This may have been my most tedious project to date, but I love the end result. I made two of these because one was for a friend and his new wife as a wedding gift. I was even interviewed by a local news channel who found this project particularly noteworthy!
The original Tennessee Theater sign stands Five stories tall over Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. Since I had lived in that area I wanted to create something that I could look at and remember all the good times fondly.
Design Concept
The design is based on the original, but it was a lot more difficult to create than one might think. The original sign had thin aluminum walls in certain parts of the panel to create different shapes but the tricky part is that the scale model wouldn't be able to have those walls scaled down accurately. My decision to thicken the walls of those shapes not only solved this issue, but helped bring out the symmetry of the organic forms in the original.
Fabrication Technique
I used mainly MDF for the material base of this project. I started by cutting out a technical base which housed all 24 feet of warm white LED strip lighting, and the wiring for it as well. near the bottom of the sign there is a port to allow the sign to be plugged into a standard 12 volt power adaptor and at the top there is a groove that allows the sign to be easily hung on a nail or screw head flush with the wall. The letters were printed on my 3D printer and so were the over 2000 bulbs pressed into the tiny holes which allowed light to pass through to the surface. the paint job was very tedious but was achieves with various colors of Montana spray paint, and a satin spray on varnish. On my YouTube channel you can watch the full build process from start to finish!
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