Visit to United States Capitol

Capitol Visitor Center Frame, Bronze Coated by Atlas Signs and Plaques (formerly Metal Facades)   First go to the Capitol Visitor Center What a great morning experience. Parking in D.C. is definitely an issue, but we lucked out and and scored a meter only 5 blocks from the United States Capitol Visitors Center which is located on the North Side of the Capitol.   Crowds Waiting for Closer Look at Bronze Frames   This trip was both a visit to the Capitol and photo mission. A few months ago, Atlas Signs and Plaques (formerly Metal Facades) applied LuminOre® Real Bronze to the 17 x 23 foot frames located at the Pass and Information desks at each end of the main hall. Although the frames appear to bronze foundry castings, they are really HDU foam coated with cold-spray bronze. Much lighter and far less expensive! A great [...]

2019-01-27T15:42:03-07:00January 27th, 2019|Atlas Posts (All)|

Sweet Heart Tree Carving, Without Actually Carving

SWEET HEART TREE   The two of you in love, a promise carved forever into a tree, what could be better? The ultimate in romance was to carve a heart in a tree, add the date, carve  your initials and those of your sweetheart, and pierce it with Cupid's Arrow! Truly a forever event that will be there for eternity, or so our young minds thought. Carved heart Blog Ah! but there are a couple of small problems in our new age of awareness. The reason to carve is obvious, but the reasons not to carve include such STD sounding diseases such as Aspen Cankers, and Beech Bark Disease. Additionally, your artwork leaves a place for insects to enter and opens the soft portions of the tree to ravaging animals. To make it worse, state and federal agencies really frown on defacing and destroying public trees. [...]

2019-01-29T12:18:45-07:00January 25th, 2019|Atlas Posts (All)|

United States Capitol Visitor Center – Days 1-6

Project Overview Metal Facades (now Atlas Signs and Plaques) was contacted in December 2008 by the prestigious firm, Hadley Exhibits, of Buffalo New York and asked to bid on an exciting project using the LuminOre® metalizing process. The project turned out to be two rectangular frames 16 x 23 feet that Hadley was constructing from High-Density Polyurethane Foam (HDU). The same material that is the favorite of Atlas Signs and Plaques for custom handcrafted signs and plaques. Outer Frame, Unpacked and Ready for the Transformation The frame, quite massive, about 9 x 9 x 9 inches, and required metal coating on three of the four sides. Nestled within the foam frame is a smaller aluminum inner sub-frame meant to house 6 flat screen tv monitors and a large clock. This framework is about 17 feet long and 28 inches tall. Again, 2 of these. The plan is to [...]

2019-01-25T16:02:40-07:00January 25th, 2019|How we do it|

United States Capitol Visitor Center – Days 7-10

Readying and Applying Metal Patina Day 7: January 22, 2009. With the spray application of LuminOre® Bronze completed, the outer frame project is nearing the half-way point. The sprayed metal requires some time to cure and fully harden prior to the finishing steps. Despite the frigid temperatures, shop heat is left at 74 degrees overnight to aid the process. We can’t wait to see the gas bill for this month. During the cure process, the metal coating develops a bit of a sticky glaze on the outside which must be removed before patination and final finishing. Again, mostly hand work. We usually remove the glaze with a light abrasive blast, and this was no exception. Some of day 7 is spent sandblasting, but the remainder of our time is used to hand-tune the frame surface so we have a nice even metal base that will take the patina and give [...]

2019-01-25T16:02:51-07:00January 25th, 2019|How we do it|

United States Capitol Visitor Center – Days 11-14

Clear Coating the Outer Frame & Begin Inner Frame Packing in Process Day 11: January 26, 2009. Clear coating day for the outer foam frame. The final step prior to packing and shipping. Each of the 24 pieces of the outer frame for the US Capitol Visitor Center display is carried to a rolling cart, placed on a special set of jigs that our crew constructed from four by four lumber, and rolled to the spray booth area. The super-premium clear-coat is mixed and poured into the spray gun. Then, two coats applied to each piece, and cart moved to the drying area for curing. Although a practiced hand, and quality equipment are necessary to apply the top coat, this is a relatively easy step that does not require grueling hand-work . Best of all, it means that the piece is done and, after curing, ready to crate [...]

