The first arch is finished

This past week has been a busy one in our shop. Berle we go into production we wanted to complete one arch for the bowling alley. It would set the tone for the many to follow.

We applied the fibreglass reinforced concrete and sculpted the first lane mask prototype for the NEBs Fun World Bowling Centre. There were three pieces. The first is the arch which will go over the bowling lanes. The ‘wooden’ posts will stand in the center between the arches and a horizontal beam will go from post to post. Everything is designed to easily and quickly assemble.

Once the sculpted concrete cured it was time for paint. The base colors always look pretty bright at this stage. Three coats of color are applied, with the third being a blend coat.

Once the base colors have cured it is time for the magic. A series of glazes are painted on and then judiciously wiped off. The glazes remain in the lower portions and texture areas making everything jump in an instant. Once the glazes are dry we do some dry brushing to bring out the highlights and add a bit more aging. On the metal parts we did a little grinding and then made some instant rust by spraying on some mild acid. It was instantly old and full of character.

The prototype will be kept handy as we get into full production next week. There are almost forty more of these arches to create.

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

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