It is hard to believe that it was almost ten years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one of these machines - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Along with the CNC router I discovered the wonderful material called Precision Board and the glues, primers and other companion products they offer. Since then we have gone through many tons of the material using it in most signs and projects we tackle. This journal will chronicle our many adventures both past, present and future. I'll talk from the perspective of someone who pushes these products to the creative limit on a daily basis. I'll be adding to the stories two or three times each week. -dan

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bringing the sculpture to life!

The painting of our signs is as enjoyable and quick as the sculpting - if I plan it right. The key is to paint things in the right order to save myself work and effort. I started with the base color - a tan color. When this was dry I applied the first medium brown glaze, wiping it down immediately to reveal the highlights.
The next step was to lay in the colors on the bib jeans, followed by a dark blue glaze to bring out the jean textures. Then I painted all the other bits including the buttons, bow tie and the bear's eyes.
THen I mixed up a custom dark brown paint. Half was poured into an empty can and made into a matching glaze. This dark glaze was flooded over all the colors and wiped down quickly, tying everything together and toning down the bright colors. Things were progressing fairly rapidly. The lettering areas got two base coats of white paint in preparation for the next step. Each time I completed a color I would put the piece under the shop fans to speed up the drying time.
The only area left to paint was the lettering. I started with the black which was easy to cut with the raised layers I had created as I built the file in EnRoute. The blended lettering was next. The finishing touch was the two little white highlights in the bear's eyes to bring the piece to life.
The parade is still two weeks away but things are almost ready. It sure beats rushing around at the last minute!