Sculpting details

Once the clamps came off I went over the sign with an air powered die grinder. I first evened things up and then added a subtle texture over all the edges to match the texture which we had programmed into the files with EnRoute. Once the sign was ready for paint I drilled holes in the sign to accommodate the brackets. Everything was test fit to make sure it looked right, then glued to make it permanent.
Holes were burned through the support pipes for the vertical rods and everything fit and welded to make the sign secure. the last two balls were welded onto the rods after they had been cut to final length. The third rod was welded to the post to make the sign REALLY secure. There was no fear of this sign coming down in the wind. Then I used some sculpting epoxy to form the barnacles, fish and starfish which added the nautical flavor I was seeking. I could have routed the bulk of them but hand sculpting them added a randomness and hand sculpted look to the sign which I really liked.
I mocked up the whole sign once more before paint to make sure it all looked right. I decided to make the ship into a whole scene complete with rocks, gravel and some scrap lumber on the ground. The barrel and other tools were also sculpted into the scene. The boat was held up securely with two sturdy steel rods drilled into the hull of the boat and down into the sign.The epoxy sculpting medium was allowed to dry overnight. Then it was time for paint.
Stay tuned…

Published by

Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force in the sign industry. He and his wife Janis are owners of Sawatzky’s Imagination Corporation – a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional theme signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous international awards and Dan’s articles appear frequently in the sign trade publications. Dan and his crew also host Sign Magic and Sculpting Workshops in their studio a number of times each year with attendees coming from around the world. For more information please visit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *