Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The 2011 Best Dressed Signs Year in Review

First Edition Support Your Local Sign Painter Tshirt
available here 

2011 was a busy year for Best Dressed Signs! In addition to cranking out signs for Orchard Skateshop, Facebook, Follow the Honey, Goorin Brothers, and a new glass gild for Chameleon Tattoo, among others, Josh also participated in five gallery shows and completed his first year of grad school! 

In February and June, Josh showed work at the Summit Gallery and Guerrero Gallery, both in San Francisco before beginning work on the behemoth sign for the new Facebook office in NYC. In November, Josh contributed work to the Type Show  and the Hundreds Show, both at the Lincoln Arts Project in Waltham, MA while also curating and showing work in the Pre-Vinylite Show at Orchard Skateshop. In the midst of this artistic frenzy, Josh and Kenji Nakayama conducted a sign painting demo at Orchard in which they shared their knowledge with a sizable group of sign enthusiasts! Josh was interviewed about the Pre-Vinylite show and sign painting demo by Boston's Weekly Dig magazine. You can read the article here

As the year is winding down, Josh is gearing up! He is currently working on a piece for another upcoming art show at Guererro Gallery called An American Language and he's been commissioned to paint the chapter titles for the forthcoming companion book to the Sign Painter Movie. All before beginning a new outdoor job painting a plaza on the Harvard Campus. Gotta pay the rent!

Stay tuned for more adventures in sign painting in 2012!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Lone Wolf Tattoo, Bellmore, NY

This past week I made a trip down to New York to gild a sign for Lone Wolf Tattoo in Bellmore, Long Island. I took the Bolt Bus down from Boston in true journeyman style with my sign kit and pattern in tow. Upon arriving in Manhattan, I met up with my friend CJ and stayed with him the first night. CJ joined me on the Long Island Railroad and helped out with applying the pattern. In return I showed him how the gilding process works. For the next few nights I stayed in Brooklyn with my friend Nicki and made the trip out to Bellmore for the rest of the week. I had a great time hanging out with everyone at the shop and gett'n a real Long Island experience! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pre-Vinylite Society Artists' Statement

Artists’ Statement

The name, The Pre-Vinylite Society, is inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of young English artists in the 19th century who were tired of the contemporary trend in art that venerated and imitated Raphael’s classical model. They held that the kind of rote, mechanistic replication that permeated the paintings of their day corrupted art and made it devoid of emotion and humanity. In a similar vein of rebellion, The Pre-Vinylite Society proposes to subvert the recent convention of lifeless vinyl signage as a digression from the time-honored institution and rich history of hand-painted signs.

The craft of sign painting has survived through the tradition of mastery and apprenticeship and The Pre-Vinylite Society Sign Art Show highlights the skills and techniques that have been passed down through the ages. However, though The Pre-Vinylite Society’s signs serve to represent the classic signage of yesteryear, they are nevertheless very much products of the present day. While the signs in this show reflect many traditional techniques of sign painting, such as letter design, gold leaf, and glue chipping, they also push the boundaries of sign making as a solely mercantile art and assert the art of sign painting as a gallery-worthy endeavor. The Pre-Vinylite artists challenge the idea of sign painting as purely commercial by combining fine art mediums such as oil painting and sculpture into their works and employing ironic materials for their surfaces such as polyurethane and vinyl records.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Pre-Vinylite Society Sign Art Demo

Thanks to everyone who came out for The Pre-Vinylite Society Sign Art Opening on Saturday night. It was a huge success and we have a lot of people to thank for helping it all come together. Thanks also to the bloggers who posted photos so quickly after the opening. Here are some links:

If you missed the opening, have no fear! The show runs through mid-December and there will be a sign painting demo/workshop this Saturday, November 19th at 2pm in the gallery upstairs at Orchard Skateshop. Pre-Vinylites Josh Luke and Kenji Nakayama will explain basic sign painting tools and techniques such as basic letter strokes, pattern making, pinstriping, and gold leaf.

Unlike the opening, which was 21+, this event is suitable for all ages! Come by and let the masters show you how it's done!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Pre-Vinylite Society Sign Art Show Opening Nov 12

This unique art show features signs artists and lettering enthusiasts from across the nation who are associated with the Pre-Vinylite Society, a loose network of like-minded letter junkies. The show will emphasize sign art as a gallery-worthy craft, exhibiting the talents of several generations of sign painters in what is quickly becoming known as a Sign Painting Renaissance.

