From flat to real

A number of years ago I got the wonderful opportunity to visit Disney's Imagineering in California. There were more than a thousand folks there who dreamed up ideas and then built the most imaginative projects on earth. I was surprised when my host and tour guide (a vice president) offered me a job - any desk I wanted. Although working there would certainly be a dream job I turned down the oportunity in a flash. The problem was I would be required to work at a desk doing one thing. I already had an even better job.

I get to dream up the ideas, draw the concept plans, sell the job and then put on a hardhat and start in on the real work. I get to weld, pound nails, create complex artwork for our CNC router, assemble the most marvelous things and then apply the paint to finish things off. I get to do it with a small creative team. We do it all in relatively short time frames compared to what larger companies are able to do.

It was back in June I did the first concept art for the Fox & Hounds Pub. Some of the drawings portrayed the fireplace and the area around it. I was excited about the chance to theme a fireplace. It turned out this project would offer the opportunity to do not one but two instead. 

Today we put the final touches to the main part of the fireplace in the pub. A large, upright timber still needs to be fabricated on the left side. This will be done after we open the new bar next week, freeing up the space where the temporary bar now resides. The fireplace was designed to showcase a piece of dimensional art above the heavy mantle. We later inserted the family crest as this piece of art. Colors are muted and aged to 'authentically' help tell the story we are showcasing in the pub. Focused lighting is designed to show the fireplace, the dimensional art and the London roofline above to its best advantage.

At the end of the work day we stopped as we left and paused to look and enjoy the piece we had created. There were a few changes of scale and the hearth was now made of brick but it was still very much like the whimsical drawing I had drawn back in June. It made me smile a big old smile! 

-grampa dan