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

Friday, September 10, 2010

Simple is sometimes better.

Square or rectangular is the shape my materials arrive. It's not often I make signs that shape. But every once in a while the design of the project is such that a square or rectangular sign is the very best way to go. Simple is sometimes better.

The entrance feature we are building for Oyama Estates is one such project. The rock work is monumental, measuring more than nine feet tall and twenty feet wide on each side of the road. Sculpted by Phoenix Bermudez of Stone Tree Studios it is layered and rough and will be colorful too. The big bonsai tree that perches on top will add to the mix. To fulfill the feeling of tranquility we are seeking to achieve, the signs I designed needed to be very simple and elegant.

There is one for each side, measuring at just over five feet wide. They feature raised bevelled lettering and a mild texture. Each was designed in EnRoute, using the same background and then adding different lettering. In this fashion I only had to build the bulk of the file but once. The signs were routed from 30 lb Precision Board using a 3/8" ball nose bit to rough cut and a 1/8" bit for the final pass. I then added a heavy texture coat of Coastal Enterprises primer and then the usual acrylic paints for the base color. I layered on multiple glazes to build up rich colors on the background, resembling the look of leather when I was done. The gold leaf on the lettering was the finishing touch and adds an elegance impossible in any other medium.  The border is textured and beveled as well to add depth and play in the light. I look forward to seeing them in place on the rock, the simple icing on a complex, multilayered cake.

Once in a long while square is best.