If I were someone else and not myself and I took a look at the signs I make, I know I might be tempted to think “that’s so simple, I could make that in like five minutes” or something like that. I actually still think that when I’m about to make something. Or I used to. I know better now.
I know I am always curious about the process of other artists. So in case you ever are too, here are the details of my latest piece.
First, I got a request for a custom piece from a lady. She had a pretty good idea of what she wanted, so I spent a day making 5 examples with gimp for her to look at. After she picked one, I had to decide how big to make it. Then I opened trusty paintbrush and stretched my text to fit all nice on the sign. (It wasn’t tall enough).
Then I asked Gordon to cut a piece of wood into the right size. We happened to have a couple small sheets of plywood. He cut one piece in the morning and left for work. I took the piece and went outside to sand it. While I was sanding it, I realized it was way too rough and that the bottom was cut pretty uneven. On top of that, the board was warped. So no go.
The next morning, Gordon cut me another piece from a different board. I took it outside, sanded it and applied the first coat of primer. It was a more humid day, so I waited a couple hours before sanding it again and applying a second coat of primer.
After that dried, I sanded it again and primed the back and sides. When that was all dry, I took it inside and painted the first coat of black on it. I set it in front of a fan to dry, then applied a second coat.
Then I do a patented, secret process to transfer the text from the computer screen into an outline onto the piece of wood. This takes a couple hours because it’s tedious and I have to take breaks every few minutes to stretch my arm and neck.
After i have the chalk outline, I begin to fill it in with paint. I’ve been fortunate enough to discover paint pens work great for this. As long as the text is black or ivory. (Those are the only colors I have right now). I tried sitting on the couch and painting, but the dog decided to run back and forth across my lap, so I had to go back to the table.
I did two coats with the paint pen. Let that dry, then lightly wiped it with a damp sponge to remove the chalk lines.
I then painted two coats of black on the back and sides of the board. When that was dry I took it into the garage and sprayed a nice coat of matte finish on it. I then picked up the gorilla glue to glue the sawtooth hangers to the back. Unfortunately, the gorilla glue was rock solid in the bottle. So I started reading the back of every glue variety I found on the work bench. Wood glue? No. Glue-All? No. Pipe sealer? No. Old, peely, tube of liquid nails? Perhaps. I figured I’d give it a try and if I didn’t work, I’d go to the store in the morning and get a new bottle of gorilla glue. So I put on the hangers and went to bed. In the morning, they seemed to be attached pretty well, so I wrapped the sign in bubble wrap and kraft paper, taped it up, addressed it and took it to the post office.
Then I had to make pumpkin cheesecake bars.