I love laser cutting, it is something I have always found looks amazing and can be used for great artistic effect. Seeing the option for advanced laser cutting I was enthralled to see what that entailed, and how complex it would be possible to go with the laser.
Once I arrived, I was told that there is no such thing as advanced laser cutting, it was a mistake and should not have been on the timetable, but that he would teach us some useful bits as well as answer any questions. After a very quick recap on how to use the machines and why they could do we were shown and explained some of the more interesting things you can use the machines for.
One of the things shown was how to fix acrylic shapes into wood. You can just cut the same shape twice so that the missing element can be added inside, but this leaves a slight gap as the laser has width. This gap stops it fitting snug, so it has to be glued in place. The other option to fix this is to put the two pieces in the heat press. It then will fit perfectly and not be able to be removed, but it does cause the acrylic to go a bit cloudy. It is also possible to increase the overall size of the piece to be inserted by 1mm so that it will fit snug in the shape, though occasionally some light sanding may be required.
We were also shown some of the sites where you can download templates for 3d objects from. This can be useful for when you are making 3d objects, even if you just use them for a base.
One area that I had wondered about was whether it was possible to laser onto glass. Whilst it is possible to raster on it we are not able to cut it at the university. It was explained and demonstrated that a damp paper towel on top helps with the rastering and makes it smoothers and clearer.
What I found incredibly interesting was that you can also raster onto the back of mirror. This looked incredible and I really love the effect. Removing just the back makes it so that you can see straight thorough glass but the mirror still works where untouched. As you can also get acrylic mirror this is possible to be cut and etched. Once held up in the light it looked so magical. Etching into old mirrors is meant to be particularly effectives, especially if wanting something a bit ghostly and old world like.
I think that using some form of laser cutting should be how I go forward with Temple Newsam. I was really struck with how light most of the house was and using either mirrors or translucent acrylic in wood could really highlight this. I am not certain how exactly to use it but this sets me a constraint which is I think what I need, as my ideas are still all to everywhere, and coming from a part of the place, rather than a link between the two.