Thursday Night: Open House!

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Candice Methe's Unicorn Book

Year end projects included an embroidered handkerchief book project by grad student Candice Methe. The cover features a laser cut unicorn:

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Beneath the unicorn she embroidered the words "And Then The Pegasus Came" in silver-gray thread that is very similar to the light color of the leather used.

The handkerchief pages were embroidered with more hand written text:

Pegasus book page.jpg

And earlier experiment shows what happens when you try to fill text for embroidery that is too small:

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Embroidered Newspaper pictures

Artist Lauren DiCioccio uses hand embroidery on a translucent cotton laid over a newspaper to illustrate the photographs from the news.

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Visit her website for more beautiful examples.

Cardboard plotter automated drawing machine

http://www.theverge.com/2013/3/5/4066118/cardboard-plotter-automated-drawing-machine-niklas-roy

Check out this amazing video of a simple drawing machine...Non-computer mechanical design and drawing :)

Check out the artists other work at his website for some more of the most awesome weird machines.

Equal (禁煙)

The BFA senior exhibition is coming up and Rebecca Hoffman is working on her pieces. She used the laser cutter to cut and etch some gorgeous leather with subtle images showing the medical effects of smoking: lung cancer, coronary heart disease, macular degeneration, and really bad teeth. These images are wreathed in wisps of smoke, and are strangely beautiful. Once the laser etching was done, she brought them up to the eStudio and added embroidered details to the smoke and medical images and her own drawings of women with their fingers out as if they are holding a cigarette...No cigarettes are actually shown because in Japan, advertising that encourages women to smoke is forbidden under a voluntary industry agreement. Because the ban is voluntary, it is observed in name, but not necessarily functionally...for instance, cigarettes are sold in little flower-decorated boxes, and the pianissimo brand is pink and green decorated.

The conflict between the health impacts of smoking and the urge toward equality is at the heart of Rebecca's project.

Equal (No Smoking).jpg

These pieces will be folded and sewn into little purses modeled on the traditional Japanese tobacco pouches and cast bronze elements will be added to them... We will have another blog post when they're done, but check them out in the Nash Gallery while they're up!!! They're well worth checking out!

Six Layer pressure print plate

All six layers: they go from the lightest details to the darkest.

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Layered up (some of the detail is hard to see; the piece is actually very dimensional, with 6 layers piled up)

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Drawing with the Vinyl Cutter cont.

We have been exploring more options-- using the vinyl cutter as a drawing machine (or plotter) and the results are encouraging.

By having different information on different "layers" and printing each successively, we can get different colors working together:

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This method of drawing can also be great for creating large scale drawings:

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22" x 28"

Or all together:

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30" x 21"

Pressure plate ready for printing

Cori Sherlock was back today and finished making a pressure print plate that she cut a few weeks ago. By layering different layers of cut vinyl on top of each other, she was able to create a dimensional form that will, through the varying amount of pressure it exerts, print in different shades whatever ink she applies to the roller.

Here are two of the three layers:

Pressure Print plate prep.jpg

Here is the finished version, all layered together (there are 4 layers, but the top and the bottom are both white)

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Glazed jar with snowflake vinyl resist by Toni Carlstrom

A few weeks ago Toni came into the eStudio to cut some snowflake pattern vinyl masks to use on her bisque fired jar and create patterns with the glaze. Here is the result:

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She used midnight blue and clear glazes.

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Drawing using the Vinyl Cutter

Though the file was created with cutting in mind, it is very interesting drawn out as well. Line quality has a lot of variation even though a robot drew it. Keep an eye out for more testing done with different materials (charcoal? chalk? pens?)

Final image below:

House drawn by robot.jpg

Pink House.jpg

3D Printer- coming soon

Several students have been hard at work making the 3D printer communicate with the computer, and vice versa. In the past few weeks, it has gotten a lot closer, though the z axis movement seems to still be out of sync. Stay tuned for more info, or email us to get involved in the project!

Plastic bubbles

Experiments with new kinds of plastic are yielding fantastic results! Check out this beautiful bubble made from opalescent plastic gift wrap material:

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Marilyn Monroe Portrait

Spring break is ending...and spring is beginning!

First project of the season in the eStudio was Gao Hli Yang's Marilyn image, pixelated, abstracted, and embroidered onto black cloth.

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Hi! I'm Kieran, the Friday eStudio tech. We've been coming up with ways to use technologies in the eStudio for printmaking, and we've come up with a substantial list for the vinyl cutter alone. Vinyl cutter + intaglio, vinyl cutter + monoprinting, vinyl cutter + screenprinting...

I decided to try intaglio first. The idea was to create a mask for aquatinting, to cover parts of the plate instead of using asphaltum or sharpie. I drew an image on the Cintiq tablet (another great tool for printmaking - this is where I start with many of my transparencies!) and told the vinyl cutter to cut it out.
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Since this was a pretty tiny mask (about 2"x3") with tiny lines, peeling the tiny squares out was annoying. I decided to keep many of the squares intact, just to see how it would look.
peeling mask.jpg

I then stuck the vinyl to my copper plate, scurried downstairs to the print studio, applied the aquatint, and removed the mask before etching the plate in acid. I learned with my second try that you can also keep the mask on while etching for a cleaner crisper result. Here's the plate:

the intaglio plate.jpg

And here's the first proof of the plate:
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Note the fuzziness of the lines - this is because I took the mask off before etching. I like the effect.

Here's the proof of my other test, which was bigger, etched for less time, and the vinyl was left on during etching.
grid wave the big one.jpg

Conclusion: This totally works! Printmakers, try it for yourself! Use it to get really intricate and/or clean shapes. You also have the option of cutting "perfect" multiples, which is useful when using the same image for multiple applications.

Visiting Artist CB Sherlock and materials testing

Beginning a low-density residency/partnership with the eStudio, local book artist CB Sherlock has been testing various materials and processes in the eStudio, including embroidery on book cloth, and using the vinyl cutter to cut out prairie grass images. On the Ugo paper, a wonderfully receptive plastickey printing surface, the vinyl cutter tended to etch but didn't always make it all of the way through, resulting in "light drawing" when we held the pieces up to the light:

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Check her art out at her website or at the MCBA!