2019-01-25T16:02:58-07:00January 25th, 2019|Atlas Posts (All)|

Bald Cypress Nature Center, Trap Pond State Park, Laurel Delaware

BaldCypress Nature Center   Atlas Signs and Plaques was very pleased to receive the commission to develop a sign for the new Nature Center at the State of Delaware's Trap Pond State Park, located in Laurel Delaware. About 7 feet wide by 3 feet tall. We recently mailed our staff photographer to Delaware to see the completed sign, and report back with photos and information. But the beauty of the swamp and the remaining Bald Cypress Trees made it difficult to get him to return. A first class ticket and the promise of a free meal did the trick. Bald Cypress Nature Center Trap Pond State Park was one of Delaware's first state parks and dates from 1951. The pond was originally developed in the late 1700s to power a saw mill to cut the Bald Cypress Trees. Times have changed and the area is now [...]

2019-01-29T12:20:26-07:00January 25th, 2019|Atlas Posts (All)|

A “Mini Me” For Any Sign Or Plaque

  Snow Capped Mountains - Copper Verdi   Wow! “Chuck” (as we have named our CNC Router) has been working overtime with new designs now being offered at Atlas Signs and Plaques. We are really excited to share the new Minis that coordinate with some of the larger “Nature” themed plaques. Customers are ordering these unique designs for their cabins, lake homes, studios, country houses and mountain retreats. Mini Snow Capped Mountains Sign Here is a picture of the Mountain Address Number Sign and the coordinating Please Remove Shoes Mini Plaque. “Please Remove Shoes” could be replaced with “Please Remove Boots” for country living in Montana, Utah, Nevada, Arizona or Iowa. Mini Bear Cub Remove Shoes - Bronze Verdi   This cute Bear Cub will make a great addition to your Camp, Cottage, Private Retreat, Getaway, or Country home, reminding guests to remove their [...]

2019-01-29T12:22:10-07:00January 25th, 2019|Atlas Posts (All)|

House Numbers, Address Signs, Let’s Size It Up!

Grado Gradoo Numbers ONLY! - Copper   When considering your home’s facade and its house numbers or address plaque take a step back, way back, to the road back, and determine the proper size and placement. Often times I see address numbers that are too small to read from the road, or that are placed in a spot that is not easily read. (Like stenciled onto the front steps) Size and visibility does matter so when choosing your house numbers make sure that it is readable from the road, placed in an obvious location like on the front and rear of the house, and on a garage if there’s an adjacent alley. Neutraface Numbers Angled Raised Stainless Steel   In cities like Minneapolis and Chicago, they are now setting ordinances with the hopes of creating more consistency and visibility throughout neighborhoods. That would also aid police, [...]

2019-01-29T12:23:48-07:00January 25th, 2019|Atlas Posts (All)|

The Craftsman Touch Collection, Featuring Arts and Crafts Style Plaques

Vertical Poppy Address Plaque - Brass   Introducing the new Craftsman Touch Collection from Atlas Signs and Plaques. The Craftsman Sign and Plaque Collection “brings it home” with a complete and coordinated signage collection for your Arts and Crafts, Craftsman, Ranch, Bungalow, Prairie, or Mid-Century Style house. And not just Address Plaques. But a place to find every imaginable sign that a home requires. Everything from Arts and Crafts Style “No Soliciting” signs to Craftsman Style “Beware of Dog” plaques, to Frank Lloyd Wright inspired “Welcome” Plaques, to Mission Style “Business” Plaques. Acorn Address Plaque   Atlas Signs and Plaques has added new styles and created variations on our time tested designs to compliment architecture as diverse as Morris, Wright, Stickley, MacIntosh, Greene and Greene, Eames, Aalto, Ellis, Dryden, and Hapgood. Atlas can create matching No Soliciting Signs, Private Drive Signs, Deliveries in Back Sign, or [...]

2019-01-29T11:59:32-07:00January 25th, 2019|Address & Number Plaques|

What is Oil Rubbed Bronze?

Oil Rubbed Bronze isn’t Bronze at all, it is Copper with a Patina Finish. The other answer is that Oil Rubbed Bronze can be anything the manufacturer or craftsperson wants it to be. Since there is no true definition, most agree in broad terms that Oil Rubbed Bronze should have darker brown tones with a bit of the metal base material showing through. No Solicitors Abandon All Hope Bronze Raised Sign How you get there is another story, and often you can’t get there at all. Many are happy to give the illusion of oil rubbed bronze by faux-finishing the piece or using a spray paint of some sort. This makes it very difficult to have a little metal showing through, since we are talking paint in this case. Look at oil rubbed bronze furniture, lamps, kitchen and bath accessories. You will usually find that the coloration is [...]

2019-01-29T12:03:25-07:00January 25th, 2019|How we do it|


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