Who Would Have Known May 01, 2012 00:00

Who would have known that architectural model making would guild me toward this new career path of creating Greek gifts to impress? Surely, it must have been all the Greek Orthodox Church models that I built for CJK Design Group formerly EKONA Architects. The majority of these GOC architectural models can be seen on www.PFmodels.com. An asterisk at the beginning of the each title notes that this was a CJK project. The under lying theme here is Greek only I didn't know at the time when all these projects were going on from 1992 through 1999 almost twenty-two projects.

Most of these models were made from Canson and Crescent paper mat board glued together Elmer's Glue and cut with an X-acto knife. These models were labor intensive. With a supply of sharp #11 sharp X-acto blades, a steady hand, time, plastic C-thru rulers or metal straight edge, lots of light artificial and desktop, Elmer glue, spray mount, ventilation, a comfortable chair, cutting board, a spacious table and plenty of Xerox copies of the plans you were ready to start. Oh, let's not forget the stereo. The models were typically about three inches tall with adjacent buildings, parking lots and landscape. These models were often accompanied the architect when he was meeting with church officials and congregations. Nothing excites the client as much as seeing an architectural model of their project. They see and understand the whole scope within a few minutes. Even grandma and grandpa and children learn.

Twenty five years of this pattern and my forearms were about to fall off. Just completed a large church model of Holy Family Catholic Church, Chicago's largest and oldest Catholic church in the city. All cut from white museum board and sandwiched together show depth. Oval windows and patterns proved difficult to cut with an X-acto blade and if I was going to continue with model making another piece was needed: a laser. And what an incredible tool it is. It cut effortlessly and parts were crisp, accurately cut and beautiful. Models went together like puzzles, then something bad happened: the economy tanked and there were no more models.

Something had to be done and that's when I started experimenting not with cutting but with engraving...