beth bundy designs

Cutting class.

Beth BundyComment

As I have collected artwork over the years I have begun to notice the kind of art that I drawn to; clean cut lines, small shapes repeated, natural materials and bright colors.  In every country that I have visited I find myself migrating to wood carvings, hand made textiles, and traditional paper cuts. I am intrigued by the amount of time and skill it takes people to create these works of art.  I feel that most people do not have that kind of time today.  Some of these hand-working skills seem to be art forms of the past.  

With these inspirations in mind, I have been melding over the idea of using layers wood, cutting each layer out as I go, and then eventually having a solid block of wood with a mola inspired design inside.  I've made a few prototypes with paper but I really wanted to try it with wood.  So,  I went to SCRAP a couple of weeks ago and bought some balsa wood that I could cut with an Exacto knife.  I finally drew my design today and started cutting the layers out of the wood. My hand began to hurt in no less than 5 minutes.  "I know I could do this on a laser cutter," I thought.  "But I have no idea how to use one of those things."

I've been wanting to become a member of ADX ever since I heard about them right after they opened about 5 years ago.  ADX is a collaborative maker space and fabrication lab in Portland, Oregon where paying members can use their tools, equipment, and work spaces.  I was a woodworker in college and have not made anything of my own out of wood since because you can't be a woodworker without a wood shop.  So, of course ADX was intriguing to me.  But I just haven't had the time or money to spend.

Today I decided to make an investment.  My 30-day challenge class encouraged us to make a list of how much we spend each month on our art and how much we want to make this year and I came to a realization. There is no way I can charge the $500 on each small square artwork that I would need to charge to make it worth my time.  I can't spend 10+ hours cutting this wood by hand for each small square.  I need to learn how to use a laser cutter.  

So, I did it.  I became a member of ADX.  I took a laser cutting class.  And $150 later, I am on my way to cutting my paper, wood, and fabric in a fraction of the time I would have needed to cut it by hand.  I hope it pays off.