Laser, laser, LASER Cutting (by Nicola)

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I have named my post Laser cutting, but it is in-fact the heat press that got me creating artwork recently. TShirts to start. Using some of my collection of No Parking sign photographs, I created some new instagram style arrangements. Remembering to reverse the image and insert a piece of paper between the tshirt, I was off! 2 Mini TShirts down and a canvas bag – I can see how this piece of kit has a lot of uses and is quite addictive! I suppose I have fallen into the Graphic Designer trap of creating products, as opposed to artwork for our upcoming exhibition, but my, the sublimation printer and heat-press are a neat bit of kit to be able to use.

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Fellow Shedhead, Vicky and I have been having some initial teething problems with the laser cutter, I won’t lie. From ‘cut’ lines being etched, to designs not being recognised, it’s been a turbulent experience. I have to say, until the sessions in the laser cutting room this week, I was starting to lose a little faith. But finally, with the right file type, layout and design, we have finally had success. And the laser cutter is back in my good books. We have created a ‘The Hub’ sign in a rather nice font for our Navigator studios in Middlesbrough as a starter. Mountboard cuts and etches like a dream! I’ve had a tinker with some acrylic. That gives off a strange noise from the laser cutter – but gives a great finish. This has spurred on new conversations regarding print plates, etching and how we can go from here. I have to say the conversations and sharing of ideas, skills and techniques is really making the residency interesting and is making me think about my own work and how I can extend my practice further.

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Looking forward to the exhibition – and look out for the laser cut design soon!


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