The request for a mirror complete with the illuminated image of a truck was a surprise to say the least. At first I could not envisage how I would achieve a photo-like image of a truck ‘illustrated with light’ on a mirror. I tried a few different illustrative approaches then hit on the idea of combining a technical illustration with a stipple shading technique to bring out the highlights and enhance the tonal qualities of the image. Special attention was given to the signage on the door and the Jack Daniels logo would add a final touch in the bar of the client’s home. We did a trial etching on a mirror with a portion of the image to see if it was going to work and it showed us that we were on the right track. The client liked it and after a couple of days of refining the detail we were ready to sandblast the final artwork. A conversation piece indeed. This mirror was hard to part with, the gleaming metal and chrome of the truck is a perfect subject for an illustration with light. The mirror was installed complete with a remote control dimmer.
We had looked at illuminated mirror splash backs in the past but there were a few potential problems that needed to be overcome. For example when a glass splash back is installed it is glued into place. The LED lights behind the mirror will need to be accessed in the future even if they last for 20 years as the manufacturer claims. Also the bottom of the ‘splashback’ needs to be sealed against moisture seeping under the panel. And with our normal mounting system of French Cleats we need a clearance of 50mm above the mirror to set it in place. The cupboards above the mirror would not allow us to use that kind of hanging system. We managed to solve all these problems . Firstly by innovating a new hanging system so that the mirror needed only 4mm of clearance. When it was locked into place a plastic seal was used along the top edge. The bottom and side of the mirror were sealed with silicone in such a way that it can be sliced with a blade to break the seal should the lights ever need attention. The back of the Australian made Viridian Decor mirror (arguably the best quality mirror in the world) was sealed with a mirror sealer and covered with mirror safety vinyl to meet Australian safety standards
The successful result we achieved with this type of image has inspired a whole range of possible images such a gleaming car, motorcycle or luxury yacht, architectural landmarks like the Eiffel tower and cityscapes such as New York. We look forward to our next commissioned and wonder what is in store.