The Kelpies: Giant laser cut horse sculptures

Towering over the Scottish landscape

Here is a treat for lovers of laser cutting on a grand scale. Celebrating the horse-powered heritage of Scotland, Andy Scott’s The Kelpies is a monument to both the past and the future.

Representing two dynamic Clydesdale horse heads rearing up from the landscape, this colossal laser cut sculpture is nearing completion after 7 years of development. It has taken some serious engineering to pull the project together, and the results will be awe-inspiring for visitors to the site when it opens in 2014.

Continue reading for more info and images of the construction process, engineering and design development.   (more…)

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Photographer Creates Camera Accessories for 150 yr old Photo Technique

Establishes In Camera Industries in Portland, Oregon

Photographer Jody Ake creates haunting images that capture the subject with incredible dimensionality.

He works with a wet collodion process, a method dating back to the 1850s. “The end results are ambrotypes, appearing on glass in the form of a negative until backed by black velvet, thus rendering the positive image,” he explains on his website.

The photographic plate holder Jody uses in his practice “finally deteriorated to the point that it was no longer useable, and finding a well made replacement was imposable. The lack of reliable plate holders inspired me to start making my own.”

So in addition to fine art photography and commission work, Jody started In Camera Industries — a small business selling accessories for in camera photography.

Specifically, In Camera Industries sells high quality, photographic plate holders that can be used for “wet collodion (ambrotype/tintypes),
paper negatives, dry plate, daguerreotypes, and any in camera process.”


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Paper artist tries out laser cutting

Giving laser cut wood a try for the first time

Canadian artist Rachael Ashe has a nifty set of skills when it comes to hand cut paper. A recent commission called for something a little more solid than her usual delicate works… and laser cutting was the answer.

Being new to laser cutting in wood can be daunting, but Rachael was lucky enough to have some buddies who could help her along with a little expert know-how. Her process started with the scanning of a 2D hand-cut artwork, which she then manipulated in Photoshop before opening up the file in Illustrator to trace outlines and clean everything up so that it was ready for the laser cutter.

The guys at a local laser cutting and engraving fabrication studio stepped in to work their magic, and the results speak for themselves.   (more…)

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Interactive kinetic sculpture brings mythic eagle to life

Creation story features in First Peoples exhibit at Melbourne Museum

Interactive design gurus ENESS have used the latest in digital manufacturing technologies to give form to the spiritual history of one of the world’s oldest continuing cultures.

First Peoples is an exhibition at the Melbourne Museum in Australia, where the creation story of Bunjil, a mythic wedge-tailed eagle, has been brought to life in the form of a 2.2m kinetic sculpture.

The stylised laser-cut acrylic feathers undulate with mysterious rhythm, while a computer controlled projection is mapping graphics simultaneously onto each blade in real-time, driven by motion-tracking and some sophisticated custom software. A song-like narration read by Aboriginal actors guides the viewer, as the display literally glows and pulses with life.

“…the scuplture simulates the omni-present nature of creation and universal motion. Visitors are meant to be inspired in the same way Victoria’s first inhabitants were by Bunjil’s power.”

See more of the story on how the thinking behind this inspirational exhibit; how it was made and also catch a few glimpses of the motion and projection artwork in action after the break. (more…)

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Gorgeous laser cut wood greeting cards

Wooden cards and invitations from B-spired

When sending someone a personal greeting, there can be something so satisfying about finding a really neat card.

Betsey Reiche and Charlotte Miller come together as b-spired, a San Francisco duo who have created a range of laser cut wood greeting cards and invitations with their own special spark.

The cards are laser cut and etched with distinctive, quirky graphics and then wonderfully combined with bright card stock backing to bring out the illustrative features.

Each design makes use of the crisp lines and bold negative space that is such a strength of laser cutting, whether it be in wood or even applied to laser cutting metal.

Click through to see more of these delicious cards from b-spired.   (more…)

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Pattern Matters: Tactile Paper Exploration

Hand-cut mechanical calendar explores the role of pattern in design

Celebrating the role that pattern plays in graphic design, this gorgeous paper calendar series from Singapore-based designer Siang Ching is a mesmerising tactile wonder of the kind that is rare to see in these days of all things digital.

The paper calendar appears as a part of Pattern Matters, a collection of textural hand-cut paper explorations.

Far more than just a visually striking kinetic sculpture, each of the monthly pages contains a veritable numerologist’s delight. When the user turns, twists and pulls the paper components, an informative scientific precision is revealed as dates align with days of the week, lunar cycles and even the number of days from the start of the year.

Ching’s main objective is to inspire other designers to explore the use of pattern in their own works.

“Pattern Matters also aims to demonstrate that pattern is a crucial form of design element… …not merely a decorating tool.”

Click through to see some calendar pages in closer detail, and also a few insights into the construction process.   (more…)

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Using laser cutting for digital sculpture

Cutting layer after layer after layer . . .

Digital fabrication is usually at its best and most impressive when used for something more complex than could be practically produced any other way. Laser cutting can achieve any level of detail and complexity, limited only by the material being cut.

This sculpture, “Foundation Stone,” by Mitchell Biggio, is one such example. Cutting out each layer by hand would require an inordinate amount of time, not to mention the sheer monotony of it. Biggion made this piece as part of a Computer Modeling for Sculpture Projects class at SCAD. Be sure to check out the class blog for some other fascinating projects.

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Graphics cut onto vinyl records

Creating LP’s that look as good as they sound

Showing that there is still life in those good old LP vinyl records, Japanese designer Shinsuke Yamaji is doing something quite interesting at Autora Factory Plate.

Imagine if your vinyl records looked as good as they sound! Now they can, thanks to some clever machinations that transform the humble LP into an object of art before you even set it spinning.

Pictured above is the diamond stylus that is used to cut custom graphics onto vinyl records. Apparently, accurate audio quality is maintained as a part of the programming of the illustrations.

Click through to see how a finished LP looks, as well as a glimpse of the program interface and cutter setup.


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Laser-cut paper illustrated Macbeth

Visualising classic literature in the finest papercraft

The dark and twisted tales that unfold in Shakespeare’s Macbeth truly come alive in this striking illustrated publication. Intricate artwork by Kevin Stanton has been laser-cut from the paper pages, giving the reader a delightful visual accompaniment to one of the great literature classics.

Stanton’s illustrated Macbeth is one of the earlier books from a series that includes equally elegant laser-cut publications of Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. Although it was the pictures that caught our eye here, the set of novels also contains the full text of each play along with a scholarly commentary and an informative history of the particular works. Click through to the source to see more illustrations from the series.

Kevin Stanton via Brain Pickings

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Creating cloudscape sculptures from laser cut layers

Ponoko-made project by Helen Reynolds

“Clouds are such a beautiful expression of the way landscape systems function” says Helen Reynolds, an artist and instructor of landscape architecture in Wellington, New Zealand. Last year she began a series of work exploring cloud shape and formation, including a sculptural installation she created with the help of Ponoko’s laser cutting service.

“Changes in the landscape make changes in the cloudscape, and I love that connection,” Helen explains of her initial interest in the subject. “They’re the responses of water vapor in the contracting or expanding atmosphere and castles in the sky.”

After creating several drawings and hand-cut cloud sculptures, Helen decided to use laser cutting for a project proposal that had been accepted for exhibition at the Dowse Museum of Art.


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