Lately I’ve been inspired by all of the chalk art I’ve seen on the interwebs, enough to buy some chalkboard paint and chalk and make my own boards to experiment on. I’m not up to the level of Dangerdust yet, but you know what they say about practice… In any case, there is something very alluring about the ephemeral nature of chalk art, and I’ve been having fun chalking away. Now if I could just figure out what to do about the piles of dust left behind…
My talented friend Tiffany and I bartered: I would create a name plaque for her and she would make a gift baby quilt for another friend of mine. Custom sketch, digitized, and then laser etched onto birch plywood. I’m not 100% happy with how the staining turned out. It looks great from some angles, but from others the words completely disappear! Live and learn. Oh, and because I did it all in Fontlab, I gave her the font so she can use ‘Tiffany Anne’ as a signature or tag on other projects. Fun!
I’ve been playing with lasers again! These designs were created as prizes for my office. We’re a bunch of nerdy geeks who create fonts for publishing minority languages. Last year we started taking bits from the ‘team movie’ of The Princess Bride and twisting them to our own silliness. There were actually a few more converted quotes, but these were the ones I chose to design. I etched them on wood as well as several different types of acrylic, but I feel that these turned out the best. Pardon the bits of dust clinging to them! I rubbed silver paint into the etching, exactly like I did for the Obscure Word book.
For a while now I’ve been wanting to create a project using obscure or old-fashioned English words. I just wasn’t sure how I would do it. Enter the fabrication lab and the laser cutter! I decided to create a ‘book’ of laser cut and etched acrylic plastic sheets, sewn together with one of Keith A Smith’s techniques. Though the bind looks ok, I think I might have to redo it with a modified version. There just aren’t enough pages for the design to look right.
First I sketched the designs on paper, then digitized them in Illustrator. The darker the color, the deeper the laser will etch the plastic. It was similar to the thought process behind intaglio printmaking – the darkest colors will be the lightest, and the lightest colors the darkest. It took a a couple of tries to find the right setting for the laser, but I was fairly happy with the second run.
I tried a couple of different colors of acrylic paint, but settled on white and a shimmery gold. I smeared the paint into the etched lines and gradients, then wiped (or scrubbed, if it had dried) off the excess paint.
Finished size: 6 in x 4 in (15.24 cm x 10.16 cm). I’m planning several more ‘volumes’ of obscure terms. If you’re curious about where I found these words, check out this book: Mrs Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words.