A repeat customer (a nautical themed charter school in the Bronx, New York) commissioned us a few years ago to make a large anchor/ship’s wheel sign for their lobby. That sign is one of my favorites that we’ve done.
This time they asked us to create four large sculptural bulletin boards to display student work. The corkboard portions of the piece were supposed to seamlessly blend in with the rest of the piece – making it a challenge!! We really enjoyed all the specialty painting on this job, and we had tons of help from friends.
We started off with some concept sketches to get the ball rolling. Once the sketches were approved, we created the CNC files, and routed the basic shapes out of 1″ thick, 15 lb density HDU foam board. Our CNC table will only fit 4′ x 8′ sheets, but several of these designs were much bigger than that. So we designed the bulletin boards to puzzle-piece together, avoiding any visible seams. Then we started sanding, texturing, and hand carving.
We carved wood texture, sand texture, dimension on the waves, and gold coins heaped in the treasure chest!
Next, we primed all the pieces, including the corkboards, and began painting.
We used metallic paints and dry brushing techniques to create the special effects on the rocks, wood texture, and copper and iron accents. We airbrushed the blue tones of the waves for a super-smooth, brushstroke free finish.
For the treasure chest, we both carved coins into the HDU and installed premade coins into the sand. We spray painted them with a little matte dark grey to take off the shiny edge and age them a bit. We then glued them into carved slots.
We finished them up, took pictures, and headed up to NYC to deliver!!
The Treasure Chest
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What an awesome job.