Laser Cutting

Last week I did a short course on laser cutting at Metropolitan works in London.  It was great fun and really interesting to try something new. As part of the course we got an introduction to the whole process of Laser cutting (and water jet cutting).  We had to bring in a project that we wanted to have cut. The course is free so its a great way to learn about to the processes first hand.  The other members of the course were all artists and designers so it was great to meet some new people and see their work.

My initial thoughts were to have a bird laser cut in paper but after seeing the machine in action I decided to use plywood instead, as it something I couldn’t do myself.

The hardest thing was getting the hang of transferring my drawing to a vector file.  Learning new software is always a challenge, though illustrator makes it relatively easy, but that is something I will need to work on if I want to get some more things cut.

So here’s the process

My original drawing.  Its important to make sure the file is as clean and tidy as possible before you import it to illustrator, this saves a lot of time deleting vector lines in illustrator, which is a very time consuming job.

And here’s the image after its been changed to a vector line drawing ready to be cut.



And then the laser is ready to go and start burning away.  It’s a mesmerizing process.


And here’s the finished article
And I must say I’m very happy with it, its interesting to seemy work in a different material and not cut by me.  My relationship with it feels very different, I know its my drawing but I almost don’t recognise it, as I didn’t physically make it. I do feel inspired to do some more, I’m imaging a whole flock, maybe painted or printed on, or plain wood. Time for some experimentation I think.
Metropolitan works is a great place, Ed and Barry who ran the course were amazing and so full of knowledge. They do all sorts of training courses you can find out more about them here Metropolitan Works


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