Just a quick post to crow about this cool sign we just hung. The Veterans Barbershop in Cookeville, TN is moving to a larger spot next door and they wanted to go all out in the new space. Coolest thing is they are taking over the old Greyhound Station, so there’s a lot of history there including a vintage phone booth. We wanted to make a sign that is in keeping with the vintage vibe.
So it goes a little something like this…
On the surface it seems pretty simple…white letters on a colored background, but putting something like this together takes a lot more planning than you’d think. I won’t bore you with the details, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes here to make this magic happen. There are 3 background panels…silver, red, & blue, white PVC letters and a barber pole graphic. All of those things have to be attached in specific order and be there for the long haul come hell or high water. It can be a tall order, but Bob’s formula works every time. He basically has the whole sign put together in his head before he even turns the CNC mill on. You have to with a dimensional piece like this.
I won’t say that we don’t learn something new each time we make a piece like this, whether it’s a sign or a piece of art or furniture. The trick is to make it look effortless, even when it’s not.
So two years ago about Art Prowl time, we met up with some folks who decided that they wanted an original piece of art made for their dining room. They’d seen Bob’s wall art that Sweet Sallie’s Cafe had commissioned, and loved its vibe. By last year’s Art Prowl we’d finally perfected a design that was ready to be made. It only took a year. Pretty good, right?
So what do you make for a mechanical engineer & a teacher who loves the outdoors? Turns out, you make an “Engineered Organic” sculpture. Like I said, the design process continued over the period of a year until we hit the right idea for this couple. We tried bubbles, we tried leaves, we even pitched a 3D face. The key ended up being a combination of mechanical and effervescent qualities. The effervescence speaks to natural design while the linear mechanics keep it grounded to the engineered aesthetic.We also wanted to make sure that the art would accent the fixtures already in the space, so we created the pieces in aluminum and brass.
The whole installation consists of 20 pieces. Bob painstakingly designed them in a CAD program and spent hours engineering the pieces to fit within and on top of each other. He carefully created each element on the CNC mill complete with mounting holes and connection points on the back. The clients decided that they wanted the pieces installed directly onto their wall, rather that onto a background, and we agreed wholeheartedly. It made so much more impact that way. Bob created a template on the mill and we used it to drill hundreds of mounting holes into the drywall (scarey!). Next, Bob put in wall anchors and installed standoffs one…hole…at…a…time. The entire install took about 4 hours. You can see the light changing in the photos below as it got later in the day. I took a million shots…we could make a complete animation!
Here’s the blow by blow of the installation—-
The wall art sits opposite a huge bay window that brings in so much sunlight. This thing virtually GLOWS, and it’s just sublime in the evening, if I do say so myself. Imagine eating breakfast staring at this crazy amazing pattern…what a great way to start the day. So personally, I think the moral of this story is that good things come to those who wait!
Our friends Lora Lee & Kevin over there at the Corner Coffeebar & Arthouse asked us to create a one-of-a-kind sidewalk sign for their new shop. They wanted something that matched their vintage industrial decor, and they didn’t need the usual chalkboard that everyone and their dog has. One thing about these guys is that they sit at the corner of the main square here in Cookeville, so they wanted the sign to be visible from MORE than 2 angles. Final issue, this corner is like a wind tunnel!
OUR SOLUTION: Think outside the box
So we stepped into another dimension with a faux-aged, triangular sign topped by a spinning coffee pot! Whew. We started on the CNC mill and cut the basic shapes…seems simple enough. Then came paint, crackle finish, paint, asphaltium, sanding, paint mask, airbrushing, metal edging, paint, more CNC cutting, more paint, two bushings, one metal rod, then we wrapped it up with a sturdy set of casters. And by the way, we filled that baby with 50 lbs. of sand so that it won’t tip over…EVER.
After we delivered it, I sat and rocked, and watched the heads turn as fast as that little red coffee pot did!
Hiya…we’re back! Well, we never really left, just got busy with life, work, and whatnot. For those that aren’t up to speed, I’ll fill you in on all of that later (or at least I aspire to).
Anyway, just thought what better way to get back on the ol’ blogwagon than to post a recent piece that Sign Builder Illustrated did on Acme Industrial Thinking about our sign-making process. It covers a cute little sign we did for Just for You, right here in Cookeville, TN (yes, we’ve moved…more later). Check us out around page 30. Enjoy!
ps – don’t miss the extra article about Team Bob & Jen near the back of the mag
A great article in the 10 year anniversary issue of Dwell last month. Gives a nod to the evolution of the small CNC shop like ours!
Do you ever just google your company’s name? Well you should. If for no other reason than to confirm that your blogging, chatting, Facebooking & Twerting (?) are actually getting out there. I mean, really…it’s exhausting isn’t it? And sometimes I wonder who cares anyway.
So yesterday I did just such a thing, and I was surprised to see how many links there are to Acme Industrial Thinking. I guess the goal is to have other folks talking about you, but I was even surprised to see how much of my own work is reflected…page after page actually. It’s sorta creepy…and great.
Anyway, all of is blathering is to say that I found this neato little mention of a custom nightstand that I listed on Etsy a million years ago. It’s just pretty cool to see that someone out there really likes your work, other than the client that ordered the piece…or your mom.
Apparently re-nest like us, they really like us!
“Last week we were looking at the Apartment Therapy Flickr pool for nightstand inspiration. This week we’re looking through our next favorite source, Etsy, for some stylishly green bedside tables. Take a look at some of our favorites…” Sweet.