Sculpting a Crest for The Red Dragon

Here’s the post about the Red Dragon Sculpting video, as promised. First, the transcript:

There’s just something about a handmade object that’s attractive and beautiful. Everything used to be hand-made. Actually, everything used to be custom-made. It’s inspiring to think back to the times before the industrial revolution, when there was no such thing as mass-production.

Actually, these days, it seems like once again, a lot of folks are starting to wake up to this fact & realise that products need to have a bit of soul to them. They need to have a bit of a story behind them. After all, who would want something that’s mass-produced and made by a machine, when it could be hand-crafted? It’s an old way of doing things, but it’s becoming new again & I think that’s a beautiful thing.

You’re in the sign-shop of Danthonia Designs, in Inverell, Australia. Every sign in this shop is hand-crafted. Every sign is custom-made. You won’t find two signs in this shop that are the same. We feel like we’re not just making signs, we’re making the world more beautiful. We’re helping small businesses. We’re keeping old crafts alive. Of course, most importantly, we’re making people happy. There’s nothing instant, there’s nothing fast about the process of making a handcrafted sign. There’s skill involved, and there’s something very beautiful about it.

And then, just to see the finished work of art & to know that it will be hanging there for years. It’ll be out in the wind & weather. It’s going to last a long time. It might be around for longer than we are. That’s just very, very satisfying!

Very inspiring, I know, but now for the nitty-gritty:

Chisel Sharpening

Here, Geordie is sharpening one of our angled chisels, on a Japanese waterstone.


Using carbon paper, we traced the artwork onto a panel of HDU.

Drawing with a Sharpie Pen

The lines were darkened using a sharpie pen.


Cutting out the shape with a hand-held jigsaw


I guess you can tell what’s happening here, without me explaining it.

gilding brushes

Our collection of gilding size, gold leaf, and squirrel-hair brushes (No animals were harmed in the making of this film)

Peeling the stencil.

Peeling the stencil.

The finished Crest

The finished Crest!

The finished sign was shipped to St Petersburg, Florida, where it was affixed to the stern of a replica pirate ship called ‘The Red Dragon’. This vessel will make its home in Port Aransas, Texas.