Sunday, January 22, 2012

Laser cut printmaking plates

© Cathy Savage, laser etch of scanned line
drawing on mat board (for future collagraph)
I'm attempting to make some printmaking plates in a new and different way, and MAKEatx is where I'll be doing it. Here's a little bit about their laser cutting machine that I grabbed from their website:

The 24" x 36" bed Epilog laser cutter at MAKEatx has a wide variety of applications. It can be used for designing, prototyping, production and learning about the process of making. It can cut and engrave wood and plywood, paper, acrylic, fabric and leather and can engrave coated metals, glass, ceramics and stone. objects produced with the machine range from engraved bottles & glasses to jewelry to home decor to art and inventions of all kinds.

MAKEatx's Epilog machine in action
I love adding text to my prints and this is one way to do it. I'm still figuring things out in my noggin, but with a 3-month subscription to MakeATX, I think I can come up with some stuff to print. In the next couple of week I'll be researching appropriate matrices since I can't use Cintra--the PVC coated foam core I like for drypoints (PVC evaporates into chlorine apparently, which would be toxic to inhale + the machine doesn't like the fumes either). Wood is a possibility, as in linoleum. Mat board is a given.

Once I arrived home I beveled my edges using a straight edge and an Xacto blade. Here's a pic after my first side has been beveled.

 To get the mat board ready to be made into a printer-ready collagraph, I coated the front 2x with 50:50 acrylic medium and water, drying in between coats. I coated the back and the bevels with 100% acrylic medium. Monday I'll proof it and post results! I'm actually itching to alter the collagraph plate, but figured I can do that after my 1st proof.

© MAKEatx, earrings
My first objective is to create printmaking plates, but I may be playing around with other cool applications of this laser cutting wonder. Here are some of MAKEatx's earrings. Here's a link to their shop for a closer look.

© Joelle Felyce Geisler, Indecision Dice--Dating
These date dice were created on the Epilog by artist Joelle Felyce Geisler, and for a better pic, I suggest visiting her website. She has really awesome stuff on her Etsy site, including the dice, so do check it out.


88 editions aka K Tankersley said...


I was wondering just yesterday if I could do a laser cut board for a steam roller project

you got me thinking!
on pins and needles to see how this turns out ; )

Julie Russell-Steuart said...

I did! I used 1/2 Birch and while it was warped a little, it still cut well. I took it to Mount Pleasant Iowa for a steamroller printing event at Printers Hall. It was awesome and turned out decent.