A steel armature goes right into the center of the sign. The chicken was sculpted around this steel armature using Abracadabra Sculpting Epoxy. The chicken was a fun, quick sculpt. I brought the woodgrain around the edges of the inside arch around the chicken using my pneumatic die grinder.
The sign brackets and extra hanging basket holders were cut on our MultiCam plasma cutter. I designed the files in EnRoute Pro software. The sixteen hanging basket holders and the sign bracket roosters were cut from a single sheet of ¼-in.-thick steel in only a few minutes. I welded them onto some flat bar, which we cut on the plasma complete with mounting holes. A little grinding on the edges was all that was necessary to get them ready for powder coating. We subbed out that process.
The rooster was painted with Modern Masters metallic paint. The rest of the sign was painted with Sherwin-Williams semi-gloss acrylic house paint. The lettering on the name was gilded with 23K gold.
The owners were extremely delighted with the sign. The colors of the sign work well with the brick and wood trim of the house!

A sign for the chicken house

By Dan Sawatzky

Posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2018

I often get asked if we ever make signs for “the real world.” The answer is yes, though the bulk of our creative work is for theme parks. As with our theme park work, there are conditions that need to be met for us to consider any sign or project. We always ask ourselves five questions. If the answer is yes to all, then we happily take on the project. Here are those five important questions:

Will the job be fun? Does the project excite us enough to get us out of bed in the morning and keep me awake at night, dreaming of what we can do?

Does the client trust us enough to let us do the design? We listen carefully to our clients as they describe their needs but we, as sign experts, need to be in firm control of the final design.


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Dan Sawatzky

Dan Sawatzky's shop, Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation, is in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. Dan shares his experience in his Sign Magic Workshops on 3-D sign making, and his Sculpting Workshop.