Dan Sawatzky


Dan Sawatzky is best described as a creative force. He is a visual storyteller extraordinaire. His art career spans more than forty years of magic.  Dan and his crew host Sign Magic and Sculpture Magic Workshops in their studio a number of times each year with attendees coming from around the world.

Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation

Sawatzky's Imagination Corporation is a small family company that specializes in the design and creation of dimensional signs and environments. They tackle projects of any size from small signs to entire theme parks. Their work has garnered numerous national and international awards.


42392 Yarrow Central Road

Chilliwack, BC, CANADA

V2R 5E2

604 823 2216



Big changes

Since my last post we've been very busy on the house. Much of the trim is now finished on the exterior. The sidewalks have now all been poured. New fence separates the yard from the driveway. More rail road tracks have been laid and the driveway has been blacktopped. We also laid turf on most of the dirt, finishing off the yard. Shrubs and flowers are in place as well. The place is looking pretty good.

There's still lots to do and we will continue working as we have time. Stay tuned for more...

-grampa dan


The wait is over.

Work continues on the house and yard but I have to have a little fun too.

Shortly after moving to the property eleven years ago I expressed a desire to buy a new barbecue but there was no patio and money was tight. Janis & I decide to wait until the new house we were dreaming of was built. I was confident it would be in a year or two- three to five at most.Janis (the realist) predicted a few years more. It turned out to be ten years.

Tonight (with barbecue season now in full bloom) I brought home the new barbecue. :)

Now I just have to get the back deck in.

-grampa dan


Smoothing the back forty

Although we are in a time crunch as we work towards the end of our current large project, during the evenings and weekends I manage to squeeze in a few hours at a time to work on the landscaping in the yard. Our goal is still to be fully landscaped by mid-summer.

The big lawn between the house and the shop is the first order of business. The shaping of this rea began back when we built our shop ten years ago. Each time a neighbor did some work in their yard and had spare soil  we added to the berm, gradually building it up to the shape we wanted. The new septic field added forty feet to the length of the berm. Once the new house was comlete we took out the old and it was time to use the massive pile of excavated soild to do the rest of the shaping. We leveled it out with an excavator, smoothed it as best we could and threw down some grass seed in the fall. We would let things settle over the winter, Some areas had been filled up to eight feet and the elevations were bound to change a bunch in places. I enjoyed mowing the rolling expanse of grass this spring but I had to go slow as the lawn was more than a little rough in places.

Last week we took delivery of twenty four cubic yards of soil to top dress the lawn, taking out the humps and bumps and filling in the low areas. The first two loads disappeared in a hurry! Today I ordered three more loads. I first haul it to where it is needed and then spread it with our garden tractor with the front bucket. Once the soild is in place I hand rake it and then jump on the small garden tractor. I have welded up a very large piece of steel to further smooth and tamp the new soil in place. The process works well and in less than three hours I have done a good sized section of the lawn. The ground is smooth enough that I no longer have to hold on to keep from being thrown from the seat of the tractor as I travel back and forth so many times. 

With 36 cubic yards in place and the next twenty-four waiting it is my bet that it will take another three or four loads to get things right. The area behind the tractor is still very low and sloping the wrong way. This is where the bulk of the next loads of soil will be placed.

It is my hope that I can begin the seeding of the new lawn on the weekend. It won't be long until I can cruise of the new green grass and go to my happy place once more. Stay tuned as we wait for the green...

-grampa dan


Concrete day

This morning bright and early we taped plastic around the bottom of the rockwork around the porch area. it was to protect it from stray bots of concrete that were bound to splash up. It happens even though we had one of the best concrete men in the business. The concrete crew and truck arrived just before eight to begin the job. 

The concrete was dark brown in color, rich and a perfect match for the heavy trees that line the front of the house. We opted for extra strength and with a fine fiber to minimise cracking. With the eight feet of well packed gravel underneath this driveway shouldn't ever settle and crack. We had left the concrete unfinished through the fall and winter just to allow extra time for packing.

The three man crew took their time wheelbarrowing the concrete into place and carefully pusing it with their hand trowels to the edge of the uneven rock and tree border. While their extra time and care will undoubtably cost me extra we happlily paid for we were much more interested in a good job than saving a few dollars.

By lunch time they had the concrete in place and it was triple trowelled to a smooth finish. They then sprayed on the retarder and took a well earned break.

I had to leave for the jobsite but when I got back after work they were just putting the tools into their trailer. The concrete had been lightly exposed and looked fabulous. We'll have the expasion lines cut in tomorrow and then our concrete man will come back to clean it one more time and acid wash it before adding the sealer and 'shark's tooth' to finish off the job. The 'shark's tooth' is a ground glass it make it non-slippery.

This coming weekend I'll remove the forms and grade the gravel and bark mulch around the concrete to finish things off. I can then measure up the trim needed for around the door and get that into production to finish this side of the house at last. Stay tuned...

-grampa dan


A matter of form

As the better weather of summer approaches we are beginning work on the outside of the house once more. Our goal is to have everything done by the beginning of August. It's a tall order - as usual.

Today Peter and I built the forms for the front sidewalks and patio area. The sidewalks will curve gently around the planters. They stop short of the front gate to allow the train tracks to cross on their way around the yard.

Tuesday, our concrete man will place the concrete and this will finish off the front deck, carport and front sidewalks. 

After a few days of curing I will apply the sealer. Then I can measure up the trim around the front door. and put it into production. Final landscaping of this area will polish the entry off. Then we'll work our way around the back of the house to finish off those areas next. Stay tuned...

-grampa dan