Saturday, 23 January 2010

Laser Cutter and Wall Piece Development

So today I went to cut some stuff with lasers and what not. It was a roller-coaster of emotions ranging from giddy delirium brought on by the initial novelty of the whole facade right down to life ruining horror at the realisation of how insanely naive I have been to pile myself with so much work.

First things first - sessions are only an hour long. It's a good fucking job me and Claire shared two hours between us cos we'd have been all over the place otherwise. I decided to start with a test frame cut out of mount board, only about 25m or so high, fairly small. There's me thinking that the test piece we all got in the induction was cut out so quickly therefore everything will be cut out at super speed and the world will be a good place. WRONG. Holy shit. It took like 50 minutes to cut out this tiny fucking frame that I'm not even going to use in my final thing anyway since it's only a trial. I HAD IMAGINED CUTTING AROUND TEN OR SO FRAMES OF VARYING SIZES. Jog on Gauntley, you're a mentalist.

This in turn leads on to the 'there are physically not enough hours in the day to get this done' issue, which, as suggested by the not at all exaggerated title, is proving slightly problematic. Sessions are only one hour long. You can only book one session per day. There are only 3 more working days left to complete this. THREE. From this, I have derived that 10 cut outs is perhaps a tad ambitious and I should be thankful if I manage to come out with even three in the time I have. Wonderful.

However, I am clinging to this tiny but of hope with all of my being: since Friday was a test run there are things to be learned. For instance, the Illustrator files that I had can be streamlined immensely. The way I created them was to draw my frames on paper, scan them in and live trace them - which I assumed would give me my line drawings but it turns out that the live trace had taken every line, traced around the edges of it and turned it into an object itself - so essentially the laser cutter had to go round everything an extra time. By my calculations, rectifying my files will create half the number of lines resulting in it taking half the amount of time. Logic. Just means a good few hours sitting and deleting every individual anchor point on the drawings.. Mint.

So now I'm thinking that since I have 5 different frame types illustrated I can try and aim to get one of each cut out over the space of 3 hours. I am literally praying - I never resort to religion, dark times.

It could be worse - Claire's work set on fire a little bit, it was heart breaking.

On the bright side though, despite having said I wouldn't need the frame until Tuesday it is now comfortably in my life and it is sweet as a fucking cashew nut. Brilliant news. The guy is incredibly nice and he knows my naaaaame! I hate feeling like just a random stranger pestering for help but I felt like a 3d master by the end of the day - lovely old job.

For my wall piece I've decided to paint my frame white. The cut outs are going to be from white mount board and I want it to be purely about the depth element, not any mark making. So by painting the chunky wooden box frame and also the bed of the frame white I'm maintaining the continuity and not distracting away from the intended effect of my idea.

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