Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dancing Bears project continued...

This project has really started to evolve into a unique art piece, and this week, many long hours were spent working on the countless elements that encompass this creation. Bonnie created the beautifully layered and textured bass relief mountain scene with magic sculpt (a two-part epoxy resin) and it now awaits the painting phase. The header sign was milled from HDU and given a rustic hand-carved chiseled effect on the prismatic letters. Base coats of primer and enamel paint were added and now it awaits the Osmalto background and gilded letters. The metal sculpted trees received a base coat of aluminum foil to give bulk and texture, and then received the very labor-intensive coating and texturing of the trunks and branches. This process required us to hire a crew of four energetic artists to mix and knead the two-part epoxy, so a constant supply was always available without any downtime. Bonnie and her crew are doing an amazing job in this very labor intensive stage.
The armatures for the two dancing bears were welded and heat-molded, and now await the same sculpting process as the trees mentioned above. The wine barrel was hand-carved from five layers of HDU, and now awaits more detail work.
Stay tuned...   Roger Cox 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

House of the Dancing Bears Project

As stated in my last post, this project incorporates a wide variety of specialized materials and an even greater fusion of techniques ranging from welding and metal sculpting with heat torches, hand-carving, grinding and machining high density urethane (HDU), crushed glass inlays (Osmalto), gilding with genuine 23k gold leaf, bass relief sculpting and full sculptural carvings using a two-part epoxy resin, and so on... I am very grateful to my clients for giving me complete freedom in determining materials and techniques for this creation.

One of the dynamics I have really been enjoying working on this project is the fact that I am collaborating with two local artists. Randy Ballheim, a good friend, fellow sign maker and craftsman extraordinaire, and Bonnie Norling-Wakeman, an equally amazing artist who is now very successful with her relief walls ( The inspiration I feel working with these two artists has definitely influenced this project in a very positive way.

In these photos, you can see the faux-stone window taking shape, as well as the steel armature for all of the trees which consumed over 300 feet of welding rod and many manhours of labor.

More to come...

Roger Cox

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Welcome to the House of Signs blog

I am excited to begin posting articles to this new blog page to document the many adventures and progress photos of this unique sign-making trade. This year has been filled with creative and challenging projects, a lot of which can be attributed to the success of my new website ( I launched my new site in June 2010 which was designed by Dan Antonelli and his creative team at The site was an immediate success, as we gained many new local and national clients within a short period of time. This was positive confirmation that a well-designed website, which also showcases the high-quality work we specialize in, really does create a new client base. We have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful clients, from all parts of the country, on some very unique projects.

Case in point; a couple from Canada, sought us out from an online search, to have us design and fabricate a one-of-a-kind creation for their newly constructed home situated in the majestic Colorado Rocky Mountains. After working out all of the design details over the course of the summer, we are now in full production mode, utilizing an entire arsenal of fabrication techniques acquired over the past twenty-two years of my career. I look forward to posting articles and photos tracking the progress of this very unique and challenging project.

Stay tuned for the adventures documenting the creation titled: Huus Vode Tanzende Bare (House of the Dancing Bears).

Roger Cox