Dan Sawatzky talks Imagination Corporation’s Sculpting Workshop

Coastal Enterprises, manufacturers of Precision Board HDU, is proud to announce a series of guest blogs written by Dan Sawatzky of Imagination Corporation, which will be posted on the Precision Board Blog each month. This month Dan Sawatzky fills us in on the Fall sculpting workshop that he puts on at Imagination Corporation every year entitled, “Sculpture Magic”. 

sculpting workshop

It’s that time of year again…. workshop time!

Each fall we host a sculpting workshop where we cover all aspects of designing, creating and marketing dimensional signage. We call it Sculpture Magic. This year we are hosting two workshops. The first is sold out (in a few hours). With such an enthusiastic response we decided to hold a second workshop as well. There are still a few seats available on a first come – first serve basis if anyone is interested. Information can be found HERE or by dropping me an email.

The sculpting workshop is designed to light your creative fires! We explore how we come up with our ideas, and what tools and materials we use to bring them to life. By breaking everything down into simple steps, we will discover that anything is possible. Our workshops are designed to take the mystery out of our craft and make it fun. Those who take the workshops are fully immersed in our creative world for three intensive days.

Our studio is located in a rural area and surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Our award winning shop would aptly be described as an artist’s theme park with wall-to-wall eye candy at every turn. Take all the pictures you want, ask any questions you want and we’ll do our best to provide the answers.

sculpting workshop

The sculpting workshop is definitely a hands-on event. Bring work clothes and work boots. We’ll supply everything else. You’ll weld, attach lath, mix our special formula of concrete, apply cement, and sculpt it. You will work on a variety of samples individually and in small teams. You will also construct an armature and then sculpt a wonderful piece of your own using sculpting epoxy. We want you to try your hand at every task we do in our shop, learning the process of exactly how we do our projects.

We’ll spend some time touring the highly-themed Hazelnut Inn (next door) to show how the same skills you learn in our shop are applied on a much larger scale. On top of that, you will witness our current shop projects in all stages of completion. It is a lot to squeeze into three days, but it is our goal to share as much as we possibly can of what took us more than forty years to learn ourselves.

It’s going to be a fun and fast-paced three days. The theme is visual storytelling. It’s all about using our imaginations to do things we have never done before.

Precision Board has been a proud sponsor of these sculpting workshops since we began them more than ten years ago. This year we are pleased to welcome Kellie Miller, Executive Account Manager with Coastal Enterprises, to this workshop. She will give a presentation on Precision Board HDU and other products offered by Coastal Enterprises.

sculpting workshop

I design and rout a custom name plaque for each person who attends the sculpting workshop. They are just over a square foot in size and are machined from 1.5” thick PBLT-30 Precision Board HDU. These name plaques are a fun challenge to create. I use them to test out new texture bitmaps I am working on and new ideas for sign shapes. Our painting crew always pulls out all the stops when they paint them up. They use every painting and glazing technique they can muster and inevitably invent a few more along the way. The results are truly eye-catching and are an eye candy delight for the attendees when they enter the shop.

Juan Pablo’s name plaque uses a new texture I am working on. I wanted the piece to resemble a woven fabric which is undulating naturally. I used three different bitmaps (layered) to create this effect. It is going to be interesting to see how this paints up.

sculpting workshop

For Ava’s plaque I used a maple leaf bitmap which has various shades of grey to form the layers. The painters will use various shades of orange and reds to paint it. Then they will add some fun glazes to really make this pop. The letters will be done with variegated gold leaf to take it over the top.

There are thirty name plaques in all (so far), each one unique.

sculpting workshop

Sawatzky’s Imagination Corporation is a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous national and international awards.

Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force and visual storyteller extraordinaire. His art career spans almost fifty years of magic. Dan’s passion is to design and create imaginative places that take people from the normal world to a setting of delight and wonder.

Coastal Enterprises manufactures Precision Board HDU, a versatile, cost-effective and eco-friendly urethane sign material that is particularly effective for making professional-looking indoor and outdoor dimensional signs.  It is a closed-cell rigid substrate that does not rot, warp or crack.  You can request free samplesget a quote or sign up for periodic newsletters packed with helpful information.