South Padre Island tourist attraction gains air of authenticity
By Steve Aust
Danthonia Designs (Inverell, NSW, Australia) made a name for itself with its distinctive monument, post-and-panel, wayfinding and other signs installed in its home country. Throughout its existence, the shop has also cultivated a substantial US clientele. A boat isn’t a venue where one would typically expect to find a carved sign, but a pirate ship is no ordinary vessel. Red Dragon Pirate Cruises, which operates in Port Aransas, TX (near South Padre Island), wanted a compelling statement in port, and Danthonia delivered.
Using a Roland CAMM-1 plotter, designer Joe McKernan created the pattern using Adobe Illustrator, and plotted the masks on Anchor stencils. Then, the Danthonia team carved the faces from Sign•Foam 3 HDU with Pfeil chisels and woodcarving tools. The shop fashioned the ship’s crest using several partial HDU slabs. All pieces were painted with Dulux Weathershield acrylic-latex paint and bedecked with 23k goldleaf.
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