Week 19: Words, Sketchbooks and Laser Cutting

This week has been a bit all over the place. I intended to get a lot more laser cutting done than I actually did, the laser cutter froze a couple of times plus I was set back because people tend to overrun their slot on the laser cutter and have to keep going which is totally understandable – if somewhat irritating – but hey, i’m not the only one trying to prepare for a degree show! I would love to own a laser cutter one day – hmm, imagine all of the money I would spend on acrylic… anyway back to this week.

On Monday I had an open tutorial with Arthur Watson. He was definitely there when I gave my presentation last semester but I haven’t properly spoken to him before. Last week Louise suggested that I speak to him about the text piece I want to do as he is very knowledgable about word-based work. The tutorial lasted for about 20 minutes and indeed he was extremely helpful regarding my work. He gave me lots of advice about word art like artists to look at, how the editing can affect the piece and even the difference between serif and san-serif (who knew what a difference font makes!) I really appreciated the advice on vinyl cutting letters as I hadn’t even contemplated many of the ideas he suggested, so I will have to look into this in a bit more detail. I have decided to make one or two large scale text works and have the rest in a book, so that’s another thing to add to the ever-growing degree show list!

For the rest of the week I tried to get as much laser cutting finished as possible, but as mentioned above, I was hindered by time and technical hitches. I feel like i’m in an okay place at the moment regarding time so I just need to keep going and try not to tire myself out. I managed to etch quite a few panels and try the lights through them and I am very happy with the progress. One of the setbacks of working with clear acrylic is trying to not get any scratches on the plastic – it’s pretty much impossible when you’re always trying to haul it around everywhere. I need to invest in some kind of covering to protect the sheets but just haven’t got around to doing it yet and unfortunately one of the panels has suffered a few scratches. They are quite obvious when the light hits it, but i’m hoping once the wooden frame is on that they might just look like part of the design.

The other issue i’m having is with the density of the designs. One of the more dense etchings didn’t diffuse the light as well as in the test maquette just due to the depth of it so I may need to re-do that panel as well as the one with the scratches (glad I have taken an extra SAAS loan as that acrylic isn’t cheap!)

Other tasks I managed to fit in this week were sketchbooking – it’s been a long time since i’ve even looked at my sketchbooks, let alone put anything in them, so I managed to fill a couple this week. They still need to be annotated but I can do that one day whilst waiting on the laser cutter to finish. I also managed to get a hold of Ali in the make lab who worked his electrical knowledge genius and managed to connect the last panel of my maquette meaning it is now finished! I am so happy with how it turned out and I can only hope that my final degree show pieces turn out the same way, but larger.

Coming up this week, again, I have the laser cutter a lot of the time. Tomorrow we are supposed to be finding out our spaces for degree show, so that should be interesting – I will keep you updated. I don’t really mind what space I get as long as it has the requirements I put in my degree show proposal. Tuesday we have a tutorial with Louise so that should be interesting to update her on everything that is going on. I’m also going down to the wood workshop either Wednesday or Thursday to start cutting the wood for my final frames so i’m really excited about that even though i’m notoriously bad at woodwork.

Sorry for the super long ramble post but here’s to the next week and let’s hope it’s a good one :)

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