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Art SignWorks, Inc.
41785 Elm Street
Suite 302
Murrieta, CA 92562
Phone 951-698-8484

Monday-Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm, Pacific Time.

© Art Sign Works

ALL OF OUR SIGNS & PLAQUES ARE MADE IN THE USA BY AMERICAN CRAFTSMEN

Product Line 7 - Custom Bronze, Brass, Silver and Gold 3-D (Bas-Relief) , 2.5-D and Engraved Plaques & Signs

Great Seal, Emblem, Logo, Award and Memorial Plaques & Signs, with Metal Surfaces (Bronze, Brass, German Silver, 24K Gold, Fine Silver, Copper, & Aluminum)

Bronze,  Brass, silver and Aluminum  Plaques

Fig 1 - Examples of 3-D Carved Hand-Crafted Bronze, Brass, Silver and Gold Coated Wall Plaques

Welcome to our photo Gallery 7 which shows  over 200 examples of our premium carved (1) metal-plated, (2) metallic painted, (3) 24K gold/silver/copper-leaf plaques & signs, and (4) cast and precision machined solid bronze and aluminum plaques. (5) aluminum-clad wood plaques.

If you have just entered our website and you want an overview of our company and all our products or other informational web pages such as our  Home page, you can view these by clicking on a title in the  gray box in the left margin. Other Product and Application photo galleries can be viewed by using the slider to scroll down that gray box and clicking on a numbered title.   If you are using a cell phone, you can click on the 3 red bars on the top right of your screen to see this menu.

The five different types of metal signs & plaques we make are described below. A much more detailed discussion of our metal plaques and hundreds more examples are shown  on our other website Wood & Metal Plaques ( www.woodmetalplaques.com ).Sometimes we use  two of the techniques together to make a plaque or sign (e.g., Type B and Type C described below by gold-leaf gilding a small area of the plaque and use gold metallic paint in other areas, to provide visual interest in key areas of the plaque and  to keep the cost down.)

Fig. 2 - Metal-Plated Plaques.

The picture above shows examples of bronze, brass, copper, and nickel-silver plated plaques.

 Four different metals for our metal-plated plaques (bronze, brass copper and nickel-silver /German silver) are shown in Fig 2 above.

Type A -  Metal-Plated. We spray on a coat about 1/60th of an inch (10 to 15 mils) thick of real metal (bronze, brass, copper, nickel-silver/German silver, stainless steel, or aluminum), along with a dark patina or dark paint for the backgrounds to enhance contrast for some plaques, and then polish and burnish the metal veneer first by machine and then by hand, to make some areas shiny. Fig. 3 above shows samples plated with brass, bronze, aluminum and copper. Metal-plating  can be used  for 3-D , 2.5-D and engraved plaques and signs. The plaques shown in Fig 2 above and Section A of the photo Gallery below  below are made in this way.

Our metal-plated  plaques and signs have certain advantages over molten metal cast bronze or brass (solid) metal plaques, They  cost about 1/3  as much and weigh about 1/5 to 1/10 as much. Our cold cast metal-plated HDU plaques look very similar to  cast bronze, brass, copper or aluminum plaques, and they will last 30 years or more, for both exterior and interior applications, They are completely waterproof and the metal gives a hard shell over the HDU substrate. The HDU substrate itself is almost as dense as  Cedar or Redwood, with a density of 20 lb/ft3, The metal plating veneer is about 12 mils thick (1 mil = 0.001 inch), 10  times thicker than electro-plating, and forms a very hard, protective veneer. All our metal-coated products are polished by both machine followed by hand buffing with a cloth to give a a high luster. 

Fig. 3 - Metal- plated Samples

Samples of four real metals used for plating HDU signs & plaques, from left to right: brass (yellow gold color), bronze (light brown color); aluminum (silver color) and copper (reddish- brown color).

The metal-plated background areas can show the bare polished metal, or they be covered with either a patina to provide contrast and give the effect of age, or they can be painted with sign enamels. The patina is not perfectly uniform (it has very light non-uniformities in shade,( i.e., slight blotchiness), because of the difference in chemical bonding, temperature, etc. ,to the metal surface. Every plaque will look slightly different. This minor unevenness gives it a very authentic, antique look.

We can alternatively hand-rub flat or satin black or dark gray paint paint into the metal backgrounds  to give a more uniform  look that also gives a higher color  contrast than patina does. Hand-rubbing a dark color paint also accentuates the creases and crevices in 3-D artwork, giving the artwork a more dimensional look.

