Custom Script Sign

A hand-lettered Lucy rendered in plywood and paint.

Three different designs for contrasting color designs
Sketches showing alternate two-color schemes.
An on-edge view of the finished sign showing the exposed laminations of the plywood on the edges.

“Fiesta Del Sol” Hanging Muraled Arches

Twelve-foot wide arch painted with doves and banners around a heart.

Three super lightweight twelve-foot-wide hanging backdrops with repositionable letters.

The initial brief was to create three twelve-foot panels to enliven a large space for an event occurring during Fiesta Del Sol. Each panel was to feature a phrase for the event including a motto, “Radiate Love.” Given as a point-of-inspiration-not-to be-taken-too-literally were the colorful garden boats of Xochimilco.

Conceptual drawing of two figures looking up at three large colorful arches.
My first concept shoes arches quite similar to the source material.

Early one morning after I submitted the initial concept, I was visited by the constraints fairy, that pernicious pixie who complicates concepts, restricts resources, and thieves time. The arches needed to presentable from both sides, I learned, safe to hang overhead, and be reusable. Then that imp of impediments revealed the budget to me; it was clear there would be no arches built as conceived.

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Signable 44” Nike Air Max

An arms-width keepsake painted to be written on with metallic markers.

Hand cut from quarter-inch Baltic birch plywood with crisp painted numbers and linework.

The linework was created with narrow vinyl masking tape. For the numbers, laser-cut numbers in tape and trimmed around the outside by hand.

Let’s Explore 2½D Plywood Engraving

Covering the process of translating an existing piece of artwork into a multilayered laser engraving.

I drew this image a year or so ago while daydreaming about a spaceship made of a junkyard tilt-a-whirl bucket, take-off appliance doors, trash cans, old road signs, and various urban debris.  Of course, the critical functional component was an inertial damping field created with an alien-inspired but homemade circuit board, an Apple ][, and a swiped car battery.

The style of the drawing was intended to ape a woodcut. In this project I’ve set out to translate it to an engraving as a means of learning the ins-and-outs of the new tool in my kit: a laser cutter and engraver.

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Hand-Cut Acrylic LED Signs

A pair of matching, low-profile signs for Guerrilla Development and Brett Schulz Architect.

The mockup I made over a snapshot as we settled on placement and design.

I assembled patterns printed across several pages and attached them to acrylic sheets with spray adhesive.

Then I used a scroll saw and a spiral cut blade to remove most of the material inside the letterforms.

Next was a lot of filing, scraping, sanding and refining.


Plans called for mounting the controllers and power supplies on the wall beneath the signs. I made a small case to contain them.

Stage Door Sign

Hand-lettered panes on the front and back with beautiful, even, LED illumination.

I made the housing from 1/4″ plywood.

I hand-painted the lettering on the translucent plastic lenses for each side.

Light with bright white LED tape and powered by a salvaged wall adapter.

Sorry Friends No Drinks Outside

Painted signage at The Zipper to help folks find the bathroom and the way out. Also, an admonition to keep drinks within their legal perimeter.

Here are the initial drawings I did while generating ideas for the project. 

This drawing was done after some discussion and feedback and represents the agreed-upon design.

A few progress shots:




Ornate Lettering on Rustic Sign

Ornate Lettering on Rustic Sign



Treating the front surfaces to even out stain penetration.

Treating the front surfaces to even out stain penetration.





I used a dirty gray stain brushed right over the lettering.

Laureled 45

Made of 2″ EPS Insulation foam.


Fossils Sign

Bones in ivory on a narsty old board.

I found a narsty old board in the pile and cut it in half. I drilled a pair of holes in each and hooked them together with a couple of pieces of black wire.

This is the sketch I did to get approval for the lettering
This is the sketch I did to get approval for the lettering

I sketched the letters out in chalk and painted the bones in ivory. Went back with some really dark red and black for the shadows. Touched the thing all over with some cherry wood stain to even out some of the variation in the narsty boards.