Smooth-On and our amazing ISA show!

ISA 2018 was a really big deal for us. More than ever, our samples were featured in booths from Smooth-On, Multicam, Coastal Enterprises, and SAi EnRoute. We also presented in the EnRoute booth and showed some people how we do what we do. In all, we had 15 pieces on display at the show this year.

Our crowning piece on top of our Sign Invitational piece was our Gear sign that we produced for Smooth-On. It was one of 5 pieces displayed in their booth, but was easily the most eye catching. Smooth-On agreed to lets us have an awesome amount of creative control over all of the samples, so it made it a dream build for us. Judging from the crowds we saw in their booth, I would say it was an overwhelming success.

Products Used:

Smooth-On Freeform Scuplt Epoxy clay
Smooth-On Freeform Habitat Epoxy clay
Smooth-On Smooth Cast Onyx Casting Resin
Smooth-On Moldstar 15 Silicone Mold Rubber

Precision Board Plus 30lb HDU

Here are the pics!



Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.

Thats a wrap! The Sign Invitational 2018.

Back in 2015 when Dan and I sat on a grassy hill at the EnRoute summit in Denver Colorado, I would have never guessed our crazy ideas would turn into an amazingly fun event. The premise, Invite the best of the best in the sign industry and see who answers the call. The challenge, set some rules and see how creatively people can break them. That my friends is exactly what we have seen in the past 3 years. 24 amazing entries later, I would like to think we have done our little part in helping the visionaries in this business dream a million dreams. The best part is we are not done yet!!!

This year’s Sign Invitational may have been small in participants, but there was no lack of fan involvement or passion across the entries. Competing were Dan Sawatzky (Imagination Corporation), Gary Johnson (Great American Sign Co), Douglas Hancock (SignPro of North Florida) and myself, Jim Dawson (Synergy Sign & Graphics).

Everyone showed up with amazing creations that were true reflections of themselves as well as creative solutions to the guideline limitations.

In end, 567 fans had voted for their favorite and Dan Sawatzky took the crown home for the 2nd year in a row.

Next years contest is going to be extremely interesting. Stay tuned for some major announcements including 2 divisions and something that is surely to be a show stopper!!!

Check out the video here! The Sign Invitational 2018

Thanks again to our amazing sponsors.

Video Here

Coastal Enterprises
EnRoute Software

Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.

A busy 2 weeks.

After collecting my award for Best Novelty Sign at the EnRoute summit and meeting some super amazing people, it was time to return home and get ready for our first Sign Alchemy class.

 People started arriving for the class on Wednesday night and we spent some time hanging out at the shop and preparing for the days to come.  Everyone arrived Thursday morning eager to get started learning how we do what we do. Doug Haffner and Myself ( Jim Dawson ) spent time lecturing, demonstrating, and helping our attendees learn as much as possible over the 3 day class time. Each evening, we took the class out to dinner and then came back to the shop for more 1 on 1 instruction and sharing. The funny thing about teaching is that typically the teacher will learn as much as the student by trying things different ways.

I think I can speak for everyone in saying that we all learned a lot and never strayed too far from the spirit of fun that makes us who we are.

Here are some highlights from the class.

30lb Coastal Enterprises Precision Board Plus name plaques were carved for all attendees to customize and learn on.

Smooth-On is our official supplier for Mold Rubbers, Casting Resins, and Epoxy Clay materials. Here you see a mold we made at the class using Smooth-On Platinum cure silicone.


We also provided everyone with some awesome sample boxes filled with Smooth-On products and Coastal Enterprises coatings and Precision Board Samples to take home and play with.

Carved concrete demo panel.



Everyone finished out the 3 day workshop with some amazing pieces to take home. We are already busy planning workshops for next year.

Drop us a line if you are interested in attending one or both of our 2018 workshops we are planning.

Special thanks to the following sponsors who made this year’s workshop and overwhelming success!


Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.

Enroute Summit 2017.

A couple of years back, I attended my first EnRoute workshop in Denver Colorado. I had and amazing time with some old friends and made some new friends along the way. When EnRoute announced it was holding a competition leading up to the 2017 Summit in Salt Lake City, I climbed all over it. Up for grabs were cash prizes, advertising opportunities, and free trips to the summit.

I’m happy to say that we placed 1st in the Novelty category with our gear set.

So, for the next 3 days, I get to hang out with the best of the best. I can’t wait to see what new things I learn.


Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.

What’s behind door #1?

A while back, I started brainstorming what our entry way should look like. It was pretty drab and boring, so it was in need of a major upgrade. The first thing that popped into my head was some neat looking gear themed window sills. We followed that up with some gear / steampunk themed custom shelves.



This past week, we started carving a crazy door skin that screamed LOOK AT ME! in a very steampunk sort of way.

The door was carved from 30lb Precision Board plus from Coastal Enterprises. Our Multicam 3000 series router handled all of the machining duties flawlessly. EnRoute Pro 6 was tasked with creating the model for the door. We used some amazing bitmap wood textures from Dan Sawatzky’s Wood collection to create the wood planks in the recessed areas.


After a quick test fit, we started the texture coat using Coastal Enterprises TSF45 coating. Its super thick and lets us do lots of fun things with it.


We also cast 2 sizes of hot rivets using a silicone mold and Smooth On casting resins. The molds were created using real hot rivets. The resin copies were glued into the door and textured using the TSF45 and some HDU dust.


The base coats were applied by hand. Here you see the skin based in a coat of dark brown.


The next step involved various colors of black and dark red glaze. Once the glaze was dry, we applied the metallic paints from Modern Masters and Novacolor. One last coat of black glaze was added and wiped off once the metallics were dry.


Here you see the finished product. All we have to do is finish the back side of the door and add some glass to finish it out.


Stay tuned for progress on the rest of the entry way.


Published with permission from Synergy Sign & Graphics. Source.