Square City

Filled under: Art

Date posted: September 3, 2010

Square City was a regional juried art exhibition featuring two-dimensional media reflecting richness, diversity, and life emerging from cities of the past, present, and future. Square City was created and hosted by PONSHOP of downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia, September 2010.

Square City_reception

 Square City Opening Night


PONSHOP Art Studio and Gallery of Fredericksburg, Virginia

 Support your local artists!


For my entries, I wanted to reflect the first thoughts I have when thinking about the big city: the skyline and the lights. The exhibition came at a great time for me as I was just developing my new line of Halos wall lights. With this, I had an excellent medium to work with and the equipment on hand to make my pieces. Halos are wall hanging black symbolic designs with colorful lighting attached to the back. They sit about an inch from the wall and the light reflects off the wall creating a brilliant halo effect.

After brainstorming, I decided to feature two main elements: a skyline and a city scene. A theatre front with it’s brightly illuminated marquee served as both an iconic city scene and an element that generates captivating lights. With my plan crudely in place, I began the CAD phase.


My first piece will be at the largest possible dimensions: 24″x 24″.


My first attempt at drawing a theatre front in an art deco style format.


A second version. My goal is so the viewer will instantly know they are looking at a theatre front.


Another attempt. Adding some depth adding elements.


Well, if I add the text “Theator”, there will be no issues guess what the image symbolizes.


Getting more refined. Showing the center entrance and ticket booths on both side.


Well, because of machining limitations the last version will not really work out well. So, here’s a new attempt.


Ok, so let’s make it as simple as possible. Two double doors and a central ticket booth.


Next I am working on the marquee.


Looking good and structurally sound!

Now that the design is finalized and in CAD, the tool paths can be generated.


The vectors uploaded into the CAM program and the toolpaths generated.


The simulation of the design verifying everything is correct before I make the cut. The machining tool is a 1/4″ diameter straight router bit.

Next stop, the CNC.


The material used is .220″ thick HDF (high density fiberboard). Lol, ignore my scrappy dustshoe, it’s temporary until I get brushes.


Here’s is the machine controller. It’s Mach3 running on a Windows XP PC.


Cutting in action.


Action shot!

Next stop is sanding and finishing.


Most of everything needed to finish the HDF.

I lost any pictures showing the sanding and finishing process as well as the pictures of my pieces after finishing. However I will show you another design made of HDF with the same finish for comparison.


A example of the black lacquer finish on HDF. Two coats primer and two coats satin finish.

Also missing are pictures of the back of the design with the lighting installed. I guess I was in a rush to finish and forgot rear shots.


After the lights are installed and hanging on the wall.


Hanging on a wall at the PONSHOP the weekend of the show.


A picture taken by the Pons before hanging.


Yay I won, placing in the top three!

My second piece was a smaller version of the previous piece: 12″ x 12″ and instead of fixed lighting colors, I installed RGB lights so that user can select several lighting colors and patterns.


Tiny and bright!

That’s all I have. To see the other pieces entered into the exhibition you may visit the PONSHOP blog archive page: http://www.ponshopstudio.com/archives/1758