Upcycling – the road not travelled

by maggie

One thing the laser cutter does really well is cut out what every lines you give it. That’s because its computer controlled, and so works as well as any tool that isn’t hand guided. Here a bunch of circles, ellipses and rectangles were drafted directly into the laser’s software and cut out. It is then possible to manipulate the resulting shapes as you like.

these shapes reassemble into a 28 x 32 cm rectangle

On the first afternoon we each got a set of these shapes to play with. I think with more warning and less expectation of working with our own images, i would have gone further with these  pieces.

this first image shows the jigsaw as is. The white lines are where the laser cut the block up. Areas where colour crosses a white line are still one smaller block, i.e. the ply was not cut all the way through. By the third printing you can see where these blocks have broken up. The ply is only 3mm deep and in places has warped – that’s how the white lopsided area in the yellow, bottom right was formed.

apologies for the poor printing in the centre of the image- i didn’t have time to repack the press

Bauhaus primary colours aren’t really my thing. so it wasn’t long before I moved on to this.

Much more inscrutable

In actual fact it was really annoying…

It was practically impossible to ink up the image as one block as the little pieces would get picked up by the roller. And we didn’t have any thing stable to build the image on so the bits kept moving around.

This is the second print I took, inking directly over the colour left from the previous print and rotating some parts of the image.

This avenue of exploration could have some legs…

When i took the photos for this post, the light was really crappy – but seize the day – but it did generate some interesting possibilities.

Contender for worst photo of the year?

I like the potential of this one a lot. Don’t get rid of mistakes just because they are mistakes.

Here’s the last print. Just getting into my stride, huh? Grey areas are ‘ghosts’ (un-inked from last print). Unfortunately I was about ready to massacre everyone in the studio and leap out of the window*, so developments will have to wait for 2017.

*more tea breaks more often

As time elapses since these prints were made, i’m feeling more generous towards this work. But i didn’t enjoy the experience of making them at the time.