If you drift down to San Diego Texas, where the Big Bucks roam, look for the Mew Ranch. I have made a new friend and customer who has a nice ranch and offers hunting of all kinds. You can visit the Mew Ranch website at www.southtexashuntingservice.com
Whats happening at Torchcraft....
A fun couple dropped in the store the other day while out riding their bikes on the labor day weekend. Turned out they bought a couple of pieces and the question came up as to how they would manage to get it home since they were on their bikes. They managed to get one item in a saddle bag and the larger item was attached to the back of the seat rack with shrink wrap and packing tape. I enjoyed these two and hope they come back someday.
A super nice couple from Oregon came into the store recently and ordered a dreamcatcher to be made with the silhouetts of a lab and sheppard who had gone on. This was to be a gift for their son who lives in South Texas. We ended up adding a third dog that is still with their son. The dog silhouettes were copied from photos that they had. It took some tweaking to get the heads right but we finally managed to get the right look and stance. I very much enjoyed meeting and working with the folks. Hope they will return someday.
Customer in Big Springs Texas, who has ordered several times before, needed signage on a rock wall at his home.
Customer's design (his wife's ) but it sure looks good. You can see the great city of Big Springs in the background.
Always good to hear from Big Springs.
Over the years I have accumulated several good friends that started out as customers. This is an end table that a good friend/customer from Rock Port put together with mesquite wood for the top. Beautiful work. Whitetail deer and quail are featured on this one.
Previously posted is the insert to the other half of the gate being built for the hunting ranch. This is the same size of just under 8 feet wide and cut from 1/8" plate steel. The entire piece is cut from one sheet of steel. It will be taken to Chama, welded into the gate and painted.
A large gate is being built for the hunting ranch in Chama New Mexico. This scene will be an insert on half of the gate. Across the top of the gate will be an eagle, trout, mountain lion and turkeys. The bottom of the gate has two large windows. The sign shown here is a little less than 8 feet wide and cut out of 1/8" plate steel. The trees and mountain scene is a general copy of art that the ranch owner already owns and is hanging in the lodge. The other side of the gate is the same scene reversed and has an elk bull with two cows.
New Wine Church near Poteet, Texas. Beautiful new building with a nice cross on the front and an arched entrance with their name across the top.
Ranch is located in Clayton, New Mexico. All of the critters included in this sign are native to that country. The only animals that are not included is a mountain lion and antelope. There are plenty of antelope and some really impressive ones. I really enjoyed putting this sign together as the customer who ordered it listed the items that he wanted included and I got to design it as I saw it. The sign was a gift from a genuine friend. Size is about 6 feet wide and cut from 3/16". The cactus bush to the right of the coyote is called "Cholla". Right now the cactus is in bloom with beautiful purple blooms. The tree is a pinion tree. The country is heavy with jack rabbits, so they are proudly displayed on each side of the ranch brand. I have been to the ranch recently and it is a beautiful.
Ranch in South Texas is remodeling their entrance. I was asked to cut the name and quail. I am glad to see quail in the picture as quail are getting hard to find in South Texas. Cut from 3/16" plate, primed and painted.
This is the second insert made for the Chama New Mexico gate. The first insert features an elk bull and two cows. This insert features mule deer buck with doe and two more mule deer bucks. The basic design is copied from a wall hanging that the customer has in his lodge.
The gate that this insert goes on is is a very large gate. Each side will have an insert and critters across the top. This insert is about 41" tall by 91" wide. Cut from 11 gauge (1/8") plate for the weight consideration. Each insert weighs about 50 lbs. Gate will be located on a 6,000 acre ranch in Chama New Mexico.
Order came from Virgina. Couple sent a picture of themselves which became the center piece of the overhead sign. The sign was sent to two pieces to minimize freight. It looks really nice the way it is installed. I hope that dream continues for a long time.
Customer in Wyoming ordered a sign that needed to be 24" by 24". This is hard to see in the photo but it is painted brown and made from 3/16" plate steel with holes drilled in all four corners.
Years fly by. This ranch entrance was prepared for an old friend's son who was very young when I first met him. Grew up and now has a place of his own. This is his design and I was please to make it for him. Cut from 3/16" plate steel. Primed and painted. The three pieces are welded in place with welding tabs to keep the lettering up and off the main pipe. Really looks good to me.
