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:
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.
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!