ONE HELLUVA NIGHT






A multi-layered clear acrylic commissioned piece. Measuring 120 x 50cm and weighing a ridiculous 36kg, this was a beast of a piece to work on and quite possibly the most nervous thing we've ever had to ship!





The photos don't do the depth of this piece justice, as you move across it. Each sheet, eight in total, are 6mm thick, and create a surprising amount of depth.









Plenty of pop characters and film references have been worked into this raucous bar, client had fun coming up with a big list of things to stick in!









Eight threaded rods, fixed with capped nuts, hold it all together. Our previous acrylic piece used glue to hold the sheets together but it wasn't an ideal approach because of the effect it caused near the edges of the piece. The metal fixings aren't too intrusive at all.









Developing the piece on the computer was interesting, given all the physical layers and was a headache at times but it paid off.









It's all about the details!









Details, details, details!









Cheeky neon sign.









One acrylic layer had pretty much just one chef on it (and some lovers in a doorway, visible in an earlier photo) to really make best use of the window.









Spraying camera flashes are so fun.









A fair amount of cutting was involved, which will never be communicated by photos!









The trusty blade.









Staaaaaacks.









The acrylic supplier turned out to be pretty bad at drilling the holes we requested, so after they had shipped replacement sheets (sans holes), we had to carefully drill our own holes in.









The various tools used during the drilling process, breaking a few drill bits in the process too!









We didn't have a whole lot of tolerance between the holes to work with, as if we made them too big, the capped nuts would just fall through.

In the end, we drilled four sheets at a time and at an incredibly slow speed to mitigate any cracking. We were finding the acrylic shavings across the house for ages after this.









A number of stencils sprayed with adhesive, ready for painting.









If there's enough space between differently coloured elements, you can fit them onto the same stencil and spray them at all once. Saves you waiting for a colour to dry before doing the next one.









Sometimes islands (parts of a stencil that aren't connected to the rest of the stencil) are necessary and can't be ignored. These standalone stencil parts require placing in just the right spot but are worth the time, especially with the depth this piece had.









A very, very long piece!









Little colour notes on the stencils help to massively reduce mistakes and, for example, spraying an entire stencil one colour when it's actually four different ones.









Few things feel better than peeling a stencil off a piece.









Pool table!









Too many colours to mention.









A wee Clockwork Orange reference.









Whilst all the coloured parts were individual stencils, the white and black colours on each layer were often single, long stencils to speed the process up and guarantee everything was subsequently placed where it needed to be.









One angry chef.









Plenty of notes!









Some parts of the scene, like the bar top or lighting, were sprayed using carefully placed masking tape as sometimes stencils can be more annoying than useful with this kind of thing.









Beer taps, very important in a bar.









Often it was the final black stencil on each layer that'd bring the scene together. Up until then, a lot of it would look like empty nonsense.

And that wraps up the story of this beast of a piece!






Posted 29th May, 2017





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