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, March 10, 2011

What's in a Sign Magic Workshop? Part two.

I looked through all my pictures from the workshops and surprisingly have none of the lectures in progress that were of the quality to post here. So we'll have to go with this one taken before the workshop started. The library is where the formal teaching takes place. Surrounded by thousands of books, periodicals, photographs, models, samples, toys and other trinkets we begin a journey of discovery. Here we explore how I do design, where I get my inspiration, and how I pull things together to make our unique signs. We also delve into the various aspects of Enroute and routing on a CNC machine. 

We take frequent breaks to make sure everyone is alert and awake, able to soak in all we are presenting. And at each break there is a new home made treat,  along with fresh coffee, teas, and cold drinks. We need to feed the mind, soul,and body to the max.

It is wall to wall learning, total immersion in a creative world like none other. And each mealtime fresh, hot, wholesome, home cooked meals await out in the shop. During mealtime we discuss our businesses, family and other important subjects, getting to know each other and the things we care about.

The shop time is also packed with information. We explore the specialized materials, tools and methods we use daily. Better yet it is done hands-on, with some demonstrations and lots of try it yourself time.

We look at every aspect of our craft, from cutting, prepping, gluing, priming, painting and glazing. Every question is answered as best we can within our experience.

Each student is given a number of pre-routed sample pieces to work on. Some are done step-by-step and others are a here's the problem, come up with a solution kind of fashion. All materials and tools are provided.

There are samples done in all stages for reference. And contrary to what is imagined, it is all pretty easy when broken down into small stages.

Rebecca, with more than 15 years of experience is out painting instructor. She describes each step, explains the whys and why-nots, answers questions and demonstrates each step of the process.

Then it is time for everyone to get their hands dirty by actually doing it themselves.

I'll show the results in the next post...