I'm backlogged on blog posts but just wanted to share one of the things that we used to do and really not so much any more. For 20 years in our previous shop we did flat stock screenprinting of all kinds and materials. There were papers, cardstock, plastics, wood, vinyls, and sometimes custom creations that we printed. I always enjoyed the process and the way printing freed my mind when my body was physically printing hundreds of parts. We printed jobs that went to England, Japan, Iran, Canada, Mexico, and all over the United States. Back in the day, I was screenprinting my own artwork called serigraphs (from the french for screenprinting). I still hope to get back to that medium one day. There is something magical about the process and I love the ability to print many pieces and yet each one can be slightly different.
Oh, the time gets away from me and before I know it, days have past and it's time for a post. There are alot of interesting projects coming up but here is a sweet little sample that I've wanted to do since before I got the CNC.
This is the 3D rendering that the Aspire software generates to make sure you are going to get what you want, or other wise it could be hours on the router before seeing that some detail is wrong.
December was fairly mild as far as wind and rain goes and that carried over into the new year . . . a little. Last week we finished up some outdoor installs and hole digging. This week the winter has arrived. It's been nice to be snug in the shop getting on layouts, working with customers on their projects, and starting to prepare the material for signs in the month of January. There are nine plywood panels in the shop all cut out and in primer. Tomorrow we paint! It doesn't end there, we still have to cut several panels from .063 alum and composite stock (alum/epvc) as well as some smaller acrylic signs and more! He just received an approval on a carved and routed HDU sign which will go on the CNC very soon. Also the digital printers are humming along again creating banners and decals to be applied to many of these substrates in prep. I'm always so pleasantly surprised being so busy in January and it feels like it'll be a very busy year.
Scott's been learning about preparing a variety of substates and tomorrow we'll get started on final paint techniques. He's eager to learn and seems to take pride in doing a good job!
Permits are in on a couple of installation projects so we can start building . . . first up is a aluminum sign cabinet with sheet metal and welding . . . more pics soon! I'm hoping to hear on a sculpted FRC (fiber reinforced concrete) piece, fingers crossed!
Two full sheets of 1" thick HDU later, we have quite a stack of letters for a project with the Lincoln County School District. The letters are going up over the weekend as the kids are back to school on Monday. I thought this might be an intertesting project to get a glimpse of what goes into making letters which are mounted on a wall outdoors. The HDU is a great material to use and is extremely durable in our climate.
These letters are all cut out and drilled (for future studs) and also marked with a code for which school and number for their order on the wall.
Today is January 1st and while I'm not big on 'resolutions' one of my goals is to maintain this blog and write about the goings on in the shop and show interesting projects that we are having fun with. This last year was fabulous! We were busy - 7 days a week and 12 hours a day busy sometimes, especially in the summer. We created some really cool signs and learned so many new techniques that I'm just exploding with ideas and projects that I want to work on for shop samples and possible signs for the community. The router has been very busy and yet there is so much more that it can do. I know that I am only limited by my imagination and awareness to the possibilities so I am reading and researching new techniques and materials to use in the router which will allow us to create some multi-dimensional signage (not Doctor Who dimensional, but that would be cool too!). My goal is to build signs that grab to attention and really get my clients noticed. We added a new digital printed toward the end of the year that has increased our ability to create die cut decals and now we can print in hundreds of METALLIC colors as well as white. I spent the majority of my first 10 years screenprinting decals and flat stocks and while digital printing is cool and necessary, it lacked some capacity which has now been answered by the printing of white and metallics - technology is amazing! The 'old' printer is busy printing banners and it is pretty cool to have the vinyl cutters, two digital printers, and the cnc going all day long! Now for me to get stuck in an finish up those signs to go out the doors!
30 years! Wow, I've been waiting for 2014 to be officially in the sign business for 30 years. Some days I'm amazed how far I've come and others, I'm frustrated that I'm not further along! I am dedicating time in my schedule to build creative and interesting samples for the shop to really showcase what we can do. Look for pictures and stories about some of those as the year goes on.