Recently in Example Gallery Category

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!

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:

Flower bursts.jpg

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

Big Fleury.jpg

22" x 28"

Or all together:

Big house drawing.jpg

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)

Finished Pressure plate.jpg

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:

Snowflake jar.jpg

She used midnight blue and clear glazes.

snowflake jar reverse.jpg

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

Plastic bubbles

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


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.

Sewn Marilyn.jpg

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.
cutting the mask.jpg

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:
grid wave the small one.jpg

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:

Light drawing.jpg

cutting cbsherlock.jpg

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

New Materials Testing on the Vinyl Cutter

This week and next we are expanding our example library of materials tested and on hand in the eStudio. We will have examples of materials that cut well, which blade to use, and what setting (gram force) to have the machine set at, as well as materials that just don't cut well, along with examples!

First few:

Vellum cut sample.jpg

Reynolds Freezer paper.jpg

Update to the embroidery sketch piece

Here is Cassie Chvala's embroidery sketch all sewn out:

Face Sketch.jpg

Because of the length of the stitches, the reverse side tension was off a little bit, and made an interesting texture...Here's the reverse of the sketch:

Face Sketch reverse.jpg

And here is a close up showing the fantastic line quality on that reverse side:

Face Sketch close up.jpg

Vinyl Mask on Ceramics part 2

Toni Carlstrom brought her snowflake images to cut on the vinyl machine and a bisqued vase to use the resulting mask on.

snowflake vase.jpg

While weeding the image, she kept all of the little pieces (of negative space) on some plastic so that she had the option of reassembling them if she wanted to.

snowflake weedings.jpg

She reconstructed a reverse image of her snowflake on the other side of the vase:

snowflake vase 2.jpg

Update when it's glazed!

embroideries done with the sketch program

Today Sean Connaughty's drawing class toured, and student Cassie Chvala used the sketch program to draw this:

in class sketch.jpg

This sketch took about 10 minutes, and there was no prep work, so the sketch program can allow you a very direct drawing method with the embroidery machine. We'll sew it out and see how it looks in thread tomorrow!

Here's an example by Jennica Kruse from earlier in the week:


She imported a scanned sketch, and then drew the stitch commands over that sketch, using it as a guide.

Vinyl Mask on Ceramics

I've been meaning to make this post for a while, but first I had to do the project. The creation of this particular vase thing has a few absurd twists and turns--one of the walls fell off for a while--but the monochromatic imagery on it gave it's an apartment building!

Vinyl mask glazing is just like using paper or masking tape cutouts, except the vinyl cutter can help you cut detailed shapes and pieces. Using Adobe Illustrator on your own computer or in the eStudio, you can trace and then expand your image so that there are vector lines telling the vinyl cutter where to cut.

trace image.jpg

Next, weed the vinyl, removing the areas where you want glaze to go- in this case, this the "positive" of your image.

partly weeded vinyl.jpg

Stick it on your bisqued piece...

vinyl mask on pot.jpg

Spray with glaze (tenmoku on this piece)

tenmoku over vinyl mask.jpg

Peel the vinyl off, exposing the bare clay. At this point you could apply another coat (say...celedon...or whatever) and get a layered effect. I left mine with the bare clay exposed.

Peeling vinyl mask.jpg

And finally, it's ready to go into the kiln:

pot glazed using vinyl mask.jpg


A few people came in to make valentines cards today...looks pretty sweet, right?

Hearts Binding.jpg

Shhhhh, don't tell Mike!
Front Cover Valentine.jpg

Loopy Hearts Front.jpg

The machine has a large variety of stitches, some geometric, some layerable...some silly, like little ducklings...but this week it's straight cheese. There are lot's of applications for sewing books like this.