Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ironic? I hope not

When I hung up my art teaching beret & returned to school librarian, I inherited a collection that hadn't been weeded in 20-30 years. It was time for a haul-out. I started folding some book pages, and thinking about the discarded books as sculptural objects. I laser cut some letters I want to add to the books to make a read sign.

laser cut books

So I'm still learning Illustrator, and after doing a tutorial, I tried making some simple, stylized deer out of basic geometric shapes. This took me awhile. It would be a lot faster if I could import my drawings, and find the outlines. Seems pretty basic, but I'm not there yet. I'm going to start a month free trial of And when my month-long trial of Illustrator runs out, I'll probably start paying to continue. Inkscape, while free, just doesn't compare. 

I was worried about the book smoldering or catching fire, but in fact, the book cover is far harder to cut than cardboard. It is pretty dense, after all.  So this is a quick experiment, but there's so much more I want to do with these. First I have to build my skills.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Resolve

As the new year rolls in, we can not help but reflect on the past and look to the future.
I resolve to make more and procrastinate less.  That being the theme of my vacation this week, let me share what I have been percolating about and what I have started!

I finally, after years of dusty storage, hooked up the used kiln that has been haunting my laundry area in the basement.  My husband has been integral in jump starting my ceramics habit.  We had a successful bisque firing earlier this week, and are creeping up the temperature scale toward a cone 5 glaze firing today!

Loaded kiln after first bisque firing
My kiddos painting on glaze

The book garden idea my sister and I cooked up is starting to take shape as well, and will be next on the assembly list this weekend.  We thought that creating a fairy garden around a book theme that could be hung on a wall would be cool.  The first step is to assemble the laser etched pieces to create the book-like shape.  We picked Alice in Wonderland as our first story.

Sketches of ideas rumbling around my head

Laser etching the 'page' texture on the sides

Next, I am going to add in the garden bits.  Then, maybe add some LEDs and eventually a moisture sensor!  If I am really cool, which has been a subject of much debate, I will add in a bit that will alert me when it needs to be watered and control the LEDs to simulate daylight.  But that is a whole other level of geeky goodness.

The clock assembly is my last vacation project.  My husband wants a clock for our living room, so, of course, I decided to make one.  I etched the bits, am pretty pleased, but want it a bit bigger for the space.  Since I have the tools at my fingers (the laser cutter at the Generator!), I will see what I can do.  I was also thinking that it would be cool to cut it out and make a darker natural wood behind with a lighter natural wood as the design.  Hmmmm.....  It may take longer than the three days I have left.

Anyway, the new year brings with it all kids of possibilities, and as my mom used to say, the world is my oyster.  It's time to look for that pearl.  Happy New Year everyone!