This piece was truly a challenge and an exciting project. Our friend worked as a civilian employee for the US Government in the print shop on the Groton base. Over the 30 years of service, he met many service members that thanked him for the work he did by handing him a challenge coin from their deployments. The challenge coins along with coins and commemorations recognizing his service excellence, were secreted away so I could create this showpiece for his birthday.
Many... Many hours were put into this gift. Starting with an image of a Seawolf class submarine, I laid out the placement of each coin like a puzzle. Once I had the layout determined, I created a file within Adobe Illustrator, measuring each coin with calipers down to the millimeter. Once the file was created, I exported it to my laser to cut the shapes out and test them for fit. After many corrections and tests, I successfully cut the design from MDF and Plexiglass; the MDF was spraypainted with a hammered grey paint which I thought looked like the hull of the submarine. The coins were held in place with a small amount of glue and the plexiglass covers the pieces protecting the coins.
The background is a modified print of an underwater scene, which is also protected with plexiglass. Each piece of the submarine is held in place with 4 bolts set off from the background giving the whole piece some depth. I used a Larson Juhl Soho shadowbox frame which I spraypainted with the same hammered grey metal look.