Posts tagged Balloon sign
Time to fly!

Today was sort of a day off. Janis is busy with horse stuff and Phoebe is at a friend's house for a play date. That allowed me alone time in the shop to do some fun stuff... just for me. 

It was the perfect day to finish off the balloon, our first four axis routing job, and hang it in it's permanent home in the library. I dragged my tallest ladder in from outside and drilled the appropriate holes in the vaulted ceiling, then strung the strong aircraft cables. This balloon is definitely heavier than air. I carefully lifted it into position and fastened everything nice and tight, then touched up the small areas that needed it. Then it was time for a photo shoot. I quickly discovered just how tricky it is to shoot good pictures up into my studio lights. The balloon looks great in the library and adds one more cool example of our favorite type of work to the varied display.

-grampa dan

Flying high!

Tonight I snuck back out to the studio to turn off the router which I had set in motion before supper. While there I couldn't resist putting a little paint on the balloon. It is looking pretty snazzy sporting it's bright red paint with gold trim. Tomorrow I'll start in on the glazing and then we can begin working on the bottom section.

I also took a minute to check on our website to see if there were any comments I needed to reply to. While there I checked the stats, for we were close to a milestone earlier today. At 10:02 this evening the page view counter clicked over 100,000 visits. We switched to about ten and a half months ago and started this website at the same time. Since then we have watched the traffic grow steadily to an amazing 15,000 hits in the last month. Who would have thought so many people would be interested in what we do in our little shop in Yarrow? And the visitors are coming from all over the world! It amazes me.

The high visit count also inspires me to continue posting pictures and stories of our projects and happenings in the shop. You can count on ever more imaginative projects to be dreamed up, built and recorded here. As always I welcome your comments and suggestions. 

Stay tuned...

-grampa dan

Making it look hand made

There is a certain magic about hand made objects that is very special. They just look better than what a machine can do. That being said, it is a fact that machines make my job so much easier and faster. But I don't want to compromise my style. The solution is to use the high tech machines to help and then add in the hand made look as we finish things off.

The current balloon project is a good example. The gondola was all hand made. There was no other practical way. But the new four axis Multicam CNC router carved the balloon in a fraction of the time than I could have ever dreamed doing it by hand. The resulting balloon was perfect. I needed to fix that. I used the machine one last time to carve the nose cones for the balloon. I glued on the pieces and it was ready for sculpting.

Then I spent a couple of hours laying on the sculpting epoxy by hand. I carefully added the details needed. No matter how careful and precise I was the result looked hand made. In doing so a certain charm and magic resulted. No machine could do that.

The last step was to hand paint (with a small brush) the thick heavy bodied primer. It added a subtle texture over the smooth machined parts, making it hard to tell the mechanical and hand made parts apart. Hand painting and glazing will complete the illusion.

The balloon is starting to look pretty cool at this point. It will only get better as we start in on the color in the next week. Stay tuned...

-grampa dan