Here’s a few recent works by Oakland artist Gabriel Schama (previously here and here) who designs elaborately layered wood relief sculptures with the help of a laser cutter. The pieces are cut from a variety of different plywoods which he layers to create varying images of the human form, architectural studies, and mandala-like patterns. You can see more on his website, and in his shop.
On – 18 Aug, 2017 By Christopher Jobson
We have collaborated with paper artist Ian Penney to create the Filigree collection, an exquisitely dreamy quartet of lasercut Greeting Cards.
The Filigree collection is a dazzling interplay between the delicate and the bold, as the intricate lace-like lasercutting is drenched in punchy block colours that contrast crisply with the background. The resulting silhouette effect is simply sublime, particularly when the cards stand open and shadows add an extra dimension to the designs.
The cards feature matching illustrated panels on the reverse, for writing messages… although we think that handwriting peeking through lasercut looks really rather lovely! Either way, these cards truly do justice to Penney’s striking original artwork. Have a look:
See Filigree on the Roger la Borde Website
Visit Ian Penney’s Website
Kirsty Baynham - Interview
Kirsty is a customer who has been using our services for the last 3 or so years. We love her designs! We decided to ask her a few questions about her work and inspirations.
Kirsty is based in Glasgow and sells on Etsy and Not On The High Street. Also her work is available through various galleries, including Edinburgh Printmakers, where we were pleased to see her lovely items for sale when we recently worked with them.
Prism of Starlings was founded after I graduated from art school with a degree in illustration.
I arrived at art school without really knowing what kind of art I wanted to specialise in, and ended up studying Illustration. I liked the scale I was able to work at in this discipline. After this, I naturally progressed into designing illustrated paper products and established my own brand, which was eventually named Prism of Starlings. It started out 100% paper, then I added fabric, wood, (and soon to work with metal too). I love what I’m doing right now, but I see myself being gradually less of an artisan/maker and more of a designer in the future. This is the part I enjoy the most, and spend most time on.
Animals are the focus of my work. I’m inspired by many things in the natural world, but when I think about the one thing that I would specifically document/photograph to remember, it tends to be repetitive pattern work – just anything that stands out to me, be it old, vintage furniture fabrics, stained glass windows, graffiti murals, sketchbook doodles or architectural structures...
I had never thought about bringing laser cutting into my design work until I started working on a project where I wanted to combine foil and plywood, and after it became apparent that it wasn’t going to be possible to produce a clean result with foil, I looked into etching instead of foil blocking on the wood. It really opened the door to a new environment of design, as before I’d been working almost solely with paper products, so the idea of working with a product that’s machine made, and much more permanent and tactile than a disposable sheet of wrapping paper or card, felt like a leap. I was soon designing jewellery, coasters, pocket mirrors, clocks, decorations etc. and taking advantage of the more versatile and durable nature of wood. I think designs can look more stunning on a material like wood than on paper. Print is everywhere these days, flyers and magazines and junk mail, and it’s very expendable, but a design that’s etched into wood seems more timeless and lasting. I think people can be quite puritanical about “hand-made”, but I personally love the combination of both hand-crafted and machine-produced design. Both have their advantages. I usually add to the laser cut pieces with paints and finishing touches. I replaced my original idea of foil blocking with instead using metallic leaf paints to highlight the etched patterns, and assemble and solder my painted necklaces myself. I think this combination of machine and hand is important for any artist who wishes to take full advantage of technology.
I mostly work with Photoshop, but I find Illustrator’s vector conversion tool very useful as I rarely work with vector lines in any other part of my day-to-day design routine; I’m more of a painter than a digital artist. I’ve become a bit more practised with Illustrator because of the need to use vector for laser so this has affected my practice somewhat.
I think the only thing I find frustrating about the process is the limitation in using very fine detail for etching, because usually I like to work with extremely intricate patterns, and on the scale that I work, they have to be simplified for laser or the pieces just fall apart (which has happened on several occasions when I’ve needed to rework something too fragile.)
