studio.

Come say hello!

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Over the Moon!

Swan in Flight

We couldn't resist getting our most recent design out in the sun for a photo shoot. This swan in flight is a reworking of an earlier design from the portfolio, and will be available for purchase soon. We started this design at "Art in Action" last year, so only 6 months from start to completion! I love it in silhouette over the moon cardinals. It reminds me of the Felix Neck t-shirt I had in the 70's (did we have the bumper sticker too?)...I am sure their logo used to be a swan silhouetted over the sun. Anyone remember?

More pictures to come!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Flight of the Hare

A popular weathervane from the portfolio, this version of the stylized hare is the fifth in the series.  And it's off to new it's home in New York!

The hare is photographed over the pine trees of the Duchy of Cornwall's Guy's Estate.  These managed woodlands boast dramatic views of the Golden Valley and are home to deer and pheasant. To get this view, we pulled on our wellies and tromped over a few fields dotted with hay bales. We could still see bits of snow on the Black Mountains.

The hare measures 28 inches long, and is designed to rotate over a fixed crescent moon. The overall design measures 31 inches tall. 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Squirrel Weathervane

A few weathervanes went out just before Christmas with designs based on previous commissions. The first was based on our green woodpecker weathervane, replacing the shunya yantra with the client's house name. Then another based on the same design, instead using a grey squirrel and a pierced Canadian maple leaf. And finally a smaller version of our hovering kestrel weathervane. 

But the breaking news is our new wood stove  (installed last week).   After much research we decided on a Relax wood stove. The guy who did the flue had never seen one before and neither had we actually, until we opened the box! It is top loading and we can pack it full of large logs, offcuts and even sawdust and it pelts out heat. Brilliant. A friend has just built a rocket stove for his workshop, so it will be interesting to compare the two as winter progresses.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Artist's Bowtop Gypsy Caravan

Openlot bowtop caravan
A beautiful original wagon in lovely condition with professionally hand painted exterior.
Good wheels & tyres, and working brakes. Includes stove, large kettle box, good canvas sheet, rear window, new steps and bent shafts. Pull-out double bed with plenty of cupboard space. Has been dry stored in winter.

Reluctant sale :(

Our full advert should be  here within the next week.