Making laser-cut jewelry, or rather laser-cut anything is a beautiful + careful + mysterious + intriguing process that I am so happy and grateful to be a part of. These past few weeks have been amazing journey, learning alongside my students at Catylator Makerspace what the VLS4.60 laser can do.
The VLS4.60 has three main functions - cutting, scoring and etching. The machine works by directing a high powered beam of light at an object and vaporizing the selected areas away, leaving a clean-cut finished edge or a detailed surface image.
|Catylator founder Stephen Morris prepping the machine for the first batch of etched beauties during our Laser-Cut Jewelry Demonstration & Workshop (June 2016)|
We start by creating a "cutting path" on the computer using drawing software such as CorelDraw or Inkscape. Although the machine can cut any shape ranging in size from less than a centimeter to 2 feet wide, we decided to conserve time and start small, using basic shapes, such as hearts, circles, anchors and stars. From there, we tweaked the designs by manipulating the sizes, adding monograms and attaching connector holes for chains and clasps. The results were amazing! Take a look at some of the beauties my students have made:
|Anchor earrings, created by shrinking + duplicating a single image.|
It doesn't matter how many times we've seen it, watching a flat, 2D drawing come to life under the blazing light of the tiny laser beam is so exciting, especially when everyone crowds together and whips out their phones to take pictures (me being the main culprit)! See you next time!