Category: Blog entry

The Chimney Farm Gate

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Kennel sign installed.


A new kennel sign was needed when the rescue changed their name and logo earlier this year.  We decided to go big and install it on the gate at the entrance.


Forged rusted leaves





The sheet metal and rebar that was used to create the tree was left outside to rust before being worked. Hammering into the rust and then polishing creates the beautiful colours and textures. The mirror finish laquer reflects the light and colours throughout the day whilst the creeping rust under the laquer makes the tree change and evolve with time





Knot detail in the centre of the trunk..








 The tree stands approx 6ft tall with a branch spread of approx 6 foot. The trunk rises up from stems of forged wheat grass and stainless steel flowers.





Stainless flowers










The petals are cut by hand and then hammered into shape before being mounted onto a weld textured centre and hammered stem. The stainless gives a stunning contrast to the rust .



Horseshoe letters.









The letters are made from Horseshoes which were rusted before laquering.Best of all it makes a beautiful backdrop for the happy adoption pictures of the lucky dogs off their forever home. Amongst the leaves hides a butterfly, traditionally associated with death and rebirth, these dogs are transformed at Chimney Farm and their lives reborn into a wonderful new home full of love and happiness here in the UK.

Categories: Blog entry

Recipe for a Robin

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     Ingredients for a Robin

Steel Balls 1 large 1 small, 3 small horseshoes, 9 horseshoe nails, Round bar, Welder and cutting equipment.

Step 1 Cut the small ball down and weld onto the big ball, grind to shape.

Step 2 Cut and attach the wings. Grind to shape.

Step 3 Attach legs and weld on horseshoe nail toes. Grind to shape.

Step 4 Mark the face, Attach horseshoe nail beak and weld detail eyes.

Step 5 Place in an Acid bath, leave overnight and water in the morning .

Step 6 Using a different acid, hand paint the details you want black, cover the tummy to protect from laquer, and  spray a clear coat laquer on the rest of the Robin. The breast is not laquered to allow it to continue rusting to provide a contrast to the rest of the Robin. The Robin is available on a stand or on a spike for the garden.

Robins available to post.

Step 1 Robin bodies.

Step 2 Attach wings.

Step 3 Legs 11

Step 4 Add features

Step 5 Designer rust.

Step 6 paint black detail


On a spike

Stand alone

Boxed up ready to post.

Categories: Blog entry

Horseshoe to Sculpture-the process.

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We have an amazing community of people collecting horseshoes for us so that we can raise funds to help the dogs at Chimney Farm. The horseshoes come to us straight from the horse, dirty, smelly, full of nails, often rusty and with the grooves impacted.

 Rusty shoes arrive ready for cleaning.

We start by removing the nails, which can be tricky if they are very bent, saving them for works like the Cock Robin. Then the grooves are cleaned out with a hammer and chisel and the shoe is given a quick wire brush by hand. Shoes are then sorted into pairs, different sizes, stud holes, particular patterns etc. Sometimes we leave the tabs on and sometimes we need to cut the tabs off depending on what is being made.

Some pieces require a wire frame guide.

A wire framed guide sculpture is made before we go into horseshoes. We had so much interest in the wire work that we have added it to Horseshoes4Hounds.  We cut and weld the shoes together using angles and patterns to achieve shape, form and texture, particular attention is paid to lining the grooves up and using stud holes at certain points to add interest. Its amazing the different sizes,shapes and patterns on the shoes were given, but that’s another post. At this stage the sculpture looks clean and shiny. It isn’t. Frustratingly they will rust. Keeping the work indoors and giving it a regular oiling or waxing will help keep the rust at bay but as these are used shoes they are heavily contaminated nature will take its course. A quality laquer will slow the process for a garden piece but it will rust very slowly underneath. The growing rust is a fascinating changing landscape making the piece look like a bronze in the sunlight.

Ingredients for a Robin

Making a Cockerel

Acid which turns rust black is used for details like eyes.

We use acid to speed up the rusting process if we want to force the rust for a piece. Finished sculpture enjoy an acid bath which is left to dry and then watered before bed. Its always exciting in the morning to look out the window and see what colours and patterns we have got. The process is totally unpredictable and the results often stunning. Details like eyes and legs can be turned black using a different acid. Some work is left natural, some we laquer (because it enhances the finished  work, or like the Robin to provide a contrast. The Robins red breast is not laquered so will rust differently to rest getting redder and redder over time.)

Stunning in the garden.                                                                     Some pieces are forged.


     Grinding to shape.                               Bending the Cheshire Rabbit ears.       Lifelike-Slinky Fox.

A variety of techniques are used to get detail into the finished artwork. Weld is added to create detail and texture or added and ground back to soften joins and edges. We use heat to bend and shape shoes. Its a long, time consuming process but attention to detail gives the bird or animal a life and personality all of its own.

It’s also a very dirty job.

                Find out more about Chimney Farm here

Categories: Blog entry