Valley Mill

Behind the Scenes at Valley Mill-July/August

September 22, 2018
Valley Mill workshop

As you know by now, we love to celebrate the fact that all of the products that Valley Mill stocks are handmade in Wales, but we don’t tell you enough about what we have actually been up to in our own workshop.

For this new monthly feature, we want to take you behind the scenes to our Crynant workshop to show you some of theinteresting bespoke projects that we have been working on for our amazing customers.

Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

In early July we were contacted by the Motorpoint arena in Cardiff, as their COO was leaving after 30 years loyal service and they wanted something very special to give him. With only 3 weeks to design something completely bespoke and handmade we had a challenge on our hands, but we thrive on a challenge so instantly got stuck in!

The design brief – a large, chunky Welsh slate plaque in the shape of the Motorpoint arena, with names of some of the biggest stars to ever take to their stage deep engraved into it.

The first step in any bespoke project is to take all of the information and ideas sent to us to put together an initial design idea, and then work with the customer to piece together a final design and turn their vision into reality.

Motorpoint Arena Welsh Slate Plaque

The shape of this plaque is like no other we have made before, and certainly couldn’t be cut by hand like our standard signs and plaques. We sent our finest 20mm thick, polished Welsh slate to have the profile of the plaque cut out of it, using a high-pressure water jet cutter.

Profile of the Motorpoint Arena Welsh slate plaque

Once the slate arrived back at the workshop, we prepared it for engraving. Firstly we coat the plaque in a sandblast film, which we use to create the design stencil.

Motorpoint Arena Welsh slate plaque being prepared for engraving

Then it is placed into the laser machine, which is used to cut out the design into the sandblast film.

The film is removed from the area that is to be deep engraved and the plaque is put into the sandblast cabinet, where it is then sandblasted until it reaches the required depth of engraving.

Motorpoint Arena Welsh slate plaque

Motorpoint Arena Welsh slate plaque

The lettering was then painted in white and silver, whilst the detailing at the top of the plaque was left unpainted. We followed these steps to add a personalise message of thanks to the base of the plaque too. All pieces where then glued together, polished and oiled and here is the final result, which a very happy recipient!

Motorpoint Arena bespoke Welsh slate plaque


In July we were contacted by the organiser of a new annual running event, Dare2Run in Aberdare, to create some very unique trophies for their event. The initial idea was to incorporate Welsh miners lamps and Welsh slate, so we got to work on creating a design to best suit their requirements.

The idea was to simply cut a circular ring into a 20mm thick Welsh slate base, where the lamp would slot in to, then laser engrave the trophy design onto the base.

Dare2Run Welsh Slate Miners Lamp Trophies Dare2Run Welsh slate miners lamp trophies

The overall idea of the trophies was simple but the contrast between the dark slate and shiny brass meant that end result looked impressive.

If you have loved finding out about what we have been working on over the last few months, then keep an eye out for future blog posts to keep you up to date.

Find out more about our range of Welsh slate trophies at

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