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I found a very interesting foam product called Precision Board (very dense and can be carved and sanded) at a trade show right about the time I was looking at a carving project for Messiah Lutheran Church in Wilmington, NC and thought it might be fun to document the process through photographs. It would also be a great opportunity to help demonstrate the process of creating a custom sign for those who want to know how I do it.

The first thing was to gather all the information about the sign's requirements.
(size, materials, and theme)
Working from those details, the graphic images could be roughed out.


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This was going to be an interior sign,  so I would be able to use wood, as weather would not be a problem. The sign would hang over the exit doors so its size was fixed by the opening and the ceiling height.

The church, which was recently built, had used a financing program to raise the needed capital and featured grape vines on all of their literature. So I picked out some vine artwork that I had kicking around in my files. I have always liked this artwork but never had a chance to use it on anything.

I  fashioned a border in the right dimensions for the background of the carving using Adobe Photoshop. I scanned the images into my computer and was able to manipulate them to fill in the missing pieces.


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I then sketched a banner for the text by laying a piece of vellum over the printed background. Scanning the banner into the computer allowed me to view the two pieces on separate layers, adding and subtracting elements from either of the layers as required. This helped me to increase the 3D effect of the drawing and I could see the finished design before I started the carving.


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With the design work completed, I can now think about the construction process!
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