Laser Cutting

5 Jan 2017- Practical Workshop, Introduction to Laser Cutting, with Zarya Moskowits and Richard Falle.

There are endless examples of laser cut objects, usually in gift shops, where you stumble around trying to find something just right in a sea of disposable consumption. I think my first introduction was seeing heart felt messages engraved in wood picture frames and various other saccharine gifts for Mother’s Day or to celebrate the birth of a child. It is with great relief that I never received a gift like this, as I do tend to keep the gifts I am given.  More recently I have received some interesting laser cut specimens. Although upon receiving them, I never really thought of them as laser cut, just appealing in the way that I couldn’t have made them myself. There is always going to be a group of people who can see the potential of a medium, to experiment with it to create something new, and this is what is so thrilling about laser cutting. Moving beyond the inscribed sap, and into the world of concept and craft. Infinite possibilities.

What was fascinating was seeing a sample print in the fabrication centre by Arthur (Arthur Buxton?), where he laser kissed the surface of a painting. This added another interesting layer to an already beautiful print. Here is an example below, but seeing it on the screen does not do the print justice as the haptic nature of a laser cut needs to be felt. In this example, I would be inclined to call it a laser whisper rather than a kiss, and could easily be missed, but this visual treat was rather grand to me.

fullsizeoutput_70dThis could be a way of creating a hybrid print, by adding the digital layer (the laser cut etching) to the handmade print.  I am currently thinking of two possibilities here:

  1. My idea of glitching William Morris Wallpaper
  2. Creating visual sound samples and loops referencing the etchings of John Cage.

Both can start as traditional printmaking techniques, such as etchings, but then could be laser kissed to add the digital element I have been wanting to experiment with. In this way it could be much subtler, as I have been worried that both techniques could compete with one another and disjointed and look more like two separate prints rather than a combined effort.

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The only negative is how technician dependant most of us would be at the beginning stage, and I hate having to ask for help. This is probably the reason for my hesitation with a few of the different print areas. I come from a photography background which is usually a solo pursuit, and of a can-do generation, and would rather not have my hand held or spoon fed, at least not for another 40 + years, I hope.

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