Previous posting showed the barn scene during daylight hours. This picture shows how it "pops" when night lights are mounted. Very nice display.
Barn with scene mounted on outside wall. Cut from 1/8" plate steel, primed and painted black. This scene was mounted so that lights are mounted to highlight each piece. Next posting will show that display.
The best part of this sign job was who I did it for. The man is Fred Vellutini, a World War II veteran who could pass for a 50 year old. As I only talked to him on the phone, I was really surprised to learn his age. He owns property in Northern California and we had a really good conversation during the ordering of the ranch sign. He had to satisfiy all of the members of his family and this is what he came up with. The best part of the conversaion was when he told me that he was out having dinner while wearing his WW II hat. Some man walked by and asked him if that hat belonged to his dad. Fred said "no sir, my dad was in World War I.....he had his own hat!" Too cool. Super nice and I hope he gets to enjoy that ranch for many years to come.
Cardholder was custom made according to the customer's directioin. State of Texas cut from 1/8" plate steel and tempered finish added. The name is placed on top of the state and welded in place. The card holder is mounted on a large horseshoe. Horseshoe nails are welded on the sides of the card holder to keep the cards in place. The entire piece is clear coated.
Received order from a custom for a ranch sign to be given for a wedding gift. Horseshoes were used for hangers. Sign cut from 3/1`6" plate. Primed and painted black.
Realtor wanted to give their client a gift for the new property that they bought. The couples initals are cut in each star. The entire piece is cut from 3/16" plate. Drilled for wall mounting.
Race car driver who's nickname must be Rhino, wanted a display for his medals. The piece has the rhino on top with three steel rings to hold rods. The medals which have ribbons tied to them, are hung from the rods.
A recent request from a customer who wanted his 5 sons silhouette's cut out for a family sign that he was giving to his wife for her birthday.. The picture supplied by the customer was perfect for silhouettes and turned out very good. Cut from 3/16" plate. Primed with automotive etching primer and top coated with industrial black enamel. Finished product photo was taken in my shop.
Cut from 3/16" plate and top side is ground to a shinny finish. The photo shows the lettering in scattered fashion on a table top, in order to take the photo. The customer will weld pins on the back side for mounting and clear coat the metal to maintain the silver shine.
The owners of the ranch that this sign was made for actually have names that start with T and A, but the running joke is the basis of the art in the sign. This sign is 48" wide. Braced in the back with 1"X3/16" flat iron. Sign was primed with automotive etching primer and top coated with industrial black enamel. Chain links were welded on far left and far right corners. Going to Oregon.
Austin customer ordered address signs cut from 3/16" plate, with lettering and numbers cut in reverse. They will be set in a recessed area of the brick and lighting behind.
I recently posted a picture of the Fair Oaks Ranch sign while it was still in my shop. It is now mounted and has lighting. This is really a nice and shows up very well with the lights.
Customer from Giddins bought art for his ranch gate and recently sent pictures of the gate with all of the art mounted. It really looks good to me. I like all of the game that is represented on that ranch. I really do appreciate it when customers send their photos so I can post to my blog.
The praying cowboy is a very common scene but this scene brings the cowgirl to the cross as well. The two saddle horses and the dog complete the scene. This piece is cut from 3/16" plate steel and welded to an entrance gate.
Longhorn steer head with name across the horns is always a popular sign display for a ranch entrance.
This set up is made to hang whatever but it is enspired by two little real people and cat named LoLo. The little boy is two years old and LoLo is in his sights. The little girl is too new to care. Although they probably have wings, I haven't seen them. LoLo keeps a close eye as a wise cat will do. The horseshoe/ hooks are made from pony shoes.
Ten feet in width by 30" tall is a sign cut for Boerne, Texas country club. It was mounted on a masonry wall and I am waiting for the picture of the finished product. It was mentioned that it might be hung unfinished. The masonry work was done by Lundberg Masonry of Boerne, Texas.
Headed to North Florida for the gate topper to Fantasy Farms. Cut from 3/16 and ribbed on the back side to give it strength.
Had to look it up but Finca is farm or property. This particular sign goes to a coffee plantation in Puerto Rico. It displays "the farm of Pagan". Mountains and prize roosters raised on this farm set the design. To be mounted on the entrance gate and hand carried on an airline to it's destination. Again, the thickness of the metal is 3/16" and will be painted black.
