Monday, November 30, 2009

A Sign for All Time

If you've ever walked around Berkeley and stopped in your tracks to check out a well-made sign for a shop or restaurant, chances are you were admiring the work of Steven Vigeant, owner of Berkeley Signs. (Click over to Steven's portfolio for some memorable shingles.)

We hired Steven to make a sign to hang above the door at Castle in the Air, and look at the unbelievably gorgeous one that he brought us! Just like the artisan products we carry, the sign is made with the same attention to detail and old-school methods we love. Steven created it in a Victorian style, with chipped glass, painstaking hand-lettering, and three kinds of gold leaf.

From the moment the sign went up last week, people on Fourth Street have stopped to comment on how much they love it. It catches their eye because it's such a rare treat to see real art used in commerce. We're living in a time in which mechanization is favored for its convenience and craftsmanship is dying out. I'll venture to say that the only person who loves the sign more than us and our customers is Steven himself, because he got the chance to go back to the techniques and tools of a golden age. And because the sign's double-sided, he got to make two! I hope you can come by and see it in person. We're so pleased to have it pointing the way into the shop.


Shelley Noble said...

Gorgeous work!

Anonymous said...

Karima, you've hit the nail on the head again. I'm new to you and your shop, but I love what I feel when I'm there. This morning I finished sewing a dress for my youngest and spoke to my girls about the true cost of mass-produced and -marketed items. As the artisan Steve feels, our love for what we make ourselves enriches our labor and, thus, our lives. Thank you for your sharing.

Sonya Philip said...

I am lucky to have Steve and Darlene as friends and it's something like Easter when I find a sign he's made out in the "real" world. The perfect fit for a wonderful store!