We love when customers bring in unique pieces for us to engrave. Well, love might be a strong word. We should say, it challenges us, and we like a challenge.
Recently, a customer brought in handmade serving trays. Someone took planks from an old barn and made a border around them to create the trays. Then, they brought them to us to engrave. Well, see for yourself how it went:
These kinds of artisan pieces really inspire us to create our own new products, especially for the holidays. Below are some ideas we've had, including custom snowflake ornaments, dry erase boards, acrylic awards, and print marketing materials.
The ornaments and acrylic awards were crafted by us; all we started with was a sheet of acrylic. The rest were designed and produced in shop.
We hope these pieces inspire you to create!
A lot of what we do at Awards of Excellence is sublimation. One of the ways we do this is by sublimating metal plates, stone, fabric, and other materials. Sublimating is when something solid (ink) becomes a gas without becoming a liquid first (Source).
Probably the most popular use of this process is when dry ice goes straight from ice to vapor and how they get all the water out of freeze-dried foods. For our purposes, ink is the substance in question; we print an image (using any colors) onto special paper with a sublimation printer, secure the paper against a metal plate, press the plate and paper against each other with two very hot plates, wait 60 seconds, then take the plate and paper out. When we peel the paper away from the metal plate (with gloves!), the image has been transferred onto the metal. The heat caused the solid to turn to gas, which was immediately transferred to the metal and was turned into a solid again when cooled. It's a little bit like magic, but it's purely science.
The word "sublimation" has been used since the late 1550s and comes from the Latin sublimatus, meaning "to lift up" (Source), but the process itself was first explained by Jabir ibn Hayyan (Gerber) in the 700s (Source). Gerber is known as the father of chemistry and having discovered dry ice.
Nowadays, anyone with the right press can sublimate ink onto metal, fabric, paper, etc. A lot of neat things can be made through sublimation. So, if you want a plaque, name plate, medal, or gift that is fully customizable, ask us about it. In the meantime, here are a few sublimatable items we offer at our store:
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