As the dates on the sign indicate, they have achieved their 100 year mark of holding on the family farm. The customer provided an old photo of the tree from back in the day and it also had a horse and buggy in the photo. Although the tree is a direct copy the horse and buggy design was substitued to spread the sign out in width. Apparently the place is referred to as the Family Farm. People are to be commended for keeping the places in the same family. I once talked to a lady who said her grand dad placed the old farm in a corporation so that no hier could sell off any of it. He said that he and his family had worked and suffered way to long for some XXX to sell it and buy a boat!
Another design by the customer. I like to shoot the pictures before the torch is turned off. It may not appeal to you the viewer but it just rewards me that I can cut these signs with a regular hand held torch. Yes, I am rolling around in it like a dog that found a dead coon. They claim that action is a hold over from early animal hunting instinct to mask their odor in order to hunt better but I tend to think the dog just likes to be a little "macho" and show off his new smell. Probably makes up a good story to go along with it the odor.
Metal address numbers are cut out and painted black. In order to make the address visible at night, I have applied a very high grade 3M vinyl of reflective letters over the numbers but in a reduced size. Very visible at night and very important for emergency situations. There were two of these created to place one on either side of the ranch entrance for traffic coming from either direction.
Totally designed by the customer (wife I believe) but it really looks good. Very creative and unique. Nice rance entrance sign design.
This order from from a family member who requested the name sign to give to a good friend that guided his mule deer hunt in Utah this year. Cut from the normal 3/16" plate and holes drilled for mounting to the house. Generally, it is suggested that some stainless steel washers are used to maintain a gap between the sign and the wall to avoid moisture from gathering between the two surfaces. Stainless screws are recommended as well.
This refreshing sign is about 40" wide and just looks right for a farm sign. What is a farm without chickens?
Farm sign that displays a nice 12 point buck, an old John Deere tractor with cow and calf pair. Holes drilled for mounting and cut from 3/16" plate steel.
Here is an old fashion type sign that was mounted over and by the door to an office. I remember the signs that hung under the sidewalk awnings and as kids we would always jump up and slap the signs as we walk down the side walk in from of the stores. Hopefully, this one will hold up to that.
The Circle B Ranch sign that is hanging in the shop area is a custom sign for a California customer who said his family was a five horse family. Sign is cut from the typical 3/16" plate and painted black with the Rustoleum black hammered finish paint.
Hog hunting has long been a South Texas sport whereby dogs are used to hunt, bay and catch wild hogs. Can be a very rough sport as the hogs have sharp teeth and dogs do fall victim to the charge of the hog from time to time. Most hog hunters are fair hands at stiching up cuts and some require vets for the job. Good hog dogs are valued and well maintained. Each dog may have a specialty job during the hunt but it is a team effort which includes the hunters. Most land owners are very happy to have the hogs removed as they cause a lot of damage to crops and land.
Although it is not common for local cowboys to rope hogs/pigs, it has been done. The problem occurs after you make the catch. Now what to do with him? This piece was created for the La Salle county fair and hog cookoff as an auction piece. Withs a full belly of wild hog and a few cold beers, the piece may bring a fair amount. Cut from the normal 3/16" plate and painted black.
I am guessing that this is the 23rd year that Torchcraft has created the trophies for the hog cookoff in Cotulla, Texas. There are some others but not included in this picture. Each hog is set on a Texas base and a brass plaque will be added to each one representing the award given. Some of the steady winners must have a collections of these by now but we keep making them each year.
Coastal guide, Capt. Paul has his name cut into the body of the fish. Cut from 3/16" plate and tempered for various colors. Fish is clear coated and made to be displayed indoors.
Cutest barn in South Texas. Home to some cute ponies that pull carts, buggies and wagons. Brand was a Christmas gift from the husband to the wife. Cut from 1/8" plate and painted with Rustoleum hammered finish black paint.
Company name but out of 3/16" plate steel and 1/4" studs welded to the back side for mounting on a decorative concrete wall.
I am totally amazed that the customer could mount all of the pieces in such perfect fashion. The iron was taken to a powder coating company for sand blasting and coating. Should last a very long time and really looks nice. I was honored to have a part in this project.
