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

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Another huge honor

Almost thirty-five years ago I picked up Signs of the Times magazine's annual contest issue at my local sign supplier. As I perused the glossy pages of the magazine I wondered at the winning entries. I promised myself that some day our work would be good enough to be judged by my peers and be good enough to appear there. I first worked up the courage to enter our shop and signs in the Sign Systems category. To my amazement we were awarded first place that year. Since then we have been honored many times in various categories.
This past year we only finished one project which I entered into the contest. Today it became official. We were again honored with a first (tied) place award in the Sign System category for the Cultus Lake Adventure Park signs.

First Place (Tie)
Dan Sawatzky
Imagination Corp.
Chilliwack, BC, Canada
(604) 823-2216
Cultus Lake Adventure Park
British Columbia-based theme parks, miniature-golf courses and other regional attractions are fortunate such a gifted artisan as Sawatzky is available to build their signs. His combination of whimsy and craftsmanship is a rare treasure. Sawatzky worked with Chris Steunenberg, Cultus Lake’s owner, to build the infrastructure and substructures required for the signs. To build the signs’ foundation, they constructed ¼-in.-thick, steel pencil rod that’s welded into armatures, which were installed over structural-steel subframes. Installers tied galvanized-steel lath over the armatures, and then troweled on Sawatzky’s proprietary mix of fiberglass-reinforced concrete. Dan sculpted smaller elements using Abracadabra sculpting epoxy. 
After the concrete cured, the team brushed on three coats of General Paint’s acrylic house paint, and, later, three coats of custom-mixed, acrylic glazes. Sawatzky designed the sign panels using SA Intl.’s EnRoute software, and cut the panels with his MultiCam 3000 CNC router.