Saturday, September 21, 2013

The many novel uses of a laser cutter...

In a mad rush to scrape together a gift for +Shane Wallace and his impending birthday (this all occurred a few weeks ago).  I decided to dig some images out of our collective past and turn them into wood engravings.  We're both Dungeons & Dragons fans so I selected some of my favorite illustrations from the Fiend Folio and throw them into a composition.  Here's the result (note, this was a test run on a smaller pieces of wood):  

(please note this work IS copyrighted, however both myself and the recipient of this gift own physical copies of book containing these images.  Also, no money has changed hands so an argument for fair use is pretty strong regarding this new composition. The original art work was all created by Russ Nicholson.)

It worked out well enough that I might try to make a few more (with public domain images) and see if they'll sell.  If anyone has a specific piece that won't violate copyright I'd be interested in talking about commissions.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Still kicking...

I know that my adoring fan base is wondering, "what the hell's happened to Ian's blog?" (snort, like anyone other than bots and scrapers read this thing).  I've been meaning to add some posts but I've been so damn busy I haven't had the time to put together anything coherent.  So, here's an attempt at coherence and a summary of my recent tinkering and design activity.

A month or two ago I joined a maker space named EnjiGo.  It's a relatively new organization (a merger between MakeSLC and a robot building club), and there are quite a few things that need to be done for the organization.  When I joined there was no logo, no brand and no real identity, which equates to a very slow word-of-mouth growth strategy (though with member attrition it seems like we're lucky to keep a constant number of members).  For those not familiar with maker spaces, these are collective spaces with room to work, shop and rapid prototyping tools and a group of members who have expertise in a variety of different fields (often some brand of engineering).  In EnjiGo's case there's also a mandate to educate the community and share skill sets.  As a paying member I'm allowed to vote on the behavior of the organization and since groups such as this can tend towards apathy we have termed ourselves a Do-ocracy (entitlement through action).  Anyway (back on track to some self aggrandizement), I took it upon myself to design a logo and build a window sign to replace the makeshift, barely legible masking tape on window spelling E N J I G O. Here's the new logo:
 I used the my laser cutter to make the sign from some spare luan plywood I had floating around, learned a painful lesson regarding how tough that shit is (way tougher than birch of a similar thickness and higher quality).  Here's a sequence of images show construction and final result:

(so pretty with just gesso on it...)

(I was going for a sort of plasticy look)

(this was the first time I had experiment with clear acrylic gel medium)

(the result of my efforts, regarding the sign)

Now, an important thing to note is that EnjiGo's space is about 5000 square feet and the rent is not insubstantial and as I previously noted the growth of the organization is happening slowly.  We need more members and we need to communicate what a great organization we are (trying to be), to this end I've started designing printed marketing material.  Here's a poster that should be arriving soon from the printer:

The plan is to slap these up around campus at the U, SLCCC, Westminster College and other locations.  Also, have business cards ready to go:

So, as soon as we get this material printed it'll be time to pound some pavement and distribute propaganda.

More later about other stuff...