Part 68 - Making the Black Oak Maille Guild Sign - Part 2
by Lord Thomas the Black


 Making the BOMG Sign, Pt. 2

             Welcome back to another month of Blackmaille! Last month, we started our series of how the Black Oak Maille Guild sign came to be at our demo at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival. This month, we continue...

 Finally we get to the lettering! As I said before, each letter of the "Black Oak Maille Guild" portion, and each word of the Latin inscription were printed out as separate files on my computer. These were then trimmed down and arranged on the sign until it looked right (Fig. 1). Once I had the layout down, I taped the paper patterns to the sign, and transferred the lettering with carbon paper placed under each section as I went (Fig. 2).

                                    Fig. 1                                                               Fig. 2

              Once each letter/word was transferred, I traced the thin carbon-paper transfer with a Sharpie marker, then painted in the letters/words. For the Latin inscription, I also drew a banner around the lettering, tying in the whole "banner" theme of our sign design (Fig. 3 & 4).

                                    Fig. 3                                                               Fig. 4       

            To make the lettered banner stand out a little more, and to give it a kind of "3-D" look, I got some colored Sharpies, and colored the banner's edges (Fig. 5). This gave it a look of old parchment. I liked the effect so much that I got some paints and added this effect to the parts of the sign that looked as if the "banner" was folded back on itself (Fig. 6). By the way, the blurriness of Fig. 6 has nothing to do with that giant can of energy drink in the shot. Nothing at all. Really.

                                    Fig. 5                                                                           Fig. 6 

            When the lettering and all on the front was done, everything was given a coat of spray-on spar urethane. The reason for this was to protect the work done thus far from the brush-on urethane used later. It would have been heartbreaking to go through all this work, only to destroy it with a paintbrush later on. All of the above steps were then repeated for the lettering on the back of the sign (Fig. 7-10).

                                    Fig. 7                                                               Fig. 8 

                                    Fig. 9                                                                           Fig 10 

            Finally, the front and back of the sign were given two coats each of spar urethane to protect against the kinds of weather this sign would endure out at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival site (Fig. 11).

                                                                        Fig. 11 

            Well, that wraps it up for part two! Next month, we wrap up our three-part series with a look at how the finished sign was put up at the renfest site, and how the signage has affected our demo in terms of visitors and recognition. Until then, as usual, any questions, comments, fan mail, or hate mail can be sent to me at:

                                                            c/o Tom Beckett
                                                            13628 Belmead Ave
                                                            Grandview, MO 64030

Or you can email me at  

            See you next month!


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