Much of the inside work is not yet photograph-able because of scaffolding and such, but one area is almost complete. The bedroom of the North Star suite is inside the giant ship’s hull that protrudes from the tower of the building. Who wouldn’t want to sleep in this room?
With the three rooms of the inn catering to wedding and anniversary couples, it is fitting that the Under Hill sign features a key and a heart. It is mounted in a sunken area of the curved garden wall. This sign was one of the first completed back when we started this project four years ago.
It is fun to watch cars pass by our place. As they see our property, we almost always see brake lights. Then they see the Hazelnut Inn and they stop—often in the middle of the road. Many pull over to take a closer look and take a few pictures. This place is the talk of the town, and it is still a construction site.
Never has a service area looked so good. Behind these marvelous doors is the mechanical room, laundry and storage area for the Hazelnut Inn.
On each garden door the name of the suite will be subtly engraved in some fashion. The North Star suite garden door is fashioned from plasma-cut steel. It will be allowed to acquire a rust patina over time.
The Under Hill garden gate is like no other ever built. The two layers of metal tree frame of the door has sandblasted and stained wooden planks inserted into the middle for privacy. The tree on the outside of the door is sculpted 3D in welded metal. It took some serious engineering to ensure the HEAVY door swings easily and latches with a click.
Our intrepid explorer has gathered an eclectic collection of antiquities from the far reaches of civilization. These treasures are displayed all around the North Star suite.
This is the realm of dragons and chivalry, knights in shining armor and rescued maidens. The outside decor hints of the glories of the inside.
The Copper Crown castle is the third suite of the Hazelnut Inn. This luxurious suite is the furthest from the road and will have a formal English green in the private courtyard. An ornate wooden and steel gate, complete with drawbridge over an interior pond, will admit guests to this little hidden paradise.
The dimensional North Star sign is mounted to the giant rudder of the ship that towers above. The Keel and rudder form part of the wall that protects the lower portion of the garden of this suite.

A sign-making family builds an inn

A little more carving, a little more sculpting, a little more painting...

By Dan Sawatzky

Posted on Saturday, August 29th, 2020

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The Hazelnut Inn project has now been underway for four long years. The inn is on the grounds of our shop and will cater to our newlywed and anniversary guests. Since it is a personal project for our team, this job must fit around the paying shop work in our shop.

On top of that, every square inch of the project is being lavished with exquisitely detailed work that is the best we’ve ever done. This is not a rush job. The project is intended to be a luxurious place to stay and also a fabulous showcase of our work. We estimate it will still be another year or possibly two before we welcome our first guest. I thought it was time for a progress update for SignCraft readers.

The Inn will be a showcase of how to do masterful visual marketing. To say eye candy is abundant would be a massive understatement. We know guests will be hard pressed to not stop every few steps and take a picture.

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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.

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