The Custom Design Process by Arthur Francis Sculpture

The custom design process explained

The Custom Design Process by Arthur Francis Sculpture

How to transform your design idea into a reality with Arthur Francis Sculpture


Lockdown has impacted all our livelihoods in some way or another and at Arthur Francis Sculpture, we are delighted to have experienced an increase in enquiries with regards to bespoke custom designs.

More time spent outside enjoying our gardens, opportunities to think about stuff other than our normal mundane routines and best of all a chance to get creative, these are all the reasons we can think of to explain this new pattern of behaviour.

Most of the enquiries we receive start with the question ‘How does the process work?’ and with that we hope the following article helps to answer this.

We have split the process into five main stages and as with everything this is very much dependent on the project in hand, your design is entirely unique and therefore so will the process.


Stage 1. Initial Enquiry


If you are concerned that you lack creative flair, do not let this put you off. We can work with as much or as little information and still turn your idea into a reality. Some people approach us with an idea based on something they have seen as inspiration; others have sketched the design out in full. It really can be as vague or as thorough as you wish.

Stage 2. Visualisation


Based on our initial conversation whether that be in person, via phone or email, at this stage we will produce several design ideas for your consideration. With these you can mix and match the different components until you reach a concept you really love.

Stage 3. Specification


This is where your idea really starts to come to life. We will have already discussed rough dimensions, materials, etc. but in order to create a final proof ready for your approval it is really important we understand and agree on the finer details.

Finding ways to reduce waste and work cost effectively are two things that we are really keen on at Arthur Francis – they not only help us, but our customers and the planet too!

We use sheet metal and will always try to get as much out of each sheet as possible, think of it like baking cookies – you use as much of the dough as possible otherwise it just goes to waste.

In terms of materials and finishes there are various options to choose from and we’ll happily go through the pros and cons of each to help you reach your final decision. It all boils down to the look and feel you are wanting to achieve and the environment it’s going to be in.

Stage 4. Approval


Now that the design, size and material is all agreed, a final concept will be created, and this is where you give us the approval to go ahead with the production. We’ll have agreed on the cost prior to this and don’t forget we can work to specific budgets if required.

Stage 5. Production


Hand crafted from our workshop in Desborough, we will send you regular updates of the progress being made for a truly ‘behind the scenes’ experience should you wish.

Our standard lead time is roughly 2-3 weeks, but this does of course vary from project to project. If you have a tight turnaround, for example, an anniversary has cropped up quicker than you realised, we can facilitate this too, let us know and we can always find a way around it for you.


Contact Arthur Francis and turn your design idea into a reality


There is something truly special about creating your own custom designed piece that you can cherish forever, and the process really is quite straightforward. Visitors are always welcome to the workshop to experience how we work, make design decisions and see first-hand the variety of processes and machinery we use.

Email or call 018585 419940 and let’s turn your ideas into a reality.  Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more ideas and inspiration or explore the portfolio section of the website.


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