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TOPIC: More fun pub signs

More fun pub signs 16 Sep 2016 23:07 #1

  • Dan Sawatzky
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One of our favourite projects was a series of themed dimensional signs we did for a pub as part of a larger project. Instead of advertising name brand beers the signs instead told the story of the pub. Now we have been awarded another pub project. This fully themed pub will again feature story telling fictitious beer and liquor signs to help 'sell' the story of the establishment. Peter and I started by writing down all the different kinds of alcohol and also a list of faerie terms (the theme of the pub) We each picked our favourites and are starting with three signs each. More will come as we need them for the project. They all will incorporate dimensional routing, layering, plasma cut steel brackets and elements as well as some hand sculpting of the figures and elements. The signs are both challenging and very fun.

Peter and I made good progress on the signs this week and will be using them as examples with step by step instructions as we help teach an EnRoute workshop in Denver next week.
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Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

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More fun pub signs 18 Sep 2016 20:25 #2

  • Noah Mudge
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It really is so helpful to see the creative/ in process details. I learn more from sketches and photos of signs half way built than I do from finished signs. Thanks for sharing

More fun pub signs 19 Sep 2016 22:08 #3

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We've made great progress on the pub signs with three now ready to head to the paint department. I love how Peter's Moon Wine sign looks front and rear... similar and yet very different. The faces on the Trolls Bitter Ale and Toad Stool Elixir are also double sided... and not identical on both sides.
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Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

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More fun pub signs 27 Sep 2016 09:12 #4

  • Bob Stephens
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The brackets are outstanding Dan!
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More fun pub signs 27 Sep 2016 20:27 #5

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Thanks Bob.

It's fun and challenging to design a bracket right into the design of the sign. I love brackets that are not a mere afterthought. We are just getting into this idea and have some cool ideas just waiting to see the light of day.

-grampa dan
Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


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More fun pub signs 28 Sep 2016 14:20 #6

  • James Dawson
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amazing as always Dan. On the round tubes with the bends, are you sending them out to be bent, or just doing it manually?

More fun pub signs 28 Sep 2016 21:23 #7

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Thanks for the kind words. As you know Jim we like to do as much in house as possible. With each project we put another tool or two in the budget (and our list of needed tools is very long!). We bought two benders on the last project. One is an adjustable hand cranked triple roller for sheet metal. It has proved very handy already. The second tool we bought is a hand cranked tubing bender. It comes with three sets of rollers for different sized tubing - up to 2" pipe. It takes a little effort and a few passes to get the bends we want but that is a whole lot quicker than going down the road to have our friends do it. The little hand cranker also is handy to do large radius bends in our pencil rod - perfect every time.

-grampa dan
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More fun pub signs 28 Sep 2016 23:06 #8

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Becke has started in on the painting now. For this project we are going very colourful but with more pastel shades. We started with two base coats and then two blended coats with ten colours all blended wet into wet. Once everything has cured up good Becke will begin to apply the glazes which will really make it all pop. And there will be some gilding of course. Stay tuned...

-grampa dan
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More fun pub signs 29 Sep 2016 11:56 #9

  • James Dawson
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they look amazing already!

More fun pub signs 01 Oct 2016 19:25 #10

  • Lynda Wayne
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I love this work, Grampa Dan! I finally ordered the sculpting epoxy. Needed to repair a sandblasted sign. It worked beautifully!

More fun pub signs 03 Oct 2016 11:21 #11

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Designing a series of signs is always great fun but coming up with a great idea for number six is a lot harder than the first few. I struggled with ideas on this one and spent much more time at the drawing board than usual. I drew my ideas on my iPad which was linked to my computer using PhotoShop. There were a variety of fairy figures considered and scribbled out and even a small dragon was tried at one point. Different sign shapes were sketched out, and then deleted. And all sorts of names were tried too. In the end I just started drawing furiously, trusting myself, working towards a creative solution. I settled on the diamond shape with the figure in profile, visible from both sides. I liked the idea of heavy duty angle iron corners and a flowing cut steel bracket to tie it together. The gnome eventually worked for me along with the name 'Singing Gnome fine whiskey' but as I drew, erased and drew again a clever pun came to mind... 'Garden Variety Gnome Whiskey - anything but ordinary' came to mind. It was perfect.

Once I had things laid out with rough sketches I added another layer and did my final quick drawing. The final drawing was done in about fifteen minutes. The bracket shape was drawn once and then flipped for the bottom portion. It should be a very fun project! Stay tuned...
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More fun pub signs 05 Oct 2016 11:42 #12

  • Christer Nynäs
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The trolls face color resembles mine att the moment as I envy your skills :)
As always-outstanding!
I wish I would be able to sometimes make ( or sell) something similar in this country where a cardboard sign seems to be standard.