A repeat customer built a beautiful outdoor fireplace for which he needed a screen for. The opening is rather large, 44"x44". The customers last name is Vrana and he informed me that he wanted a crow scene because crow in Czech is vrana! I have a special love for crows as I actually had a crow for a pet at one time. The crow is sitting on my shoulder in the picture below.
Super neat job for a customer who wanted to give this to his friend who started his own brewing company. The brewing company is Guadalupe Brewing Co. in New Braunfels, TX. The logo is a cowboy riding/rowing a keg of beer down the Guadalupe River. The brewing logo was cut from 3/16" plate steel, tempered and clear coated.
Customer designed his sign and it is one of my favorites. I like the old cow head with turned down horns. I also remember the K Bar pocket knives that were popular when I was young. This piece was cut from 1/4" plate, painted black and has welding tabs on the back side for welding to the gate.
A visitor from the coastal area, came to my store and requested a piece made to replicate the gold medallion that hung from his necklace. The man is a towboat captian who pushes barges up and down the waterways. Sometimes, these barges extend to 750 feet in length. Definitely have to plan to drive that train. The art piece that was made is 30" in diameter. The Christ figure is a separate piece which is bolted onto the art with stainless hardware. It is to be mounted on their home where they have had lighting installed to highlight the art as a symbol of their Christain belief.
Well there have never been many elephants in South Texas but I liked the silhouette of this elephant and the typical African tree. Made a nice lamp and it is a nice change from the many whitetail and domestic critters that usually get named on such projects. The lamp shade is my wife's selection.
Customer wanted some art on a gate he was building. Old tractor, milo and his father in law's Piper Lance airplane. That cold scene is in New Mexico.
Recent order for last name cut out of 3/16" plate to be mounted on the back of work truck. Painted white to match the truck cab and looks very nice on the black headache frame. Notice it was mounted high enough to not block the rearview of the driver.
The gate that I built for display out in front of the store, kept having a problem with the color of the saddle for being visable from the interstate highway. First, I painted the saddle red like the lettering and it just didn't contrast with the background. Secondly, I painted the saddle silver to see if I could get a better contrast. Still didn't have the "Pop" that I needed. Well, guess what, YELLOW seems to bring out the look that is well displayed and visible. The saddle and lettering is cut from 1/8" plate to keep the weight down on the gate.
Well, the photographer came forward with a much better picture of his rig. This truck can go anywhere and look good doing it. Torchcraft art welded on the back of his headache rack as well as the custom tailgate. Not only can this guy shoot a camera but he can fabricate too. Again, I am honored that he has chosen to display my art in such a unique way. Thanks Eddie
Here is the The Hopper sign mounted and I sure do like the way it turned out. What a neat way to display your sign. The name sign is a perfect display in front of the home. Hung by chains from a stand that once held a flag pole.
Well, if you need to put a name and put two cats but have limited room, let one cat hold the O! Works for me and the customer liked it too.
When this little girl came to Torchcraft, I thought of a lot of things that she can proclaim. When momma aint happy.....ain't nobody happy! Welcome but Behave! Go Away. Howdy seemed to be a good one. You can order this little darling and say whatever you decide. Cut from 3/16" plate and painted for outdoors.
One of my favorite things to do is combine tempering of the steel for colors and adding brass for added color and dimension. I found this design while looking through a magazine many years ago. It was actually hanging on African queen's necklace and made of gold. I guess brass is a poor man's gold but it gives a nice look to the sun's face.
Custom brand made for customer who's initials are LV but his wife's name starts with a G so he modified he brand to accomodate the G with the number 6. This brand is made with 1/4" x 1" strap steel.
Well, this is brotherly love in true fashion. A fellow in Washington state wanted to give his brother in Memphis, Tennessee a sign for his new farm. The brother favors the image on the sign......a chichen playing a guitar. This may have something to do with the fact that the Tennessee brother is involved in music. The font used is IRON MAIDEN for you that are young enough to recognize that name. It was explained to me. The sign is shown in raw steel prior to painted black.
