The Dragon’s Den Seal of Approval

SBS_winner
Have you ever watched Dragon’s Den?  Theo Paphitis – one of the dragons, set up something called Small Business Sunday (#SBS) on Twitter some time ago. He chooses six lucky winners every week and re-tweets them on a Monday evening to his half a million followers.

Last night our phones were going crazy with the alerts from well-wishers, in particular other winners of #SBS. Apparently there’s a special club of winners, who have a Twitter community on Tuesday evenings and we’ll also be invited down to receive an award from Theo too.

The last 12 months are certainly turning out to be amazing. We were approved by Google as a certified provider because of our great online customer service, we’ve been on the telly with DIY SOS (read the story here) and now we’ve received  very welcome recognition from one of the Dragons himself.

We’ll keep you posted online with any further developments, and we’ve been warned by other worthy winners, that this week, may be a very busy week of PR activity.

So watch this space and hopefully we’ll have some well-deserved time off to watch the Tour De Yorkshire cycle race as it passes through Wakefield on Sunday.

If you own a business and you’d like to have a go, here’s link on Theo’s website to show you how.

http://www.theopaphitissbs.com/mysbs/

 

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Keeping the kids happy with your metal creations

Monkey Bars Climbing Frame

Monkey Bars made from Key Clamp

As the weather changes and we start to think more about the great British summer, and the annual promise of that heatwave,  have you thought about making a climbing frame for the kids?

We’ve currently got 15% all our galvanised tubing and tube clamp and its as easy as putting together man sized meccano, so what are you waiting for?

Just order the sizes that you need together with all the right clamps to pull it together and you’re away.

We’ll even cut it to size for you and if you’re stuck and need some help just give our friendly team a call on 01274 875479 and we’ll do our utmost to get it to you the very next day.

We pride ourselves on our customer service, so we’ll do our utmost to make sure you’ve got everything you need, when you need it.

And of course, there’s nothing nicer than knowing you’ve made it yourself and when it’s up and the children are enjoying it, send us a photo. We love to see all your metal masterpieces and share them with our Facebook friends.


Guest blog – Design and Creativity in Metal

Forge 8Twenty five years ago in East London, while studying for a degree in psychology, I discovered that metal was an addictive substance. I had always had an interest in art and sculpture and though psychology wasn’t really holding my interest it gave me the opportunity to take some classes at the Slade School of Art. I also got the chance to go to Italy on an exchange program where by chance I met the Mutoid Waste Company, a group of anarchic circus performers whose spectacles revolved around incredible sculptures and machines made entirely from scrap metal on a scale I had never seen before. They had even created sculpture from a Russian Mig fighter plane in the centre of Berlin.

 

Back in London I began making sculptures at home from anything I could find. I found work with a steel fabricator where I learnt the basics of welding and shaping steel. Still with the desire to create artistic pieces I went to work for a traditional blacksmith in Kent where I learnt the magic of hot forgework, an addiction in itself.

Now, from my workshop in Cheshire, I try to keep design and creativity at the centre of what I make, whether it be a decorative gate, seating or a sculptural water feature. I take inspiration from the forms in nature such as the twisting stems of plants which seem to lend themselves perfectly to the medium of metal. I also have a passion for insects partly for their beauty but also for their alien weirdness. Traditional art blacksmithing such as the early work of Samuel Yellin http://www.samuelyellin.com/history/ is an inspiration, but I take influence from other media too, such as the wood carving of Grinling Gibbons from the 17th century and the photography of Karl Blossfeldt.

PicMonkey Collage

I never claim to be a great technical blacksmith and indeed many traditionalists would not call me a blacksmith at all as I don’t use traditional wrought iron and can scarcely fire-weld. I have no formal training so have always had to find my own methods to achieve the desired result which to me is more important than the purity of the process and I am not averse to using a combination of modern and traditional methods. I forge in the ancient way using coke, hammer and anvil, but I also have a small power hammer which takes a lot of sweat out of bigger forging jobs. I use MIG welding and plasma cutters and have recently invested in a TIG welder as I increasingly use stainless steel in some of my sculptures.

After more than 20 years in the workshop, I am now looking to other interests. I have always been a writer and recently published a children’s book on Amazon called Stunt Crow http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stunt-Crow-1-David-Freedman/dp/149538750X. I’m currently working on a second. That said, I don’t think I will ever stray too far from the forge. Once hooked to the beauty and permanence of metal you can never break the habit.

http://www.davidfreedmansculpture.co.uk/

http://www.stuntcrow.com/