I used to mostly cite painters and illustrators as examples of artists whom I am inspired by, but having spent the past five years immersed in stationery design, I’ve become just as interested in brands and makers like Mina Perhonen (fashion), Klaus Haapaniemi (interiors) and Rifle Paper Co (paper goods), as I am inspired by painters and illustrators like Mirko Hanák (watercolour) and Karolin Schnoor (graphic and print). There are so many people using print and pattern in so many different ways that it’s hard to narrow it down. I love Perhonen’s print as I don’t think it necessarily follows the trends, so her designs seem bold and have a very unique edge, and her work is a good example of art which is printed onto everyday products, but is first and foremost art. Hanák is a long-term obsession of mine really. The composition of his watercolours and the skill in the way he uses watercolour is something that I think only years of experience can amount to.
Prism of Starlings
Isabel Howe - stitching into laser cut wood
Isabel Howe is a recent graduate of the Contemporary Crafts course at Falmouth University.
Isabel specialises in laser cut wood embroidery. She uses a laser cutter, wood, and cotton thread to create her unique work. This technique is something she has developed over the years, using flowers as an inspiration in a new and intriguing way. She explores the use and meanings of flowers in her practice, and is inspired by the meanings behind a certain flower and in what circumstance they would be given to another person.
She always hopes to create something interesting and unique, which can make people realise you are only limited as much as your imagination will let you be. She aims to make things people can easily identify with, but in a completely individual way.
She makes her designs on Adobe Illustrator from drawings of flowers, and from there, hand stitches through tiny holes using her own stitching patterns with the Berlin wool work stitch.
Her aim for future work is inspired by Norway which she is currently working on.
Isabel is also a licentiate member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen.
Kirsty Baynham - Delicate Wildlife and Intricate Geometry
Prism of Starlings was founded after I graduated from art school with a degree in illustration.
My lifelong love of decorative stationery products, my obsession with pattern and symmetry, and my fondness of animals together manifested into a collection of brightly patterned paper goods and homewares.
My work is largely pattern-based, with an emphasis on the process of intricate patternmaking. I am inspired by tessellations, overlapping shapes observed in the natural world, and local, foreign and mythical wildlife. My illustrated products explore the personalities hidden in delicate, woodland creatures and the fascinating worlds created by the interwoven shapes and scenery.
I am constantly striving to create new and innovative designs, combining paper cuts, a variety of different papers and various print processes to keep my work fresh and perpetually evolving
Engraver`s Dungeon was formed by a team of graphic designers and engineers passionate about science fiction, space, physics and horror movies. Using laser engraving the UK-based group combines its technical experience with its passion for the subjects. To create a laser engraved wood poster, they combine traditional woodcraft with advanced design programs. All the posters are made of quality solid pine wood. The are 7.5 x 11.5 inches, by 3/4 inches thick. Here’s how they do it:
Heel measures approximately 135mm/ 5.5 inches with a 25mm/ 1 inch platform Pastel-pink leather Buckle-fastening ankle strap;
These were an interesting idea around 3 or 4 years ago – a slice of laser engraved veneer which you stick directly onto your iphone. They looked great, but functionally they weren’t so good.
Problem was they didn’t protect the most vulnerable parts of your phone – the edges – as they weren’t actually a case. Much better idea would have been to adapt an existing case (e.g. a sublimation case) and attach the veneer to that.
Still, the idea was nice and some of the designs were good!
The innovations just keep on coming in the 3D printing world. Today we have 3D printed glass – tomorrow, what next?
Personally, I can see great potential for this in the arts and crafts world. Larger objects as opposed to jewellery, although it’s dependent on the nozzle size to a certain extent. 3D printed and laser engraved jewellery is of course traditionally quite small in size and there’s no mention of the 3D printer nozzle size. So in time if the nozzle is too large (and it does look quite large currently), perhaps the boffins can work to extrude through a typical sized nozzle that we’re used to with the plastic extruder type machines.
This is a cool shot of the nozzle extruding glass. Can you spot the picture of the alien frozen in the bottom of the image? 😉
Knowing a number of glass workers, I understand how tricky glass is to work with. In particular, Cathy Carr works with knitted glass, and had great trouble getting a consistent annealing in a kiln. A difference of a few degrees, or an extra few minutes (even seconds sometimes) in the kiln over a firing can make all the difference.
It’s fantastic that theoretically we’re seeing the whole art and science of glass working moving on a huge leap. This, potentially makes the whole process even more rigorously controlled and less prone to human and machine error.
Although there will obviously still be a massive demand for hand worked glass that we currently have, as not everyone will have access to their own 3D glass printer.