Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Testing, testing...

I am involved in an interesting art project at the moment which is really pushing the boundaries of the kind of thing I do.  It's a big installation of artwork and four of us are working on it.

Can you tell it's still hush-hush and secret squirrel? I can't say much about it at all yet, but I did want to share these lovely images of test-plates I had done last week.

I am going to be writing some calligraphy and then getting the calligraphy laser etched onto metal or a similar material.  So I have been learning heaps about materials and techniques.

Most of the work involves composite aluminium, so I wanted to see what was possible using that.

You can't laser cut through to the black core of the composite because it will 'ball' and rub and look messy, rather than leave clean lines I discovered. So the only option is to laser etch and I think it doesn't give me the dark text against the lighter background I was looking for. Altho in other settings it would be lovely!

Funny how with the light on the composite here, it actually looks like it could be used. The second one without direct light shows it won't be a starter.

So then I wondered about etching plain old aluminium...same effect really, too light.

And then Craig suggested the Engraving Laminate - silver with a dark core.  I like it. Nice crisp, clean lines, nice dark-light contrast and it comes in the size I need!

It is always so interesting when you move out of your comfort zone of ink and paper into other worlds and materials, to discover what is possible and how you can apply what you do in a different way. I'm enjoying the exploration and looking forward to the whole thing coming together.

But in the meantime, I basically now need to work out what to write, get the words agreed, get the style of writing agreed, then practice writing, get the layout right, then write it, then scan it, then get it formatted to the right file for the laser etcher and scaled up to the size of the board, etched, delivered and installed and we're done!


  1. Sounds a breeze for a woman of your skills.... actually sounds like a lot of hard work after the bit I would enjoy the most. The discovery of new materials and finding out which methods yield those heart stopping results is the most thrilling part of the process for me but I know you're made of more determined stuff and will enjoy this from start to finish. Intrigued to see the final results and hear more about it.

    1. A breeze indeed Lesley! We shall see. It has been fun so far to see how the materials work and I am looking forward to seeing the calligraphy done by me appear on this stuff. I hope it looks great. The client loves the material as well so that is good!


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