Over the years, Torchcraft has made many pieces for gates made by other fabricators and Torchcraft makes gates from time to time. I recently made a gate to display in front of my store to show the public that I welcome gates and always ready to place names and art on them. The gate shown here is a 13 foot gate with a 2" outside frame and 3/4" pickets. Heigth is approximately 72" at the top of the arch and had 60" sides.
This is a repeat on an original order from Incarnate Word. The picture shown is of the crown after it is primed with etching primer and before the top coat of black paint. The metal this is cut from is 1/4".
In a previous post, my South Texas photographer friend had installed the headache rack art to his pickup. Now after fabricating his own tail gate, he included a Bobwhite quail and dog scene.
Here is the real deal. Someone, who we won't name, looked at the new ranch and said "mejor que nada" which translate to better than nothing! So that became the name of the ranch. Now that is original and unique.
Not a brand, but in this case the person's initials are welded onto a Texas plaque. The plaque is tempered and the 1/4" thick initials are welding on to the plaque from the back side, then they are polished to a silver finish. The entire piece is clear coated and a hanger in the back for wall display.
Moore Boys Farm.....This is a sign that was made for a customer in Arkansas. Actually, I recieved an order for a gate and wings from a lady and this
is from a family member. The top picture shows the gate topper in my shop after it was primed. The overhead art was mounted and later I received
the order for the gate and wings. I like this job and the folks were fun to deal with.
Bunn Orthodontics in San Antonio - has an established logo that was designed to simulate teeth with braces. The sun flower was an addon and the peace symbol was added after the flower. Asked me to make it out of metal. The circle of teeth is cut from 3/16" plate, while the flower is brazed with brass. The peace symbol is tempered like the teeth. A coat of automotive clear coat was sprayed over the entire piece. Lettering is tempered and clear coated as well.
I recently made the sign for the luxury chicken coop and I borrowed one of the hen designs to create a key holder. The large horseshoe nails are great for hanging keys, pot holders, ribbons and such. The hen is heated to give the colors and a clear coat is applied. This hen is getting ready to scratch the ground and look for whatever she turns up.
I had the pleasure of hunting on the Kenedy Ranch down at Sarita, Texas for a number of years. The division we hunted is called La Parra, which means the grape vine. The size of La Parra is somewhere around 26,000 acres and it is loaded with game. The recent pieces I just cut and painted for a gate in Giddens, Texas are hanging in my shop and it reminded me of going to the coolers at La Parra and seeing all of the game that had been harvested. This particular gate will sport buck, doe, hog, turkey tom, cactus with quail, ducks and flying doves. I hope the gate owner will send a picture of the finished product.
This order came from a customer who's great great great great grandfather was quite a piece of Texas history. I looked up Jose Antonio Navarro and there is too much to list here. He was a statesman, rancher, politician, revolutionary and merchant. Also, he was one of the original signers of the Texas Declaration of Indepence. If you like Texas history, look up Jose Antonio Navarro and read about this Texas patriot. This brand was his. I like the old brands as they have a style of their own. This is all cut from 3/16" plate and has 1/4" round rod for hangers. Painted flat black and holes for mounting on the wall.
It is a good day when the Cajun girls come through my area. One of them has a husband that works on the Texas coast and they like to make the trip to visit. They bring one husband for changing flats and picking up the meal tickets. It seems that they like Texas Bar B Que. Well, the cajun queen ordered a sign for her husband. I could listen to her accent all day. They are all fun people and I hope they continue to stop by.
Had an order for two of these for custom gates. Each oval is 48" wide and cut from 3/16" thick plate steel. These will be welded in the gate and then the gate will be sand blasted and powder coated.
A fellow artist, wildlife and life photographer jazzed up his rack with some metal art. This is a good as I have seen. He painted the art a nice hammered brown to contrast with the black rack. I am very proud to see this.
This cap/hat rack has turkeys. Four of them. Two in flight and two on the ground. Lots of turkeys around this new home and now it sports a Torchcraft fireplace screen and a cap/hat rack. The rack has 410 gauge shotgun shells for hangers.
Well, I am in full agreement. When you need to show your appreciation to a friend, what better way than to call up Torchcraft and have a custom made wall art to express that gratitude. This one is cut out of 3/16" plate and shown after it was primed. Finish color was black.
This sign represents the Texas bluebonnets and Florida's state wild flower, the coreopsis. Hummingbird is local South Carolinan???? Cut from 3/16" plate and shown after a coat of primer was applied. The top coat will be black.
