Our layered art uses thin solid hardwoods in varying thicknesses that are cut into intricate shapes and arranged on a backboard to create beautiful scenes! Please enjoy this brief tour of some of the steps involved!
Milling the Thin Boards
We use a wide array of hardwood species in our art like Walnut, Aspen, Cherry, Bubinga, Red Oak, and more. We select each board carefully, considering the color tone and grain of that individual piece. Rough sawn boards from the distributor get cut to length and ripped to the right widths for what we need. The boards also take some passes through the jointer, which gives one face the perfectly planar surface that we need to put it through the resaw.
Our industrial resaw makes quick work of slicing lumber up to 12 inches tall. This is basically a miniature sawmill and this silent video does not do justice to the raw power (and noise) of this beast. This is the fastest and most exciting part of making the thin boards that we use in our art.
Final Thicknessing and Smoothing
Sanding is where things slow way down. The goal here is to remove the blade marks from rough cutting, get the board to its exact final thickness, and of course smoothing the surface. This happens through many passes on a drum sander and final hand sanding with a random orbital sander.
Laser Cutting the Boards
A CO2 laser cuts all of our shapes for us. Watching the machine work really never gets old and it's so satisfying pulling out the perfectly shaped pieces. This process generates a lot of smoke and it is vented directly outside. Even so, our workshop often smells like a campfire!
Final Assembly and Spray Finishing
Individual laser-cut pieces are assembled and glued by hand onto hardwood laminate backboards. The assembled art is then spray finished using a two component finishing system with 3 to 4 total coats. Spraying all happens in one day with specific time periods between coats to maximze color clarity and the adhesion between coats. 24 hours after the final coat of finish the art is ready to pack up and ship to a customer!