Local blacksmiths enjoying lockdown boom as public splash thousands on sculptures

A Ratho-based blacksmiths known for creating magnificent animal sculptures has seen orders boom during lockdown.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 1:08 pm

Indeed, the company has done so well during the pandemic, with orders from people with spare cash to spend, they have repaid furlough funds received by the government.

The company, ArtFe, is based on a beef farm in rural Ratho and have created more than 300 sculptures of Highland cows, inspired by the environment.

Many of the sculptures are made using salvaged metal and can take up to six months to complete. They include a giant Clydesdale horse scaling a gate, which took around 1,500 hours to make.

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Four blacksmiths work at ArtFe, all overseen by Kev Paxton and business partner Cat Stops.Dad-of-one Kev, who describes himself as a sculptor who uses blacksmith techniques, found working in a blacksmiths gave him a focus when he was a wayward teenager.

He said: “Technically I’m the master blacksmith – they all trained under me. They are all extremely good blacksmiths who have developed their own techniques.

“It is like a punk band with no musical instruments,” he continues. “Everything to do with nature is what inspires us.

“Mother Nature keeps throwing gifts upon gifts – you get beautiful sunrises and sunsets, five minutes outside Edinburgh you are in the hills.”

Wonkey the Highland Cow, created by traditional blacksmith Kev Paxton in his forge in Ratho.

Speaking about the boom in business during lockdown, mum-of-two Cat said: “A lot of people who found they couldn't go on holiday or have anniversary celebrations decided to spend thousands on sculptures – so we paid the furlough money back at the end of last year.”

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