Large fireplace screen ordered with wildlife scene and ranch brand included. Scene is cut from 10 gauge steel. Heavy screen woven wire and framed on the back side with 1.5"x1.5"x.125" angle. Will add the two feet in the front and one in the back, along with the two handles and paint with high temp black paint.
Long before the land men, working in the Eagle Ford Shale came to this country, the Mexican vaquero rode his caballo out of Mexico, across the "wild horse desert" and on to Mission San Antonio. I am fairly sure that the dinner plate size saddle horn on those Mexican saddles had a GPS mounted in it for directions. Or,,,, maybe not. Either way, that style of cowboy, horse and tack is not to be mistaken. It is puro Vaquero. A real horseman and cowboy. This particular one is named "El Bigoton" for the big bigote, (mustache).
This piece is 28" tall and 53" wide. Hand cut from 10 gauge steel so it can be hung on a sheetrock wall.
I love making customers happy, however, I believe these two are happy with or without my metal art. The wife wanted to surprise her husband with a sign to mount on the storage building of their new RV spot on the Texas Coast. Well, it looks like it worked and it was a joy to make the metal art and working with them.
Just cut and waiting for the clean up and painting. This sign will be hung at the entrance of the ranch by chains. Two chain links will be welded to the top arch for hanging. Metal is 3/16" thick.
We have a sign for a customer who has recently aquired an interest in going to the coast with her husband in their RV. Needed a name on the storage shed. This sign is regular steel but is primed, painted and clear coated for extra protection against the coastal environment.
Had a really interesting order for a 48" tall heart. Iniitals to represent the husband and the wife's names and the reverse cut letters of "I LOVE YOU" in the middle of the heart. This heart was going to be hung 40 feet high in the fork of a tall tree outside their home. An LED light would be on the back side of the heart and the small holes drilled around the border would highlight the shape of the heart at night. The initials painted a light color to show up at night on the brown base.
The heart was a birthday gift for the wife and after getting to know the husband, I believe it was true love. But it is certainly good insurance, anyway.
Horseshoes bookends with names have been a long time gift item. It's a great gift that is personalized with the person's name, brand or initials. This set is an order from a long standing customer that always orders these for wedding gifts. They can be made with two horseshoes to serve as a letter holder.
Gate is located near Three Rivers, Texas. I get to enjoy looking at my work when I go to Choke Canyon to fish.
Near Lampasas Texas I recently noticed a sign that I created many years ago. Spanish wording for Flying Diamond Ranch.
When this sign was ordered last year, I thought it was for British Petroleum but it turns out to be the owners initials. Either way, it was mounted in their gate and looks very nice. It nicely represents the state of South Texas at this time with the oil boom in full swing.
This is a great gift idea for anyone with a brand or someone who wants a brand. The brand is created and mounted on a base. In this case the base is the state of Texas and tempered with heat to give it the colors. A wall hanger is mounted on the back side for hanging on a wall. A great Christmas gift for the person that is hard to buy for?
Durango sign was hung and I am most proud of having a part in it. Looks really like a Colorado sign should look like. Cut from the 3/16" plate and braced in the back with 1/8" by 2" strap steel.
Last year I was pleased to create a ranch sign for the Vera Cruz Mountain Ranch. This year, a sign was needed to direct the visitors to the ranch headquarters. Painted in colors that would show well at night with headlights.
Pipeline company has a yard in South Texas has brought class to Encinal Texas. Somewhere in there, there is an Aggie influence.
Looks very good and a great entrance presentation.
Really have enjoyed creating the Colorado scene. Not all my doing on the design. The owner and his family had he concept and with a lot of pushing and pulling, they finally got me on board as to what they had in mind. Will paint black and ship out soon.
The Torchcraft Difference....
Torchcraft cuts most outdoor signs from 3/16-inch (7 gauge) new plate steel. Indoor signs may be cut from 1/8-inch steel. It's easy to see from the photo the difference in thickness of Torchcraft steel vs the "other guys". Most other artist cut from a flimsy 14 gauge steel such as the one pictured above that I picked up from a local art show. When you think about your metal sign, do you want one as thick as a paper clip or as thick as 4 dimes? Thats an 82% difference.