We believe our building is impressive, gorgeous and gives our visitors an excellent first impression of Epicurean. Our new piece in the foyer is the exclamation point on that first impression. When visitors take their first step inside, they see what happens when our talented team of designers, programmers and operators collaborate.
Over a series of weeks, starting with a conversation between chief designer Jesse Michels and CFO Dave Benson, this Lake Superior wall art piece took shape.
Sam Story, our product designer, took the initial concepts and started the process of refinement. No fewer than five versions of the lake were drawn and rendered. But the final, says Sam, “included the much needed detail for the Apostle Islands. I believe these islands are essential as many of us here have spent time on them.”
A custom 1.25” thick, two-toned sheet of Richlite was ordered specifically for this project. “The very custom natural blue was an idea we threw around early, but how best to use it was a different thing and required several different renderings on how to pin down the perfect end visual. I spec’d the end material to be almost entirely blue Richlite, with a thin layer of natural just to make the whole thing stand out as well as signal to our mainstay color of cutting board,” explained Sam.
Once the design was finished, CNC Programmer Eric Newcomb had to write the instructions that would tell our machines how to sculpt this giant piece. Eric said the most challenging part of the programming, “was figuring out the depth of each layer to create the different depths of the lake and make sure we did not cut through the blue and into the bottom layer of natural.” The programming took about two weeks, double-checking the math and confirming the depth of each layer before creating the tool paths.
There was only one sheet of material ordered so there was no room for error when it came time to run the program. Over the five hours it took to cut this piece, Eric and CNC operator Frank Saunders checked each step and every cut. Several program adjustments were made over the course of the cutting. In the end, the piece came out flawlessly.
Now it hangs in our building as a testament to our team’s skill, cooperation, and creativity; three of the qualities that make Epicurean great.