Irish Eyes Smile on Croke Park Stadium Sign
Founded in 1884, the Gaelic Athletic Assn. (GAA) has promoted and supported such traditional Irish sports as Gaelic football, a fast-paced cousin to rugby, and hurling, which resembles field hockey. The organization stipulates that all athletes maintain amateur status (in a strict sense, not in the loosely interpreted “amateur” status of collegiate U.S. athletes).
The association wanted to bolster its presence at Dublin’s Croke Park, a legendary playing field and GAA headquarters, which celebrates its centennial this year. Hired through a branding agency, Dublin’s Artisan Solutions fabricated a GAA sign shaped in a traditional Celtic cross.
The shop prepped the GAA sign using SolidWorks and CorelDRAW, and fabricated its backing mold from CNC-router-cut fiberglass. To create the shape, they pulled a sheet of flexible MDF over the ribs and coated the mold with wax before putting fiberglass netting over the form and brushing resin into the surface.
After the signface dried, they removed the mold, filled it with resin and rubbed it down repeatedly until the desired finish was made. To decorate the face, Artisan Solutions applied water-based paint, which, once cured, was topped with two layers of lacquer. To accentuate its shape, fabricators airbrushed the sign in the shop’s paintbooth.
Next, the shop welded an aluminum frame, which it secured within a larger, TIG-welded frame mounted on the exterior wall.