The time honored trade of sign painting has survived through the tradition of mastery and apprenticeship and the Pre-Vinylite Society Sign Art Show highlights the skills and techniques that have been passed down through the ages. 

Curated by Josh Luke of Best Dressed Signs, the Pre-Vinylite Society Sign Art Show is the first of its kind on the East Coast. Among other talented painters from around the country, the show will include artists from San Francisco's New Bohemia Signs, a renowned sign shop owned by the venerable Damon Styer, whose artists have participated in several West Coast sign art gallery shows, including the recent Guererro Gallery show (as seen in Juxtapoz Magazine) featuring Steve Powers and Jeff Canham. Many of the artists in the Pre-Vinylite Sign Art Show will also be featured in an upcoming documentary by Faythe Levine and Sam Macon, titled "Sign Painters," due out in 2012.

Opening at 8pm on November 12 at the Extension Gallery at Orchard Skateshop. 156 Harvard Ave, Allston, MA. Free beer and vegan pizza! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tip of the Day: Glass Gilding

These are the steps I take when gilding gold on glass. I've been posting one step at a time on the Pre-Vinylite Society facebook page. As I add steps onto the Facebook page, I will compile them here so you can see all the steps in order. These are condensed explanations as Facebook only allows for so many characters in a single post.  Hope this helps, and happy gilding!

Tip of the Day:
This is Step One of a series on glass gilding. I'm no expert, but this is how I do it.

Supply List
-Gold (Book of 23k Surface gold / loose leaf) 25 sheets per book
-Gelatin Size (I'll explain in next tip of the day)
-Gilders Tip
-Gilders Mop
-Vaseline (or a greasy head)
-Cotton (surgical with out seeds is best)
-Black back up paint
-Lettering quills
-Sign pattern / pounce / blue tape
-Bon Ami 

-Windex / paper towel
I'll explain more as I go!

Tip of the Day!
Glass gilding Step Two: Making a water based gelatin size

-A pint size mason jar with lid
-Pour a small amount of water (room temperature), enough to submerge two gelatin capsules (I haven't found an alternative to gelatin, but I'm searching! Get these at a health food store).
-Pull capsules apart before putting in water and make sure there are no air bubbles trapped inside the capsules
-20 or so minutes after submerging capsules, pour in hot water (no more than is needed to dissolve the capsules completely) and swirl the water a bit
-Fill the rest of the jar with cool water, swirl and inspect the liquid to insure that the capsules are completely dissolved.
Screw on the cap and you are good to go!

Tip of the Day!
Glass Gilding Step Three: Preparing the glass

-First clean both sides of the glass with glass cleaner(windex) and paper towel.
-On the inside of the glass (the side you'll be applying the gold) take a razor scraper, and run it over the surface to be gilded, removing any tough debris or specks.
-Now take a paper towel piece, fold and add a small amount of Bon Ami and windex to the paper towel. Bon Ami is a cleanser that will help remove any oil or unseen residue.
-Spray the window a bit and the Bon Ami in the paper towel, then apply the Bon Ami/paper towel to the window. Apply in circular motions. It will be frosty looking.
-Let the Bon Ami dry completely.
-Wipe off the Bon Ami with a dry paper towel. Make sure it comes off fairly easy, otherwise you may want to do a second round of windex and Bon Ami.
-After removing all Bon Ami from window, go back over with a clean paper towel and windex. If you hear that oh so sweet window squeak sound you are good to go!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring Time Sign Time!

Hey folks!
It's been a while since we've updated our blog but spring has sprung and we're back in action!

A lot has been going on for Josh and Best Dressed Signs these last few months, including: Josh's first MFA residency, a New Bohemia art show in San Francisco, a sign for Orchard Skate shop in Allston, preparation for a sign for the new Facebook east coast headquarters in NYC, and another art show with New Bohemia, Steve Powers, and Jeff Canham in June, just to name a few.

Boston has slowly but enthusiastically been embracing the hand-painted sign movement and Josh's work will soon be featured on a restaurant, shoe store, and tattoo shop near you, so keep an eye out!