Posts Tagged ‘Lazzzzzzors’

Laser Collage version 2.0: The Eric Carle Method

Squid Attack by Shellie Lewis, paper, acrylic paints, gel medium, Micron pen, vector design and laser, 7.5 x 9.5 inches, 2014.

Squid Attack by Shellie Lewis, paper, acrylic paints, gel medium, Micron pen, vector design and laser, 7.5 x 9.5 inches, 2014.

The next logical extension of the Laser Collage process is something I call The Eric Carle Method. Children’s book author Eric Carle is known for his collage are using his hand painted papers. The main difference is that you are adding paint to the process rather than using ambient papers or recycled materials for the collage art.   Squid Attack 02   I had a clear idea of what I wanted in this design and drew the squid and submarine in Adobe Illustrator using the pen tool. That step took me at least three hours. I used a Gelli Arts soft monoprinting plate to roll acrylic paints onto and made the color combinations I wanted for scene, aiming for a red / blue /yellow primary color scheme. This version pops out and seems more playful. I may try a version with darker colors and low intensity hues to see if it looks more realistic. Today, I was just aiming for a fun picture. My paper was an 80# weight cardstock with a hard, smooth finish. This paper held the acrylic paints well with little to no warping and dried fast. I used the Epilog Mini laser to cut and etch my drawings. The vector cutting was at speed 20 / power 25 / hz 500. Only the slightest edge of the design had a sign of the laser, literally just the plane the thickness of the paper; viewed from above there was no visible scorch. The acrylic paints had some resistance to being etched and I used speed 100 / power 50 to etch the eye and a few lines.   Squid-Attack-03   Matte acrylic gel medium glued the arranged layers together. Boards and wax paper were helpful to press the art flat. I used a Micron pen to fill in the etched lines on the body and for the eye and some thinned white acrylic paint for highlights and reflections. I’m really happy with how my giant squids came out. This was unfortunate for anyone who was at the space today because I went around with them when they were done. It’s not often that someone comes up to you and asks, “Have you seen my squids?” File that under the heading “Because: Hackerspace.”

30

08 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.

22

08 2014

CNC Steampunk Harp – The Sector67 Field Trip – Part 2

 

Finished Sound Board

Finished Sound Board

[See Part 1]

The sound board of the harp had always been the wild card. Elizabeth and I began the project last year knowing that we’d want to use a laser cutter to etch it with some kind of Victorianesque steampunk design involving gears. And we knew that PS:One’s Epilog, with its 24″ x 12″ bed and no feedthrough capability, simply couldn’t fit a 49″ sound board. While design focused on the brass panels, as we did have access to a CNC router, the sound board was left for later, especially because we didn’t know if we could find a smaller laser cutter with feedthrough, meaning we needed a design that could be etched in pieces, or a large laser cutter that could engrave the entire sound board at once.

Elizabeth and I were planning a trip to Madison, WI, and we heard rumors that Sector67 had a colossal Chinese import laser cutter. I reached out to them asking if they would be willing to help with this project, and Chris Meyer, director of Sector 67, responded, inviting us to their space. Knowing what we had to work with, Elizabeth was able to create the design in Adobe Illustrator. Read the rest of this entry →

01

02 2014

your jealousy is understandable

… because how awesome is my laptop now?

bunnywaveresults1

It’s a wave…

bunnywaveresults2

… of bunnies!

I have long loved Kozyndan’s ‘Uprisings.’ It’s a play on Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa,’ with bunnies. I got my anodized aluminum Macbook Pro, and saw someone had laser etched theirs in a laser cutter. I thought this was a great choice to put on mine. I bought the poster, had it scanned at a shop with a large-format scanner, pulled it into the Gimp open-source graphics package (comparable to Photoshop), and messed with it a fair amount. Then I brought it into PS:One and etched it on our laser cutter. I have to give credit to Will McShane for his assistance in showing me how to edit the image and operate the laser cutter. Both operations fall in that category of things I do rarely and are sort of complicated, so my memory doesn’t hang on to them well. It came out perfectly. Thanks so much for your help, Will.

[Addendum: I posted a more complete account of the process on my personal blog.]

19

01 2013

Automation Night: Wednesday August 8 at 7pm

The second Wednesday of each month is our monthly Automation Night (AKA: DIY CNC night)!

Are you interested in automated manufacturing? Do you like the idea of owning your own 3D printer, laser cutter, automated mill, router table, or other automated tools? Then this is the night for you!

Automation Night is an ever-growing group of enthusiastic amateurs and professionals in the field of do it yourself automated manufacturing (ie 3D printers, CNC mills, laser cutters, cake frosters, etc) hardware and software.

Please come if you’re interested in learning more, already have an automated tool at home, want to show off your latest build, or just want to meet locals who are into this exciting technology!

  • Who: Open to the public
  • Where: Pumping Station: One, 3517/3519 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL
  • When: Wednesday, August 8th, 7pm
  • Cost: Free ($5 suggested donation for non-members to help us pay the rent)

Typical Schedule:

  • 7-7:10: people show up
  • 7:10-7:25: introductions round-robin (and sometimes a guest speaker)
  • 7:25-’till everyone leaves: schmoozing, machine assembly and show off, discussion of tools and techniques

Image: Model of Mars Curiosity Rover by Thingiverse user ThePlanetMike

06

08 2012

Automation Night: Wednesday, July 11, 7pm

modular hollow universal joint by sirmakesalotThis Wednesday night is the triumphant return of Automation Night!

