Posts Tagged ‘how-to’

Laser cut some simple masks for Halloween

Masks-graphic-WEB

 

There are a lot of online mask patterns that can be printed and cut out with scissors, but it would be much nicer to laser cut one. Let the laser do the hard work. I did these four mask designs tonight; they are perfect for a last minute costume for makers on the go or their kids. Now you can put the roll of toilet tissue back and do better than being a mummy this year. Download the patterns on Thingiverse here. 

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10 2014

Laser Collage: An art form for and from the hacker/maker community

Art-Sharks-Shellie-Lewis-2014-WEB

Art Sharks by Shellie Lewis, paper collage and laser technology, 6×8 inches, 2014.

Every artist hopes to come up with an original idea, to be on the forefront of the next big idea or movement. This is hoping against the odds as the past two centuries have seen an explosion of movements, styles and schools of thought that rained down in Western art like a meteor shower.  Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism and many other modern movements would originate, peak and dissipate rapidly, lasting a few decades or less. World Wars arose and crushed other movements like Romanticism or Der Blaue Reiter. There are many forms of art that we can reach into the past and mine: appropriate and carry on with. In fact, schools of American Impressionists are still working in different lineages since the 19th century from William Merrit Chase, John Singer Sargent and other painters. Waves of more recent artists have imitated Picasso and Warhol. For the contemporary artist hoping to create something unique, there is very little chance of inventing something new.

Current technologies are opening the door for innovation. Many times, I am seeing where maker technologies are being used to vary production of traditional physical media arts and crafts. Laser cutters are being used to etch intaglio printmaking plates, textiles are incorporating electronics and lights, robotics are animating sculpture, and digital media is widely available. Video, animation and interactive arts are now accessible to most of the general public. It’s an exciting time to be involved in the hacker/maker culture.

Laser-collage-01-Shellie-Lewis-2014-WEB

 

I may have come upon an idea that can become an art style uniquely ours: Laser Collage. I have always enjoyed collage for drawing on images and materials readily available around people. At its most basic level, the only thing needed to create collage art is some form of glue or paste. Good scissors, a razor blade or hobby knife are helpful. Throughout art history, most fine art collage works have followed their siblings in painting and drawing, largely staying within the bounds of a rectangle or square. Contemporary painters such as Elizabeth Murray, Frank Stella and Ellsworth Kelly set their abstract works free from the tyranny of the rectangular border. Now artists in the hacker/maker community can liberate the collage from the rectangle.

Laser Collage innovates through using two things well loved in the hacker/maker community: digital vector art and laser cutters. By using a vector design, the exterior borders of a collage art can take any form. Art works can have further elements by using raster etching as well as the vector cutting abilities of the laser. Artists can utilize recycled materials. I am excited by the possibilities for this medium. Functional and three dimensional designs are possible beyond flat two dimensional art works. Laser Collage is an art style that frees the collage art to be any size and shape. This is an art form that can be uniquely ours.

Laser-collage-02-Shellie-Lewis-2014-WEB

 

My experiments with these samples were basic in materials. I used recycled chipboard (i.e. common food packaging like cereal boxes) and a simple glue stick. I avoided PVA [polyvinyl acetate] “white” glue since it is similar enough to PVC to be a possible problem with dangerous fumes from a laser. Any glycerine and wheat-based adhesive like glue sticks, YES! Paste or acrylic-based adhesive like gel medium should be safe for laser cutting.

Using the Epilog Mini 30W laser, I got an excellent cut through the variable thickness layers of paper and chipboard using a vector setting of speed 15 / power 100 / hz 2500. The edges have a little scorch, so you may want to adjust your cutting power or increase the speed. Raster etches were at speed 40 / power 100. Etching has interesting potential for etching your collage in a fashion that lower layers reveal different colors in the design. My approach was to cover the chipboard surface first in collage elements with my glue stick and then place it in the laser cutter for cutting and etching. The artist controls the materials used, color palette, range of colors, form of the collage pieces, flow of the collage design, number of layers cut by the laser, laser etching elements and the ultimate size and shape of the border.

Creators without access to a laser cutter could use vector designs using an electronic cutter like a software hacked Cricut, a Silhouette cutter or similar machine. I have often seen owners of these tools cut elements to incorporate into collages, artist books and paper arts, yet still retain the linear borders of a square or rectangle. Shaped collages would be restricted by the width of the cutting machine which is usually around 12 – 15 inches, whereas laser cutters tend to have larger cutting dimensions. I am most excited by the potential for the medium through laser cutting technology because a laser cuts details a lot finer than a metal blade can and etching adds more depth to the design.

 

Inspired by Shark Week 2014!

Inspired by Shark Week 2014!

 

Laser Collage is my humble offering to the continuum of Western art history. Maybe I will be the only one interested in this form but I am putting the concept online hoping other people will want to try it. Mixed media elements including paints, markers, pens and pencils can also be easily incorporated. Feel free to experiment with the process on your own and please respond if you want to show your work in this medium, if you have any discoveries or develop a variation of the technique.

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08 2014

PS:One Orientation: Thursday July 18 at 7pm

Hammering glowing iron on an anvil
Photo by Mr. T in DC

PS:One orientation (previously known as N00bs’ Paradise) is happening Thursday this week at 7pm in the downstairs lounge.  If you can’t make this event, the next one will be Sunday, July 28th at 4pm.

