Recently in technologies Category

Six Layer pressure print plate

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

6 layer pressure print plate.jpg

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

6 layer pressure print plate 2.jpg

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

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:


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

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.

Ubiquitous but nonetheless exciting post about the 3d pen

This is everywhere on the internet; even my mother heard about it on the radio. But it's everywhere because it is AWESOME!

It isn't exactly sketch in midair, but it is a freehand method of plastic making which could be really fun when combined with free-standing embroidery (see these posts)

Might also be a good maquette tool for sketching quick ideas for sculpture and clay students.

Check out their Kickstarter page to see the video!


Dear eStudio.jpg

Mini book with a sewn binding. All done without the 5d software, just programmed stitches and monogramming on the machine itself:

Valentine's booklet.jpg

Valentine's papers.jpg

Come on in and explore sewing on paper!

Didactics- visual tactile example library

Next semester look for new materials on display to help understand exactly what the machines might do to your images.

email with any suggestions!

Embroidery didactics

Underwater Garden by Carly Blackmore

This fantastic image is the first (hopefully of many) made in the eStudio combining the possibilities presented by the DSB with the digital embroidery machine.

Underwater Garden.jpg

Carly printed her image onto silk (print-ready silk can be found at the Dharma Trading Company) using Sue, the experimental printer in the DSB. In the eStudio, she used her original digital image to choose details she wanted to emphasize.

Underwater Garden Mermaid.jpg


Underwater Garden Lawnmower Man.jpg

Taylor Kline at Prøve Gallery in Duluth

Taylor Kline's work was recently featured at Goulash, a show of work by graduating UMD art students. His work incorporates some vinyl cut imagery, layered over a striking background developed by slicing skateboards, revealing a cross-section of brightly dyed plywood. Pretty sweet.

Taylor Kline Spotcheck

Each of his pieces depicts a different place that has been important to the development of skate culture.

Taylor Kline-Spotcheck1

Technique tip: he embedded the vinyl in thick clear acrylic medium which made the whole piece look very nicely finished.

Check out some of his older work on and check out Prøve Gallery on Facebook or on Lake Avenue the next time you're in Duluth!

Water Soluble Stabilizer

Most of our embroidery projects incorporate some sort of backing or stabilizer. This is usually placed behind the fabric (or paper, or plastic!) that the project is meant to be sewn onto. Water soluble stabilizer allows you to sew without a substrate, (ie cloth, paper, etc) and instead create an object that exists on its own in space. It occupies a strange place between sculpture and drawing.

First: a cross stitch pattern provides stability, weaving a new piece of "cloth," providing structure for the image

crosshatch pattern.jpg

crosshatch image on soluble stabilizer.jpg

Here is the final product, before I dissolve the stabilizer:

final product with backing.jpg

And after a dunk in the sink. Dark because it's still wet.

Stabilizer dissolved.jpg