Another UK supplier is http://www.leggbrothers.co.uk/en/pure-iron/ , they are part of a larger group who supply internationally http://www.allsteelstrading.co.uk/ and were looking to market and distribute in the US a couple of years ago, may be worth an email to see if they have outlets over there.
Thank you for the comments, glad to be of some assistance.
Regarding the eyes, funny old things eyes, they are recessed and yet pop out,
With the owls, most have a seemingly flat side at each side of the beak/eye area, and by punching in at that area to create the flats on the round bar, it raises the centre to allow for the beak being created.
(These could be flat punches with a recessed ball punched centre, much like a domed rivet head snap but with a larger outer area, that would then give bulging eyeballs.)
As for the beak effect , it was done using a small curved chisel, you may be able to see more clearly on this enlarged/doctored pic
The incisions also move a little more metal to give a slightly more raised area which fools the eye into thinking its a beak.
Much of animal effects are judged by the eye, and the overall effect, and are not really what they are like, it looks like a beak, this method also does not leave a sharp pointed area to be a danger area as it would be if you went in with a chisel, an alternative method to raise the beak.
Also makes it more tactile and usable if used on key rings, bottle openers etc.
Apologies for the delay in posting this response, but I had to retrieve this sample from my old scrap items box, and wire brush it to show details, before taking pics.
Here is the first trial one I made many years ago, and kept as a good sample of a bad job,
Made with similar to the method you appear to have used, but with some glaring faults on, IE tail/wings being too long, and thus not settling in the correct plane, and the incised 'chest feathers' the wrong way.
This head/winged cowl was not firewelded but some later ones were, I didn't find firewelding necessary, but it did improve the overall look of the finished item, patience is the key of you are going to weld this top area, or you will lose definition on the rear wings details.
You can use a half round swage for support (or the step on the anvil to cutting plate area if your anvil has one) when punching the eyes in to hold it steady.
If there is any marked swelling representing ears is/are present, a few strokes with a hot rasp will solve that problem.
Have a look here http://www.hlcollege.ac.uk/PDF/CraftPublications/Blacksmith/BlacksmithscraftPart5_tcm2-18916.pdf Lesson 37 page 100 on,
Decide what type of jaws you want and allow for that when starting, just practice flat bit first, then you can adjust to suit. once you have the technique, you can adjust sizes for each purpose.
for a rivet, piece of bar, leave 3 x diameter of bar when fitted loose, then heat assembly, dome over from each side progressively, until jaws tight'ish, work jaws to ensure free movement, last few hits, quench and work until cool, then anneal and you should be ready to go.
Welsh Dry Steam is a naturally occurring semi-smokeless fuel - much softer than anthracite, but more clean-burning than house coal.
Usually used to 'raise steam' in railway engines, traction engines and steam-powered boats - also available for domestic use and offered in three sizes - Cobble / Large Nuts / Small Nuts under the trade name of 'Gloda' - produced at the Ffos-y-Fran colliery in South Wales.
Smooth/dress any weld down to be flush with the surfaces at both sides of the join.
Then you could try forging one end of the wire to suit the gap on the joint you wish to wrap, bend into a small right angle towards the tip, and lay this into the void in the joint,
This should give the smooth appearance at one end you require,
Proceed to wrap the joint progressively and tightly using localised heat (oxy/acet) and suitable tongs.
At the end of the wrap, cut off any surplus (from the centreline of the join plus a small allowance, say half the width of one of the bars being joined) then using tongs, bend this end to the centreline of the joint, and then using a small punch, punch the free end into the joint's gap to match the beginning of the wrap.
You may have to try a couple of times to get the technique to work for you.
Hope this makes some sort of sense and helps, have fun.
Here are some pictures I have finally managed to try and show the hot zinc spray finish.
This gate was treated in 2004 and so is now over 10 years in service. It has deliberately been left just as sprayed, in an attempt to see exactly how durable and effective it is, and how it copes with small potential water trap areas.
The gate is sited in a position which suffers a variety of weather and wind chill combinations and has very minor problems, only two areas appearing to have a 'rust bleed problem, neither of which I would term serious.
Gate in situ
The back stile journal clamp and lower pivot were not zinc sprayed, but red oxide primed, the stain is from the occasional oiling to maintain ease of use.
The only appreciable rust bleed is here
From the remaining pictures you can see the potential areas where you may expect a weatherproof seal to be questionable. The areas which have been abraded when the gate is being used show up, but the coating has not been penetrated. They also appear as a bright silvery finish which if done intentionally with a burnishing method appears to have a pewter like smooth finish.
The colouring and texture has not changed much since first applied.
Hope this is of assistance and goes someway to answering the original question.
However, a small correction, the award of the MBE, or OBE does not equate to a knighthood and the privilege of bearing the title Sir, to have that privilege, the award is KBE, equivelant for the ladies is DBE, (Dame)
Terry Pratchett was awarded the OBE in 1998, and awarded/received his KBE (knighthood) in 2009,
thanks for link john - i crawled through your threads in the end and got it - and have now printed alot off - its brilliant thanks! re a leafing course do you think youll be running one next year or sometime? i suppose you need to get some idea about demand... hope all well with you, cheers john beth