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.