The second Wednesday of each month is our monthly Automation Night (AKA: DIY CNC night)!

Are you interested in automated manufacturing? Do you like the idea of owning your own 3D printer, laser cutter, automated mill, router table, or other automated tools? Then this is the night for you!

Automation Night is an ever-growing group of enthusiastic amateurs and professionals in the field of do it yourself automated manufacturing (ie 3D printers, CNC mills, laser cutters, cake frosters, etc) hardware and software.

Please come if you’re interested in learning more, already have an automated tool at home, want to show off your latest build, or just want to meet locals who are into this exciting technology!

  • Who: Open to the public
  • Where: Pumping Station: One, 3517/3519 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL
  • When: Wednesday, July 11th, 7pm
  • Cost: Free ($5 suggested donation for non-members to help us pay the rent)

General Schedule:

  • 7-7:10: people show up
  • 7:10-7:25: introductions round-robin
  • 7:25-’till everyone leaves: schmoozing, machine assembly and show off, discussion of tools and techniques

 

Image: Modular Hollow Universal Joint by thingiverse user sirmakesalot

09

07 2012

Automation Night (was: DIY CNC Night) Wednesday 4/11 at 7pm

The second Wednesday of the month is coming up which means that our monthly Automation Night (was DIY CNC night)  is upon us again!

Are you interested in at-home automated manufacturing? Do you like the idea of owning your own 3D printer, laser cutter, automated mill, router table, or other astounding automatons? Then this is the night for you!

Automation Night is an ever-growing group of enthusiastic amateurs and professionals in the field of do it yourself automated manufacturing (ie 3D printers, CNC mills, laser cutters, cake frosters, etc) hardware and software.

Please come if you’re interested in learning more, already have an automated tool at home, want to show off your latest build, or just want to meet locals who are into this exciting technology!

  • Who: Open to the public
  • Where: Pumping Station: One, 3354 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL
  • When: Wednesday, April 11th, 7pm
  • Cost: Free ($5 suggested donation for non-members to help us pay the rent)

Planned Schedule:

  • 7-7:10: people show up
  • 7:10-7:25: introductions round-robin
  • 7:25-’till everyone leaves: schmoozing, machine assembly and show off, discussion of tools and techniques

Image: 120 Cell by Thingiverse user George Hart

04

04 2012

DIY CNC night: automated manufacturing at home, Wednesday 1/11

streetlamp by prettysmallthings

Welcome back from the holidays!  Didn’t get the 3D printer you wanted under the tree? Come to DIY CNC night to learn how to make your own!

Our monthly DIY CNC (do it yourself computer numerically controlled tools) night is happening this week on Wednesday night at 7pm!

DIY CNC night is an ever-growing group of enthusiastic amateurs and professionals in the field of do it yourself automated manufacturing (ie 3D printers, CNC mills, laser cutters, cake frosters, etc) hardware and software.

Please come if you’re interested in learning more, already have a CNC tool at home, want to show off your latest build, or just want to meet locals who are into this exciting technology!

  • Who: Open to the public
  • Where: Pumping Station: One, 3354 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL
  • When: Wednesday, January 11, 7pm
  • Cost: Free ($5 suggested donation for non-members to help pay the rent)

Typical Schedule:

  • 7-7:10: people show up
  • 7:10-7:25: introduction round-robin
  • 7:25-9pm or so: schmoozing, machine assembly and show off, discussion of tools and techniques

09

01 2012

updated: DIY CNC Night December 14, 7pm

Sneaker Spurs

UPDATE: I can’t read a calendar – this event takes place on December 14, not december 7 as this post originally stated.

It’s almost time for December’s DIY CNC Night, a growing group of enthusiasts of automated manufacturing: 3D printers, laser cutters, automated mills and routers, plus all the software and hardware tools that enable automated manufacturing technology!

Please come if you’re interested in learning more, already have a CNC tool at home, want to show off your latest build, or just want to meet locals who are into this exciting technology!

Who: Open to the public

Where: Pumping Station: One, 3354 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL

When: December 14, 7pm

Cost: Free ($5 suggested donation for non-members to help pay the rent)

Typical Schedule:

  • 7-7:10: people show up
  • 7:10-7:25: introduction round-robin
  • 7:25-9pm or so: schmoozing, machine assembly and show off, discussion of tools and techniques

Image: Sneaker Spurs! by Thingiverse user MikeBattaglia

01

12 2011

DIY CNC Night #4 October 12 at 7pm

Interested in 3D printing? Lasercutting? Wish you had an automated mill to play with?

Come join us for our monthly DIY CNC Night #4 on October 12 at 7pm.

Our typical schedule:

  • 7-7:20pm: introductions
  • 7:20-7:45pm: brief talk (TBD)
  • 7:45-9pm: machine demos, schmoozing, repair work, machine assembly, discussions, etc

Who: open to the public

Where: Pumping Station: One 3354 N. Elston Ave, Chicago 60618

When: 7pm on Wednesday, October 12

Cost: Free

Gear O’Clock designed by thingiverse user PrintTo3D

07

10 2011