After rendering the customer's sketch with design software, we translate the sign's elements into toolpaths with a CNC machining program. Our computerized router follows the paths and carves a raw piece of 2" thick high density urethane foam. This sign is approximately 7' x 4'.
After several hours on the router and a few tooling changes, the foam blank takes shape.
Several coats of automotive type primer are applied to the foam and hand sanded to a smooth finish prior to painting.
For added dimension, the large letters and center plaque are cut from clear 1/2" thick acylic that will later be painted, finished with 23 karat gold leaf and applied with adhesive. The small letters in the foreground are "v-carved" into raised areas of the sign panel.
We bevel the edge of the acrylic letters during the cutting process.
The background is now painted. A computer cut (yellow) mask is applied to areas of the sign prior to gold leafing. The gold leaf sticks to an adhesive mixture that is brushed inside of the mask. Sheets of gold leaf are applied to the selected areas.
After polishing the gilded letters to a bright finish, we remove the mask.
In the next step, we will fill in the recessed areas around the letters with crushed black glass to add an interesting texture that will compliment the gold leaf.
A thick adhesive mixture is carefully brushed into the recessed areas of the background.
The crushed glass "Smaltz" is poured onto the adhesive around the letters. The adhesive cures overnight.
The excess glass is removed as our sign nears completion.
The finished sign with a combination of raised and carved letters.
The center plaque is finished with flat, burnished leaf.
We created this sign for our client in Central America. It will be installed in Guatemala City.