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Friday, July 27, 2012


Some of Lamb's first signs showed up in Black Mountain in 1976, when he was just starting up his business. Some of them are still standing too, thirty-six years later. How's that for a testimony for real wood signs?

The Grey Eagle Village is a collection of shops in Black Mountain, on the site of the old McMurray Chevrolet car lot.

The entry sign (shown left) is a directory made from Western red cedar, listing all the shops. It features hand painted art in a dimensional format: the mountains, trees, and lake are all on different levels, giving it a feeling of depth. The letters too, are sandblasted in, giving it a little extra character; something that catches the eye, rather than a flat-painted letter.

The sign atop the steel pole (shown right) is made from Southern red cedar. Below, are interchangeable magnetic signs for the shops.

What once used to be a plentiful wood (Southern red cedar) was nearly eradicated by the apple growers. It seems the proximity of cedar trees gave the apples a blotchy appearance. Nothing hurt the taste, but they were less marketable. Therefore, the apple growers felt the cedar trees had to go. They're making a comeback though, and it's an excellent wood for sandblasted and routed signs, being very decay and insect resistant. The farmers at the time used to cut down the smaller trees when they reached the size of a fence post, because ... they made great fence posts!

I'm always on the lookout for this wood because it is wonderful to work with. Look for future blog posts about sign reclamation, where old signs are recyled into brand new signs.


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