Tag Archives: typography

01: Christian Baldwin

Picture of TOOTIE name in wood
Anthony’s nickname in wood

I cut my laser teeth on baby names. For my great nephew Anthony, the word TOOTIE was carved out of some oak ply. A large stroke of unetched material held the letters together, and the resulting block of text is sturdy enough to stand on its own.

Ella Lyn Baldwin's name in wood
It looks a little like a train, right?

The second nameplate was for Ella Lyn Baldwin, a great niece. Her entire name was to be used, so I chose some lean type. The etch was reversed, leaving the long letters standing atop their shadowy stroke. Some feet were added so that the piece could stand on its own despite the middle name descender. The result reminds me of a locomotive. Ella Lyn’s nameplate was mounted on the wall above her door, but her new brother Christian’s door was sadly unadorned. So for the first week of 2014, I set out to fix that.

His name, set in Buckingham, was wrapped in some sourced Celtic knot corners and carved into a  narrow plank of salvaged wood. The wood is unique in its batch because it’s already been finished, and a light cleaning with a multi-surface cleaner brought an amazing shine to the letters, especially compared to the etched surface.

Such high tech tools!The prototype stopped there, but I wanted to experiment with some wax metallic finishing paste that we’ve had lying around for a while. I coated the unetched surface in black marker first, and then wore that away slightly with some isopropyl to leave a faint purple hue. It’s very difficult to see in the pictures.

Apply sparingly with finger or soft cloth.

Naturally, this particular instruction on the paste tube wasn’t followed. Despite my best intentions, a great many gobs were left on my cloth and I still haven’t been able to get all of the grey off of my fingers. The result looks great, though!

I really enjoyed how the marker only partially wore away with isopropyl; it’s hard to see in the images, but the letter surface has a cloudy texture to its sheen.  I’ll certainly be playing with this material and the Rub ‘n Buff a bit more.

Christian Baldwin Nameplates
A close-up showing the shine from the wood’s finish