Pinecone Patterned Animal Ornaments & Wintery Woodland Decor

Ponoko-made products by Yvonne Laube

The inspiration for Yvonne Laube’s adorable animal mobiles, switch plates, night lights, and holiday ornaments initially came while she was decorating the nursery for her newborn son.

“I was looking for pieces that were clean-lined and both modern and traditional,” she says. But when she couldn’t find quite what she was looking for, she decided to make her own designs with Ponoko’s laser cutting service.

And luckily for her, Yvonne’s single entry into last year’s YippieYay contest won her the opportunity to try Ponoko free for a whole year.

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30 Holiday Gifts Created by Independent Designers

2013 Holiday Gift Guide

holiday gift guide

Cat silhouette snowflake ornaments? Check! Quotation mark earring studs? Yes! Full moon wall clock? Got it! DNA sequencer? Sho ‘nuf.

These are just a few of the fantastic things on our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide featuring original designs from Ponoko customers.

We’ve selected 30 different products this year to fit all budgets and suit everyone from your sister to your boss.

Check out our Gift Guide on Pinterest, and support independent designers this holiday season!

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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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Mesmerising kinetic wind sculptures

Combining CAD and a plasma cutter with traditional hand techniques

Anthony Howe is a veteran sculptor whose mind never stops turning… and the same goes for his stunning works of art.

Conceived entirely in his head, the intricate patterns in Howe’s works are resolved using a series of CAD programs before being sent to his own plasma cutter where the components are all cut from sheet material.

The final shapes are hand formed and hand finished using traditional metalworking techniques. All this is achieved in his Eastsound, WA studio.

“I develop a design on computer because it allows me to animate it and see it moving…

…then when I’m making things by hand, my intuition and subconscious plays a lot into the final object.”

Click through to see a revealing video interview with The Creators Project, where Anthony talks through his methodology and explains a little more about the thinking behind these kinetic objects.   (more…)

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Animated laser-engraved wood

The New America – is this the future of film making?

Two years in the making and consisting of over 800 individual laser etched wooden panels, The New America is an animation spectacular from film maker Nando Costa.

No stranger to the digital realm, Costa has created a unique bridge between the digitally produced physical object and the moving image. The largely abstract animation is pieced together from 8×4.5 inch panels of laser etched maple, resulting in an interesting visual effect as the wood grain changes from frame to frame.

The final production was made possible following a successful Kickstarter campaign, where contributors were rewarded with (amongst other things) actual panels from the film. Is The New America an insight into our future? Aside from any messages secreted within the animation itself, it certainly is interesting to see how laser cutting can be utilised in new ways. When reflecting on the process, Costa acknowledged that it was “a lot of hard work and stress” to bring The New America to life.

Click through to discover what the fuss is all about! See the clip after the break. (more…)

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Laser cut wooden alphabet puzzle

Merging hand-finished craftsmanship with computer aided design

With laser cut wood, there tends to be a particular distinctive visual language. The raw timber face standing out in contrast to the deep earthy tone of the cut edges… it is an aesthetic that has become iconic and is easily recognised.

But as this beautifully executed example from Looodus shows us, laser cutting doesn’t always have to look that way.

Laser cut and hand-finished in the picturesque Piemonte hills outside of Milan, Italy, this series of alphabet puzzles demonstrate the effectiveness of adding a few finishing touches by hand to digitally manufactured objects.

Click through to learn more about how this project got started, and to see further details of the fantastic colour variations. (more…)

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Think You’re Too Busy to Start Your Own Product Line? ROBOMUSTACHE Proves it’s Possible!

Ponoko-made products from Charles Wade

Charles Wade is a busy guy. He works at a newspaper in North Carolina doing graphic design, web development, social media, and IT; and teaches graphic design and multi media at a nearby college.

But despite his packed schedule, Charles was able to start a product line in time to sell at a local festival.

His side business, ROBOMUSTACHE, sells blocky wooden animals and robots, printed paper craft creatures, and more.

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Ornate laser cut wood with depth

Layer upon layer, each piece tells a fantastic story

The dynamic works of London-based illustrator Martin Tomsky can usually be found bringing children’s books to life… but it’s when he gets his hands on a laser cutter that his imagination really soars.

The layered ply is stained in a number of different shades for added depth, giving the swirling laser cut wood forms a dynamic energy suggestive of a 21st century Hokusai.

Continue after the break to see further examples including details of the 3D effect created by the laser cut wood layers. (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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