Today's inspiration for the March is for Making Series is (NOT) a piece of jewelry. It's an amazing teacher who is never afraid to explore something new; its a teacher who is not afraid to be vulnerable; its a teacher who not afraid to make mistakes; and mostly it's a teacher who is not afraid to model that learning is a process.
Guest author: Melissa Habermann (St. Albans City School)
The Project: Jewelry Making with a Laser Cutter
How Might I create a design challenge to create jewelry using the laser cutter and a vector based design program
My goal for my final project for Create Make Learn is to create jewelry using the laser cutter. I will use my creations as a prototype for future student projects. I will be offering a Wearable Arts choice class as one of my 7/8 grade rotations this year. I have been slowly exploring the laser cutter at City School this past year. Under the guidance of Craig Lyndes and Erica Bertucci both of St. Albans School I am learning to the program Inkscape as the main design source has been a challenge for myself. Having no instruction with this program until this past summer at CML with Sarah Sutter and Caty Wolff was helpful. There is a huge learning curve with this program. I have some experience with Adobe Photoshop but no experience with Adobe Illustrator. After I created this work Roland Wilhelm showed mean online program called Gravit. If seems to be something that is more user and kid friendly. I am anxious to try this program. I am certainly challenging myself. I came into CML to want to feel more comfortable using the laser cutter. My goal is to create jewelry using the laser cutter. I created 3 different pieces in acrylic. I will also try to use other materials including wood, metals, and materials I am just learning about like bike tires, leather. Here is a photo of the jewelry:
Creating and Making Vector-cut Earrings
Earrings designed using the vector based program called Inkscape. I designed in Inkscape. I used the Draw Benzier Curves and Straight Line Tool to create both of them.
Vector cutting testing the laser cutter
My first cut I used 100% speed and 100% power. The earrings did not cut all the way though.
Second cut was at 80% speed and 100% power. Almost successful. Some of the smaller holes had to be pushed out with a small tool.
The third cut was the most successful. At 70% speed and 100% power I did not have to struggle to push the holes out!
The Earrings were printed on a laser cutter cut on 1/8 inch acrylic.
I printed both of my earrings on the laser cutter at St. Albans CIty School.
Designing Making Raster and Vector-cut Earrings
First, I searched for grayscale vector flower drawings that was labled for reuse with modifications. I downloaded the image.
I opened the image in Inkscape and and used the circle tool to draw a circle around the image and also inside the flower in the top petal.
When I attempted to first print the earring I could not understand how the circle around the flower got cut off. I watched it happen during the vector cut. I deleted that version and a made a second one. This one worked. The laser cutter first did the raster cut of the flower the did the vector cut of the two circles. I had a hard time pealing off the paper from the acrylic so for the second printing I pulled off some of the paper. As you can see from the second set of earring the one on the left had a white haze around the raster cut flower. I took them home and thought to wash them and it took the white haze away!. I also discovered that if I washed the others with the paper on it comes right off. I realize I still need to keep practicing with Inkscape as you can see my circle and flower are not centered.