from the blog

Local Creatives Take Root In Living Display

Painting a portrait or landscape scene may not come as natural to some people. Fortunately, there is a group of professionals who provide a fun, educational experience to assist with the creative process. You don’t have to be the most imaginative, have any previous art knowledge or a talent in blending colors to illustrate an impressive display.

Brush Studio is establishing their second location downtown Grand Rapids, offering private classes which are open to large groups, family get togethers and company parties. With doors opening soon, leaders of the company needed one more finishing touch to add to their space, including vaulted ceilings seated on light colored brick walls and a rustic wood floor. A living sign was requested to be hung behind the front desk to generate an appetite for individuality and growing creativity.


We worked with an associate of Brush Studio, Kara Biondo, who came up with the idea of making a display of their logo without color. She expressed a clean and simple approach, but wanted the background to be covered in a verdant landscape – so we decided to keep their logo monochromatic, cut it from 3/8″ brushed aluminum, and fill the background of the display with moss and air plants.


The frame of the sign was built out of reclaimed wood by our project manager, Josh. Using 1/2″ MDO as a substrate to hold the Coir Fiber Roll, it was attached to the front of the board. This product is made to let oxygen in and also absorb water.


Using a staple gun, chicken wire was stapled on top of the coir roll by Thom.  The wire was laid out to establish a base for the moss and air plants.


Coming to Life

Michael, Thom and Dawn then arranged a starburst pattern of nearly 3000 cubic inches of dried, preserved moss in and around the the sign. Each distinct color and type of moss was meticulously strung together and laid down, keeping a consistent look all around the aluminum.

BS-10 BS-3

We used roughly 250 air plants to give actual life to the display. These plants were placed slightly beneath the chicken wire, which gave them the ability to take root.



We hung the sign on the wall using a french cleat. The display itself weighed nearly 200lbs, so it took the strength of three guys to lift it onto the wall.


This is by far one of the most unique signs we have made to date. We thoroughly appreciate the business acquired from Brush Studio and their efforts to create a one-of-a-kind sign that merges natural elements into a welcoming and industrial space.

custom interior sign