My good fiend calls his studio the Imaginarium. I wanted to make him a sign that had some resemblance to a skeleton watch but simpler. The design had some limitations as the finished piece had to travel inside a suitcase. My friend lives in Hawaii.
I first did a quick scribble in my sketchbook to work out the basic idea. It was very rough but it gave me a chance to thoroughly work out the design before I started on the computer. The original work was done in Illustrator and these vectors were imported into EnRoute.
I find EnRoute is the easiest tool to use to finalize shapes and work out the radii of the intersecting corners. Once I had things pretty much worked out I separated the pieces like the gears which would be routed as separate pieces.
The gears in fact would be the first reliefs I created – all as simple flat reliefs with raised and sunken portions plus different thicknesses to the two types of gears.
Once the bear and shaft reliefs were built I merged them all to a zero height relief. They would be routed as one file with a thin onion skin background so they didn’t fly off the table as I routed them. Some of the gears were very small and all had little surface area for the vacuum table to grab.
The face of the piece was next. I first created a flat relief .
The flat relief was then modified using the dome tool and the outside circle vector.
I decided to create a zero height relief with that same circle vector and then merged the top face of the piece to it.
The last step was to create the lettering as an embossing.
The back of the piece was to be woodgrain. It was as simple as creating a flat relief and then adding a woodgrain bitmap texture. In this shot you can see how much I stretched things out.
The supports for the two styles of gears were done at two heights. These were done as individual reliefs and then merged highest with the wood grained background.