Digital Fabrication Final: Future Nudes

For our final project, Kim and I were experimenting with laser-etching wet clay this week - a poetic and exciting exploration!

Too make it short - so far the results were surprisingly great. That said we still need to fire the clay in a kiln, then we can give a final verdict on it.

Here the basic setup for cutting the clay:

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We used low firing white raku clay as we will use a kiln that fires at cone 06. It had a nice plasticity and was easy to work with. The tricky part was to get a consistent height for the clay slab. To achieve that, we used a kitchen roller and two pieces of plywood with similar height to roll it evenly over the clay. We then cut it in shape.

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To keep clay particles from falling through the laser bed we used felt.

After applying manual focus on the 75 watt laser we used the following settings:

  • 600 dpi raster etching

  • 90 % speed

  • 30 % power

and it worked well with two goes. Now we just have to let it dry for two days do a first firing, glaze one part and then fire it again. It’s still not clear how it will turn out - something to look forward to!

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