More fun pub signs 05 Oct 2016 22:45 #13

  • Dan Sawatzky
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Christer

The key to being able to do this kind of dimensional sign regularly is to start with samples for your own showroom as well as your sign our front. We have more than 150 sample dimensional signs on display in our studio. We still make sample pieces on a regular basis. I can't afford not to. If you make the investment people will soon be ordering them. We live in a tiny town (population 1,500 people), far from a city. Most of our customers are hundreds or even thousands of miles distant from our studio. Next week I fly to Dubai (11,734 kilometres) for three weeks for an installation there - all paid handsomely of course. The pub signs above were sold to a customer who found us on the internet. His business is 4,378 kilometres away from us. Another current customer of ours is in Trinidad which is 6,979 kilometres distant. With the internet it is easier than it has ever been to sell the kind of work you want to do. All of our customers either saw our work in person or on our website. There is no magic pill except hard work and getting your work out there. It has to start with you and some samples.

-grampa dan
Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


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More fun pub signs 06 Oct 2016 00:57 #14

  • Christer Nynäs
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This is what I'm trying to do, and I quess I'm getting there one day. But working alone it will take some time and unfortunately I can't just concentrate on the fun projects. I'm actually in a kind of limbo now when my workshop is to small, the workload is a little to heavy for one person but not quite enough for one more. So I'm kind of trying to figure out which path to choose at the moment.
On one hand I really would like to go "artsy" like yourself but on the other hand, I like making signs for hiking paths because it is quite easy money (sometimes anyway B), I have a lot of customers from this area already and I like hiking myself. Maybe a combination of both would be the solution? :STIR:
Anyway I admire your work and you will always be a role model for me, I hope that I someday will be able to visit your workshop :)

More fun pub signs 06 Oct 2016 10:09 #15

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Christer

Nothing happens in an instant. When I talk with those who want to do something different than they presently do I encourage them to work on one small project. Set aside fifteen minutes a day. We all can spare that much time no matter . Use this time to work on your future goals. Start with a small sample made from scraps around the shop. Fifteen minutes a day adds up to more than two hours a week. If you have a router put a sample project on the machine when it is little idle between paying jobs. Work on the sign and display area of your shop - a little at a time. Don't redo the entire thing in one go - just do one wall or just the front counter... maybe just a door.

Make your goals small and manageable. Then achieve them. Don't expect nor aim for a rapid transition of your business but instead slowly change the direction. If you work at it a little each day the time adds up in a hurry. Celebrate your successes. Most of all have fun. Rather than take this time out of your family or personal life say no to one small project each week - something you would rather not do, something if you really think about it you don't make much money at.

If you have too much work I would encourage you to raise your prices significantly. If you do that you lose might argue that you would lose a few customers. THATS THE GOAL. In the process you will also actually make MORE money than before. And more importantly you will have more time to work towards your goals.

Don't make excuses - just create a realistic plan and then work towards these goals. Allow time. It will take two - five years to get to create this new business. Either you steer your business or your business will steer you.

I know all this because I've been there and have actually done this. I'm sixty-two years old and have worked hard my entire life making my business exactly what I want it to be. It sure beats actually working for a living. :)

-grampa dan
Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


Being a grampa is the most wonderful thing!
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More fun pub signs 07 Oct 2016 23:37 #16

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It's been a busy week! Between other projects, the pub signs are coming along nicely. Peter finished the brackets for his three signs and got them mounted properly. They look awesome. He also got the sculpt on one side of the Forest Lady sign finished. Another hour or two will make this sign ready for paint. I made good progress cutting, assembling and sculpting on my third sign.

We also received a new commission this week for one more small pub sign (new client) It will be a 6' tall free standing sign for a trade show display. The bracket holding this one up is made from six layers of 1/4" steel (three layers each side) sandwiching a 1/2" thick plate steel core. The drawing makes it all look deceptively simple but this is an extremely fun and challenging little beauty. The routing of the eight Precision Board pieces is now complete and I'll begin assembly next week.
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More fun pub signs 10 Oct 2016 09:15 #17

  • Christer Nynäs
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Thanks Dan for reminding me, it is easy to forget theese things when the workload is a little to much.

