Steps to the final lacelightbox

The largest Lacelightbox was made and delivered to my studio in early May 2020

Strips of self adhesive LEDs on biodegradable foamboard for inside the lacelightbox

Trialling embroidery on net with the perspex and LEDs

I tried just using text on net inside the box (above)but it needed the laser cut card give hard shadows. So I commissioned Handytech to make the laser cut after much backwards and forwards where I learned my understanding of Illustrator wasn’t up to much.

I made the embroidered picot onto cotton bobbinet from Swiss Tulle (see this post for more detail) while waiting for the laser cut . Click on the gallery below to see the construction step by step

The lacelightbox in action

Lighting ideas

laser cut lampshade

I’ve been exhibiting in Karlsruhe, Germany for almost ten years now. I was invited to join a group exhibition by the GEDOK group in summer 2019. I showed two new lampshade designs, incorporating my laser cut design and LED lights. You can see the lampshades in the gallery below

The blue version had a holographic insert which distorted the lights inside, the gold was simply cut silk. This, combined with a large filament lightbulb, was really eyecatching. I found it distracting that you could see the inside, so if I were to repeat the design I would bond silk to both sides of the stiffening.

The blue lampshade twinkled (see the video below)

I was supposed to travel to Karlsruhe with the work and install it myself. However, I didn’t make it to Germany as my Mum had a stroke the weekend before I was due to leave. I decided to stay at home with her instead. Luckily my fellow artists were up for a challenge and put the whole display together for me. It meant I had to design some step by step instructions for putting the light together. They did a fantastic job!

The lampshades on exhibition in Karlsruhe July 2019, image supplied by GEDOK Karlsruhe

I used the waste from the laser cut to make a wall art piece. See the gallery below for more information on how it worked

Laser cutting

laser cut engrave

Sailing the sea of #sketchbookwoes, I found myself spending a lot of time in the laser room with Sue Turton. After a basic intro into what the laser may be capable of, I was fascinated by what I could do, not just through cutting but using a low powered laser to engrave or etch on the surface of the material.

The university has a number of flatbed lasers for cutting but one large Grafixscan machine which can be used to engrave all kinds of materials. the construction of the machine meant the base material did not have to be totally flat or thin, and the Grafixscan was super fast, producing engraved samples in minutes or even seconds.

laser cut engrave
Laser engrave onto tracing paper using the grafixscan

It could engrave areas from a jpeg or (which I preferred) lines of less that a millimetre from a vector file. These lines to me were as the bobbin thread in a lace machine, fine as hair. I imagined ways of using this to engrave a ‘net’ ground on which to embroider. As it happened I didn’t go down this line, but at least it gave me an avenue to investigate while I got my sketch on.

You can just hear my gasp of delight…