 The bronze, copper and nickel-silver plated  plaques in Fig 2 above have their backgrounds painted with 1-Shot sign enamels, either black or dark bronze. The Army and Illinois plaques on the right side of Fig 1 above have a patina background. After the metal surface is polished and the background patina or paint is applied, we coat the plaques with either satin or gloss clear over-coat. The gloss is shiny and reflects light whereas satin has a lower reflectivity.  

Type B - Gold or Silver Leaf Gilding. We have one of our artisans  gild by hand the surfaces of  certain  areas of the plaque with 24K gold, silver, or copper-leaves, and then burnish the surface, which is a technique used by ancient Egyptians 3000 yrs ago (many of King Tutankhaman's artifacts were gold-leaf gilded wood). Gold-leaf gilding has been used for thousands of years on architectural features and objects d'art in European palaces and cathedrals. We often gild V-carved engraved letters, borders and art in wood or HDU substrates with 24K gold-leaf, leaving the backgrounds stained or painted. This technique is available for both 3-D , 2.5-D and engraved plaques and signs. The plaques shown in Fig 4 below (left side) in Section (B) of the photo Gallery below below are made in this way.

Type C -  Metallic Painted. We paint some or all areas of the plaque or sign with a very high quality two-part acrylic polyurethane Matthews metallic gold, metallic silver, metallic brass, or metallic bronze paint. This paint is similar to that used for automobiles and uses a hardening agent and a hot drying room. This technique is available for 3-D , 2.5-D and engraved plaques & signs. The plaques shown in Section (C) of the Gallery below below are made in this way. The badge plaque on the right is painted with both metallic gold and metallic silver paints. All signs & plaques are clear-coated twice after painting to minimize any oxidation. Plaques & signs that are painted with metallic paint have lower prices than those which  are metal-plated , because the material costs  are lower and much less labor is required, because paint does not have to be polished and burnished. Metallic painted signs & plaques can look quite beautiful, but the finish is not shiny because the painted surfaces do no reflect light specularly (i.e., like a mirror) like metal-plated surfaces do. 

Type D - Solid Cast or Precision-Machined Bronze and Aluminum. We also offer solid cast bronze and aluminum 2.5-D and 3-D  plaques, signs and separate letters, which we get from a well-known wholesale supplier. These are the only plaques we do not manufacture in-house. We design them, but they are cast using molten metal in a sand mold by an very experienced foundry. another less expensive technique is to cut 2.5-D plaques, signs or letters from sheets of solid bronze or aluminum.  The plaques in Section (D) below are made in this way. The photo on the right shows a solid cast bronze plaque, polished in the lighter areas. Fig 4 below, right side, also  shows a solid bronze plaque. These solid metal plaques are  the most durable, and are suitable for plaques on an outside wall where people will rub it or even walk on it. However, they are more expensive, especially 3-D cast plaques, than Types A, B and C above. 

Type E  -  Aluminum Cladding and 2D Wrought Iron, Aluminum or Steel Signs. For aluminum clad wood signs, we cut out thin aluminum overlays and mount them on carved 2.5-D wood  text or artwork. The plaque on the right is aluminum clad. Fig 4 below also shows an aluminum-clad wood plaque second from the right.  

Alternatively, we can  cut out 2-D signs  or plaques from aluminum, weathering steel, or wrought iron  sheets using a water jet cutter. The plaques shown in Section (E) of the Gallery below are made in this way.  These can be cut in any shape, including cut out areas. We can also make these in 2.5-D multi-level raised relief by welding one or two  smaller cut-out layers on top of the base layer. This type of plaque can be painted or left natural For a rustic look we can cut these out of Corten weathering steel, which  rusts into a brown color almost immediately outside.

If you are looking for a specific application for a metal sign or plaque (e.g., lawyer, CPA, business, residence, vacation home, park, golf course, church, ranch, restaurant, pub, government seal, military crest, college, etc. ) you can click on one of our Application Galleries in the numbered gray boxes in the lower left margin. You can also go to our Photo Gallery Overview page for a complete index of these applications. Our metal  signs are shown interspersed with painted and stained signs & plaques in many Application Galleries.

We make most of our metal-plated signs & plaques for government agencies, especially federal, State and Municipal courtrooms (Gallery 10), the military (Gallery 31), universities (Gallery 34), attorneys and judges (Gallery 10), memorial monuments, and cemeteries (Gallery 16C).

Fig. 4 - Gold, Silver, Aluminum Clad, and Cast Bronze Plaques

The picture above shows examples of 24K gold-leaf gilded, pure 0.996 fine silver-leaf gilded. aluminum-clad Redwood, and cast bronze plaques.