More fun pub signs 11 Oct 2016 21:56 #18

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I made a little more progress on the little Merry Dragon pub sign. I tried some new tricks using gradient bitmaps (along with the new wood grains) to bend the surface of the boards to form a post that goes from thick to thin and back a little thicker as it gets to the top. Trimming the edges on the table saw at a 45 degree angle and they fit together perfects - just as I imagined. It turned out great! I am in the process of welding the steel cap and base on the sign now, then on to mounting the sign bracket to the post. I also cut and welded up the steel base today. I wanted the sign to be bottom heavy and perhaps got a little carried away. The bottom plate is half inch thick steel with the bulk of the rest of the components made from 1/4" thick plate. It was far too heavy to lift off the welding table by myself... might have to use the forklift. :) But I did achieve my goal of making it bottom heavy!
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More fun pub signs 12 Oct 2016 05:48 #19

  • Noah Mudge
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Wow, what a great post!
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More fun pub signs 13 Oct 2016 21:05 #20

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I spent an enjoyable day sculpting the little dragon perched on top of the sign. Another hour or two and it will be ready for paint!

-grampa dan
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More fun pub signs 14 Oct 2016 15:18 #21

  • James Dawson
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awesome sign Dan! I can see you guys had a ton of fun with this one!
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More fun pub signs 19 Oct 2016 00:23 #22

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The first of the pub signs is now finished. This one is to be displayed in the Coastal Enterprises (Precision Board) booth at the ISA EXPO in Las Vegas in April. Since this sign is going to see a lot of travel, handling and tons of people touching it we decided to purposely age it dramatically. I finished a flawless paint job, then added a weathering layer of paint. Once that was dry I took a slander to the metal brackets and knocked a bunch of paint off - especially on the corners and base. Then I sprayed on a mild acid to encourage some instant rust on the steel. It now has a whole lot of character!
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More fun pub signs 19 Oct 2016 13:55 #23

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Home run Dan! I love the design, colors, materials, everything about it! You are Dan the Man :)
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More fun pub signs 19 Oct 2016 23:17 #24

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Another of the signs was finished today. Jenessa painted this one. When she asked me what I wanted I simply asked her to make it look good. She exceeded my expectations!! The sign's sole purpose is to tell the story of the establishment and it delivers a delicious pun with great style.




Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


Being a grampa is the most wonderful thing!

More fun pub signs 20 Oct 2016 10:54 #25

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Great Job Jenessa!!!

Dan, are you priming the steel before putting the latex paints over it?

More fun pub signs 20 Oct 2016 22:01 #26

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If we were going to put this sign outside we would have primed the metal and painted with a different paint than acrylic. But this is an inside display piece. The metal bracket will be aged (sanded judiciously) with some rust as we finish it. We want it to look old. Because of that we did not use a primer on this project.

-dan
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www.imaginationcorporation.com


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More fun pub signs 21 Oct 2016 10:28 #27

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perfect. I figured but I wanted to see if there was any Sawatzky magic method. :)

More fun pub signs 24 Oct 2016 01:14 #28

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The crown and pin sign was originally a fictitious whiskey brand but the owners liked the name and design of the sign so much they decided to name the pub the Crown and Pin Pub. We changed out the 'whiskey' tab with one that said 'PUB' The sign looks simple but it was a challenge to figure out the sturdy structure inside and to put it all together. The assembly and base coats are now all finished with just the final glazes and aging to come. Peter did the design, fabrication and assembly. Jenessa did the painting.
Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


Being a grampa is the most wonderful thing!
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More fun pub signs 29 Oct 2016 00:22 #29

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Work continues on the pub signs between other tasks. Here's the progress to date.
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Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


Being a grampa is the most wonderful thing!

More fun pub signs 01 Nov 2016 21:41 #30

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Today, two of the pub signs were finished. Jenessa painted the Moon Wine sign. It is a truly unique combination of colors with some awesome hand blends. It is all acrylic house paints with the metallics by Modern Masters.


Becke painted the Toad Steel elixir sign. The lettering is 23K gold.
Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


Being a grampa is the most wonderful thing!

More fun pub signs 06 Nov 2016 00:43 #31

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The final glazes are now on the Crown and Pin sign and it is looking great! The glazes really add a lot. Jenessa did a wonderful job. The Forest Lady sign is finished save for some ageing glazes on the bracket. One more hour should finish this project off.
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Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


Being a grampa is the most wonderful thing!

More fun pub signs 07 Nov 2016 19:41 #32

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Awesome!
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More fun pub signs 07 Nov 2016 21:57 #33

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No job is finished until the paper work is also complete. That of course includes great photographs of the completed signs. Today, we put together a improvised photo booth, painted it a neutral colour and took the time to properly photograph the signs with a plain, uncluttered background. We made sure we had proper lighting and afterwards did a little tweaking of the digital photos to make them look their best.
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Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


Being a grampa is the most wonderful thing!

More fun pub signs 07 Nov 2016 21:59 #34

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Two of the signs were quite different on their reverse side but still worked just as effectively. I also include a proper photo of the Merry Dragon pub sign which was also photographed today.
Attachments:
Dan Sawatzky
Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation
Yarrow, British Columbia, Canada

www.imaginationcorporation.com


Being a grampa is the most wonderful thing!
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