The Challenge

The Sidewalk Cafe, a new restaurant opening in Indiana Grand’s Shelbyville casino, needed a pop-piece sculpture and accent pieces for the buffet. They wanted a larger-than-life acrylic cone sculpture lit from the interior with a signage band around the outside. For the buffet accent pieces, they wanted to evoke the aesthetics of blown glass without the complexity and fragility of the material. ExpoDesign was tasked with creating these pieces, using materials unfamiliar to us at the time. The cone sculpture was to be built from a CAD design. The buffet pieces could be designed with more freedom.

The Solution

ExpoDesign proposed a 12’ tall acrylic sculpture. We created a base with an enclosed light to shine up and throughout the piece. For the buffet, we designed several “bundles” of acrylic “blooms” that had the look and feel of blown glass. Because we would be using unfamiliar materials, ExpoDesign performed extensive research and development before venturing into this project. We built a large oven to aid in heat-forming large pieces of acrylic and built a steel armature to hold them in place. We expertly created a new method of sculpture that has since become a commonplace capability for our team. For the blooms, we developed a method of transparently painting acrylic prior to the heating and forming process, which allowed us to replicate the look of infused blown glass. The end result was a beautifully-crafted sculpture and acrylic accent pieces.

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