CONTENTS IN  GALLERY 7 . This Gallery 7 contains over 200 photos of our metal plaques & signs in the following order:

Type A - Metal-plated Plaques

  •   (1) Bronze-Plated (top of page, beginning with M7002)
  •   (2) Brass- Plated (top of page, beginning with M7100) 
  •   (3) Copper-Plated (middle of page, beginning with M7201)                                             
  •   (4) Nickel-silver (German silver), and Aluminum-Plated  (middle of page, beginning with M7250)

Type B - Gold, Silver, and Copper-Leaf Gilded Plaques 

  •  (5) 24K Gold-leaf gilded (middle of page, beginning with M7301)                                         
  •  (6) Fine Silver and copper-leaf  gilded (middle of page, beginning with M7351)                 

Type C -  Gold and Silver Metallic Painted Plaques                                                                 

  •    (7) Gold and brass metallic paint (near bottom of page, beginning with M7410)     
  •    (8) Silver metallic paint (near bottom of page, beginning with M7452)                     
  •    (9) Bronze metallic paint (near bottom of page, beginning with M7500)                             

Type D -  Cast Solid Bronze and Aluminum 3-D , 2.5-D, and Engraved Plaques                    

  •   (10) Cast or Machined Solid Bronze Plaques (near bottom of page, beginning with M7521)
  •   (11) Cast or Machined Aluminum Plaques  (near bottom of page, beginning with M7542)

Type E - Other Types of Metal Fabricated Signs & Plaques                                                                   

  •   (12)  Cut-out aluminum clad (overlay)  plaques, usually over wood  (bottom of page, beginning with M7553)
  •   (13) Wrought iron cut-out signs  (bottom of page, beginning with M7600)                          

3-D carved Bronze-Plated Plaque, Great Seal of Illinois (Type A)

PRICES. Custom rectangular bronze or brass-coated 2.5-D wall plaques (usually with text only), with widths that range from 12 to 24 inches, typically have prices of $250 to $600. Our custom designed smaller 3-D round wall plaques, 18 inches to 24 inches in diameter, have retail prices that range $500 to $600. Large plaques, from 24 inches to 36 inches wide, have retail prices that range from $600 to $1200 and up.

Our plaque prices depend primarily on their area, their design  (e.g., complexity and fine detail of carving, amount of hand-polishing and burnishing, amount if any of gilding, etc.). The prices for these 5 types of plaques, all the same size, in ascending  order of price, are as follows: Type C,  Type A,  Type E (aluminum-clad-12), Type B, and Type D. 

 Type C (metal-plated)  has about 2 or 3 times the price of Type C, depending on whether it is carved in 2,5D or 3-D relief.  Type A (metal-plated)  has prices 40% to 50% more than  Type C (metallic paint) . Type B plaques  can have 1.5 to  3  times the price of Type C, depending on how much of the area is gold-leaf gilded.  Type D (cast 3-D) bronze plaques have the highest price,  which is typically 3 times as the price of metal-plated 3-D plaques (Type A).   Approximate prices for plaques using Type A, Type B, Type C and Type D are shown in the Table at the bottom of the Price page (click) on our Wood & Metal Plaques website.

3-D carved Aluminum-Plated Plaque, Seal of Humboldt County, Nevada (Type A)

PLEASE CONTACT US. Please call or email us for a price quote on a specific sign. We will work with you to design and build the exact sign or plaque you want. Our knowledgeable and helpful Customer Service Representatives, Christie and Regina, will respond to your request promptly. Call us at 951-698-8484 or email us at info@artsignworks.com. Or, you can fill out and submit our on-line Request an Estimate Form. We would like to make your sign or plaque, and we are confident that you will be pleased with it. We take great pride in every product we make for our valued clients. We offer a 2 year warranty on all our products.

NAVIGATION. Please move the slider on the scroll bar on right edge of the window to see the photos at the bottom of this page. Please click on a Photo below to enlarge it and get more detailed information. After you expand a photo, to return to this Gallery page, click on your back browser button or "Return to List" at the bottom right of the sign. 

Other web pages (e,g, requesting a design, an estimate, or a quote) and  other web pages, including our Home Page, can be viewed by clicking on an item in the gray box in the upper left margin. Other Product and Application photo galleries can be viewed by using the slider to scroll down that gray box and clicking on a title. If you are using a cell phone, you can click on the 3 red bars on the top right of your screen to see this menu.

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