It is hard to believe that it was only seven years ago I witnessed a CNC router in action for the very first time. I was fascinated and simply had to have one! Although I had been in the creative end of the three dimensional sign business for most of my life I didn't really know what I would do with one - but I just knew it could do fantastic stuff.

Through extensive research I quickly found out that with the relative simplicity of EnRoute, CNC routers were capable of just about anything imaginable. This journal will chronicle that journey to date and continue each week with two or three entries as we continue to explore just what is possible with this wonderful software... -dan

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It happens every time

Paint always adds a big dose of magic in a big hurry. I had decided we would make the compass ring look like it was cast in solid copper and bronze. We use Modern Masters acrylic metallic paint to good effect in our shop. This metallic paint is brilliant and holds up well outside. I especially like that we can apply it with a brush by hand.
I applied two coat of the gold/bronze first. The metallic copper color was next. The piece was extremely bright and a bit surreal at this point but I'd tone it down shortly.
The first glaze I mixed up and applied was a rich caramel color. I put the acrylic glaze on thick with a small brush and then wiped off with a small soft towel. I had to work quick to keep a wet edge between areas as the piece was much to large to do in one go. After the first light colored glaze the textures already popped a little more already even though it was pretty subtle. Back it went under the fans to dry.
The last coat of glaze was a dark chocolate with a hint of metallic purple. I worked from top to bottom, while jumping quickly from back to front and side to side to minimize dry lines between segments. The work went quickly and the piece instantly came alive as I finished. The dark brown was the same color we had mixed for the plane over a year ago and visually united the plane with the frame through which it 'flew'. Everything suddenly made sense.
I'll let the piece dry in the warm studio overnight, then add the final finishing touch in the morning - 23K gold to the lettering. I'll take some pictures of the process and show just how easy this amazing process is.
Stay tuned...