This week we have been given an opportunity to create a design on the laser cutter. I decided that although I could laser cut a photograph I wanted to experiment creating a design myself that relates to me and the theme of Memory. My design is a Cigale, an insect that is famous in the Provence Region.
In the workshop, Anna introduced us to different laser cutting techniques and materials that we can use on the laser cutter. She showed us how to manipulate our image on illustrator and get them laser cutter ready.We then went through the stokes and colours that corresponded to engraving and cutting on the laser cutter. We then looked at how to put the material we had chosen into the settings and then how to use the extractor with the laser cutter. Having had a series of workshops prior to this one, I found it incredibly useful having a reminder of the colours and how to use the laser cutter.
I knew that I wanted to draw my object and manipulate it using photography or as a part of my piece in an eventuality. I started off by drawing the form of the Cigale on paper using a pencil and a black marker. I then photographed it and cropped it.
Having previously engaged myself in a later cutting tutorial this year, I was confident about how to vectorize the image on illustrator.
This image I saved as a Illustrator CS5 file because the laser cutter does not support CC or CS6 files. In the laser cutter room I encountered a few issues in changing the stoke of my image and how it appeared on the laser cutter. I had created layers of strokes around my image because I had changed it so many times to create a selection of both engraved and cut Cigars. This had given the laser cutter too much to work with and it could not understand exactly what I wanted. In the end I decided to create nine Cigars all cut out. My chosen material is a yellow orange tone of Matboard. This matches my Provencal theme and pattern I am trying to obtain.
I am really pleased with the outcome of my image on the laser cutter and would love to find a way to incorporate the Cigales into my final piece. I also would appreciate trying the laser cutter again at some point this year in order that I can further understand the strokes and the previous mistakes I have made with the layers. I now feel very confident on the laser cutter and ready to use it in my future studio projects.