I’ve been having a yearning to play with some fun burning…just for myself! And since I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan I decided to do a portrait of him. This shows the first two phases…and I’ll post a separate one when I feel like he’s fully finished! But for now…this gives a little insight into what I’ve been working on in my spare moments lately!
They said it was just like using a printer. And it kind of is…
A REALLY COMPLICATED PRINTER ON STEROIDS!
A printer with lots of diverse settings that have to be adjusted for power and speed and resolution and dithering effect, and, and, and… Not just that…those things (and more) have to be re-calibrated for each different type of material you are “printing” onto. For example; the settings you might use to achieve the perfect depth of burn of a logo on birch might be entirely different from the settings you would choose for that same image on say, walnut or bass wood. Much less leather or cardboard! Additionally, the settings you might use to achieve the desired shade and intensity in a plaque expressing a sentiment in words using a specific font would be entirely WRONG for the correct pixelation needed in a photograph where white space around each pixel is not only desirable but required in order to see the depth of detail in photo reproduction.
So, ya…this machine is industrial-grade and takes quite a bit of training and experimentation in order to come up to speed so that we can comfortably add laser-engraving services to my current offering.
Below are a couple of images of recent test projects…
I wanted to try out various settings to see what kind of results I could get with a photograph. I kind of wish I had taken pictures of the earlier renditions of this, lol! But I think we’re getting it nailed…slowly but surely!
I burned the smaller version onto a piece of thick leather first. And I’ve got to say that I was pretty happy with the way it turned out.
So, I thought I’d try it in a larger size and this time on a 12″x12″ square of birch…which is quite a bit harder material than the leather.
Trust me when I tell you that this one took SEVERAL ATTEMPTS to finally achieve this output. But…I _am_ pleased with the final result.
We have also been practicing on ceramic tile and have some acrylic sheeting on order so that we can learn on those, too.
We haven’t even tried cutting shapes out with the laser engraver, yet. That’s coming next!
I’ll keep you posted.
This is kind of fun…but tricky, too!
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
This is a really cool idea!
I was contacted a few days ago by a local Portland dad who was looking for a pyrographer who could burn the first names and year of his son and daughter-in-law-to-be’s wedding with a little leaf-work around the edges onto a large (36.5″L x 17.5W x 2″H), natural-edge cedar plank they had purchased. And what are the groom and bride-to-be going to do with this plank? They plan to use it as a Guest Book, of sorts, for their wedding attendees to sign in Sharpie! Isn’t that an AWESOME idea? I’d never heard of anyone doing something like this before! They then want to hang the piece on a wall or place it on a mantel as decor/art in their new home.
Of course, I told Kevin (the dad) I’d be more than happy to do this work for them! He emailed me the original artwork created by the couple themselves and I worked out an initial estimate based on the approximate length of time I figured it would take me to complete the piece.
Yesterday Kevin and his wife, Teresa, stopped over with the wood and we had a great visit! We talked about placement, size, and I also asked him about how he wanted the piece finished. He mentioned he was planning to seal the surface with lacquer and I advised him that he might want to wait to do that until AFTER all of the signatures are on the piece in order to insure the signatures adhere properly and permanently to the wood. Also, I mentioned I recommend using a spray-on lacquer rather than a brush-on type because…even though it’s permanent marking pen…you just never know for sure how the sealant might interact with the ink and they wouldn’t want to risk any smearing when applying with a brush.
I spent some time resizing the artwork and placing it on the wood this morning, followed by these photos I sent over to him for approval before I move forward with the actual art transfer to the surface of the wood.
I’ll post more photos of the finished piece when it’s completed.
I’m super excited about this piece and especially about the concept! I think it’s a great idea for this use, as well as potentially creating address markers with family name and address to prop against the front of a house or attach to a post in the front yard, etc. Lots of great possibilities here!
And the cedar smells GREAT…so it’s a real pleasure to work with!
More to come,