Celebrating 25 years of Bespoke Metalwork

A Look At The Early Years

Specialists in bespoke metalwork, Arcangel have now been in business for 25 years designing artistic one-off pieces for both private and corporate clients, including the Royal Family.

Originally based at Transatlantic Studio’s in Kings Cross, London, Caroline Vivian and Davey Boyall formed Arcangel, both bringing different skills to the board having trained at University, they collaborated on projects together and soon built up an enviable reputation. Davey soon showed obvious skill sets for creating fine furniture for both community and private projects, plus movie sets including a table used for 101 Dalmation movie set and the infamous ‘Chopper Chair’ which was covered in many articles in magazines at the time, as well as being hired by Barry Humphrey’s to have on his Dame Edna set, and also on Blue Peter.

Requiring more space, Arcangel decided to move out to rural Hertfordshire. Davey and Paul Meccano met locally, and soon struck up a friendship that would develop into a successful business relationship. Paul having trained in design and construction brought architectural design and business acumen to the company. Recognising Davey’s strengths when he joined, Paul embraced the broadness and flair that Davey had to help to drive the business forward. With Paul and Davey now working together on designs, the business developed, and Arcangel were seen as masters of traditional old school methods, taking old techniques and re-inventing them. Experimenting and breaking the rules to create different finishes or techniques that modern technique and machinery can’t be programmed to do, makes their work stand out from the crowd.

Bespoke Metalwork, Arcangel Ltd, Hertfordshire

The Magnificent Seven: Davey Boyall; Darrell Smith, Tom Willis, Stuart Witham, Nick Lambe, Joe Kennedy, Paul Meccano

As our reputation grew, so did our client base. New members joined the team, bringing with them various skills and expertise. Nick with his fine jewellery background, Darrell Smith with his welding expertise and quirky designs, then Stuart who previously ran his own small design business. Then to maintain their growth, new younger members Joe and Tom joined. Tom having moved to Arcangel after the sad death of his renowned Boss and friend Anthony Caro. Joe as the youngest recruit is training within the company and is a formidable strength.

The new members brought with them vitality, different techniques, artistic outlooks and sometimes a different eye to the job in question. The whole team shares the same passion to make everything first class, taking pride in their work, this is the heart of the company.

The Projects That Made A Difference

The introduction of working with the distinguished Garden Designer, Julie Toll, and the various projects we worked on with Julie (Pear Tree Gates, the ‘Spin’ Feature), stand out as key early achievements and these designs are still gaining attention today through various forms of media.

One of the most complex and challenging projects was on various large artworks and staircases we had to create and install for a private residence in Barbados. The sheer logistics and planning involved to get this amazing project complete and shipped to Barbados for installation, was the biggest test. Project management was critical to ensure that we were on schedule, hitting all targets and that all logistics and regulations were considered, as the first installation would take the whole team of seven 30 days to complete, there was no room for error. It was exciting, a real adventure, and trial by fire as this was one of the hardest environments to work in. The first day was quite a battle, but we soon interacted well with local staff and project teams, and it became apparent we were very used to adapting to surroundings and environments. It was hard work for everyone, Stage 1 took 30 days to complete, then a month back to the UK, followed by another 30 days back in Barbados to complete. We completed the project to a very high standard, the intricate detail, stunning designs and quality of workmanship reflected in all aspects of the task completed.

The Next 25 Years ….

Arcangel are pushing towards further involvement in public art and sculptures alongside the work we are doing. We’ve relished creating artworks that people spot, enjoy and interact with. Knowing our skills can bring real quality to this agenda, and by our awareness of bringing in fresh young talent to keep Arcangel alive, having old and young under one roof, we can really express ourselves with public art.

Equally crucial to our development we recognise the importance of encouraging a creative environment to work in, space around you allows you to be creative in mind. The results then have no limits.

With this confidence and direction, now is the perfect time to launch our new website as Arcangel evolves, embracing the creativity and craftsmanship of the team, recognising the ambition yet diversity in which we work and the aspirations of all that is possible.

Bespoke Metalwork, Spider Sculpture, Arcangel Ltd

The whole team worked on this sculpture as a charitable artwork for a local school. It was a project we could enjoy for ourselves and for the local community.