Never been, but want to learn more about PS:One?
New member?
Old member, but want to know all the secrets of the inner workings of PS:One?
Want to get certified, but don’t know how?
Want to doocritize, but haven’t even heard of do-ocracy?
Then this event is FOR YOU!
Free, open to all event – just show up at 4pm on Sunday the 23rd or 7pm on Wednesday the 26th and we’ll take care of you.

You’ll learn:

  • the one and only rule you need to remember at PS:One!
  • what mailing lists and IRC channels you should join
  • how to get discounts on classes, tee-shirts, stuff around town, and even monthly dues!
  • how to get certified on equipment
  • how to donate equipment to PS:One
  • how to create a class, event, group, meeting, or what have you
  • how to request a class, event, group, whatever
  • how to blog
  • the wiki.
  • do-ocracy and how to do-ocratize things

The basics:

  • Who: anyone who wants to learn more about PS:One and how it works
  • When: Thursday, July 18th 7pm until about 9pm.
  • Where: PS:One 1st floor lounge
  • Cost: free

Here are the class notes – please feel free to read beforehand (Note: these notes are nota good substitute for class attendance).

16

07 2013

Shell Casing Pen

It is impossible to buy presents for my dad. I’ve exhausted my repertoire of gifts. I pride myself on giving fantastic gifts, but the man seems hell-bent on flabbergasting me. So, when I finally figured out this year’s Father’s Day gift, I felt damn proud.

A little context – my dad’s father died almost two years ago, and I’d been hanging onto a shell casing from the 5-gun veteran’s salute since then.

original shell casing

I decided to make a pen out of the casing. See a breakdown of process below. Much credit to Jordan, because you all know I can’t operate any of the shop machinery. Yet.

1. Cut off the casing end from hollow shell body and drill a wider opening. The brass is very soft so use a rubber clamp and a jewelry cutting saw.
2. Cut, hollow out, and finish hard wood shaft for pen body extension. Stain if you so choose. I used a light cherry stain as the wood was almost white.

before assembly

3. Epoxy and insert wood shaft into wide end of shell casing, and epoxy casing end to opposite end of wood shaft as pen cap.

shell casing end pen cap

4. Mold hot glue into removable stopper for pen tip using WD-40 to keep glue from sticking to ink insert and shape into cone using heated blade (neat side effect is that the glue becomes glassy and transparent). Pop in pen tip with glue stopper!

hot glue stopper for pen tip

…and fin!

finished product

I hope he likes it. I’m going to give it to him on Friday. :)

20

06 2011

Yarn words (and acronyms)

rtfm

Quick crafting project: yarn words (and acronyms). Found this at Craft, but here are the full instructions.

I couldn’t find any wire reinforced clothesline, so experimented with thermostat wire and others: basically, check out the wire section of your local hardware store and test what they’ve got. You’re looking for something bendable, but that will retain its shape, and can definitely be doubled up on itself, hopefully flush, without a little loop at the end. Some wire types I found did this better than others.

Also, you’ll want to use chunky, bulky or worsted weight yarn, or else you’ll be winding for a very long time.

I’ve made three, and they’re pretty quick once you get going, other than having to remember how to do cursive and remembering that i’s and j’s have the problem of not easily being able to do dots with this format.

Weird” was my first, then “rtfm” and “pebkac.” Other geeky words and acronyms may follow.

05

03 2011

Lady Ada Lovelace Day at PS:One TOMORROW

Lady Ada Lovelace Day (the world’s first computer programmer) is tomorrow.

Come join PS:One for our celebration of programming, computers, and women’s contributions to science and technology!

What: Beginners’ programming class, obfuscated code contest, and more!

When: Doors open at 7pm on Wednesday, March 24

Where: 3354 N. Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 (look for the red door)

Cost: Free to the public!

23

03 2010

Flex Resistor Jacket!

My flex resistor jacket is finally finished. After a month and a half of failures and a whole bunch of setbacks, the PS:One logo is finally embedded with twenty big LEDs which are attach to a circuit board and a flex resistor. The LEDs only light up when the right elbow is bent to a certain extent. It runs off of two AA batteries held along with the circuit board in a pocket on the left shoulder.

The jacket was premiered (sort of) at Digital Breakdown on Dec. 18th to help promote PS:One. Bunches of recently printed stickers didn’t hurt either. Luckily, the jacket is perfect for dancing.

Thanks to Jeff Kantarek and Jordan Bunker for their huge amounts of help on this project. Without their expertise this jacket would not be glowy.

19

12 2009

Want to build a fabric light bright?

Photo 149Go ahead! The link below this post will take you to V1.1 of the PDF How-To to build one yourself, with step-by-step instructions and a pretty exhaustive materials list. Also some pictures, but perhaps not as many as there should be. Regardless! Is the PDF confusing or vague? Any questions? Go ahead and e-mail me at eli.skipp@gmail.com so that I can update the PDF and so that your questions can get answered. Happy hacking!

Fabric Light Bright PDF

[EDIT!]: This project is under a Creative Commons license!

Creative Commons License
Fabric Light-Bright by Eli Skipp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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12 2009