Monday, 27 July 2015

FABLAB - Course in 3d printing, laser cutting etc. at Plymouth College of Art.

FABLAB.  I was lucky enough to be able to take part in a 6 week course at Plymouth College of Art. The tutor, Ian, was brilliant, absolutely dedicated.  The course was intense, especially if you hadn't even set eyes on the computer programmes before.  There were a variety of levels of knowledge on the course.  I was probably one of the least knowledgeable!  It was a mind expanding experience if somewhat challenging.

3D printing is magical.

These are a few things printed by previous students

I was impressed with this one

And how does a 3D printer do this???

We covered milling, 

Ian walked round Emma with a camera and there she is, in 3D on the screen.  She can be turned, her back can be seen.  She is even hollow.  Amazing.

And here is the milling maching cutting a 3D Emma out of polystyrene like a winter snow scene.

We covered CNC engraving and finally laser cutting.  It was such a struggle to understand the software and then to import your image into the computer and prepare it for cutting.  Here are my attempts at laser cutting. 

'Dancing Sheep'  I loved this design because it looks like dancing sheep - and I love sheep.  Alas my 'bridges' which hold the design together were too small and bits fell out.

This was a stable silk, almost like cotton.  Here is the design before the cut out pieces have been removed.

This is the design for 'Cat'

'Cat'  Again, I did something wrong with the bridges.  You can see that isolated areas (which will drop out), have design within them.  I should have connected those shapes with the outside structure to hold it all together.

Here you can see the pieces falling out.  I then etched this design into white card.  I will certainly hope to use laser cutting in my work and am working on ideas for development.


Staff at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen are so good at changing our displays regularly.  Here are a couple of images of the display during my exhibition.

Several of these are now sold.  I love to alter the designs after each print run so very often they are one-offs.

Here are my scarves shown in their new presentation boxes.


'Zen and the Art of Road Tankers' was great fun.  Herewith posts of more Ikebanas which I did enjoy creating although I wasn't expecting my Anthuriums to die within 2 weeks.  I had been told they would last about 2 months!

 'Raindance', 'The Journey', 'Aliens' and 'Golden Sun' silk hangings.  I so enjoyed my travels to source imagery of road tankers and then to 'play' with them to enhance their beauty.  The perceptions of road tankers were never the same for many people and I didn't meet one nasty driver.

My lime green anthuriums with silk hangings, 'Breath of Dawn', 'The Sound of Rain' and 'Spirit', all created in meditation from sound only, a profound experience.  My sheep maaa'd and birds tweeted and cawed.  Pheasants squawked as they rose from the field outside my studio - and I represented them all in the silence, eyes closed.  The 'Zen' Masters do not work with their eyes but from their Soul Centres, according to my research.

Through another lime green Ikebana, my limited edition scarves with 'Planet', a silk hanging and 'Tanker Inside'

Irises form my Ikebana here.

I had so many lovely comments about my work and my prints seemed to go well.

'20's Swing', 'St. Louis Blues' two Limited Edition silk scarves (25) and 'Planet', a striking silk hanging where viewers saw different imagery within it; sheep, dancers, dandelions, monkey on the moon etcetera, an intriguing piece.

'20's Swing', a pure silk Deco inspired scarf, limited edition of 25, signed and dated with a signed dated and numbered certificate.

'St. Louis Blues' another pure silk scarf, as above.