Often at Great Lakes Metal Works & Art Studio we create sculptures that designers and artists have already envisioned. Other times, we restore an object that has already been made, while other times, we have the opportunity to make things that are purely our own design.
Ko specializes in contemporary Hawaiian plantation food, bringing elements of island flair to haute cuisine. To capture that essence in their signage, we sketched out ideas for a glass sign that would feature the restaurant’s modern logo in bronze with three-dimensional leaves cascading over the letters, surrounded by a dark green metal frame made to look like sugar cane stalks.
Coordinating with other artisans
Because our design called for various forms of media – glass, plexiglass, lighting and metalwork – we needed to coordinate with other artisans who specialize in those areas to complete the project. We found an artist who was able to create the frosted green background of the sign in plexiglass and etch on the words “Plantation Inspired Cuisine” in a darker, emerald green glass. Then, we found another artist skilled in lighting and electrical wiring to illuminate the sign from behind.
Creating the metalwork
Once we had other artisans working on their parts of the project, we started creating the metalwork for the sign. For the frame, we wanted the sugar cane stalks to have a knobby, naturalistic feel, but we knew that casting them in bronze would be expensive. So to value engineer the project, we decided to create the frame out of forged steel rather than bronze.
To make the frame, we heated up steel rods until they were hot enough to become malleable, then compressed them to make ridges, giving the frame its beautiful sugar cane appearance. Next, we sprayed the steel with chemical compounds and heated it to give it a greenish-brown hue.
The leaves of the sign were hand forged in bronze, then patinaed to a soft, mottled green. On the sign, the undulating leaves are raised off of the glass, giving the sign depth and dimension.
With the metal work, glass work and lighting in place, we assembled the sign and then found a special shipping company to transport the sign to Hawaii with care.
If you are interested in having us create any custom signage for you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.