As an introduction to the laser lab and Adobe program Illustrator, the first assignment for the elective Drawing Through The Making Center was to design and laser cut a piece of jewelry for a client. Over the course of 3 weeks, I worked closely with my client, learning about her life and interests, to make a custom necklace for her.
After interviewing her and figuring out what is most important and prominent in her life, I began sketching and writing down potential ideas for a custom piece. Originally I made 2 designs that were simple, as she has a minimalistic taste. I wanted the necklace I made to match with the existing ones my client wears on a daily basis, so I chose to work with clear acrylic and gold chains. I decided to combine the two elements from the simple designs to make one larger more complex charm. I made the complex one in two different shapes, and showed them to my client, who preferred the diamond one. I made a prototype out of paper and string (photo 2) and scanned it into photoshop. I loaded the scanned sketch into Illustrator to create a document to send to the laser lab. To experiment with different shapes I also made the rectangular one and played around with scale. Once the pendants was laser cut, I attached a gold colored chain and clasps to make it a functional necklace.
I based the designs off of my client’s love for walking, New York City, and her dogs. I chose to put the grid shape of Greenwich Village (a place she loves in the city), paw prints and the initials of her dogs’ names on a diamond shaped piece of clear acrylic. My goal was to create a charm that serves as a reminder of all of the things that make my client happy.
Using the laser lab, I learned that it takes a lot of patience, trial and error, and focus to create laser cut work. Making art for someone else is also more stressful than if I were to create something for myself. It feels very rewarding to learn so much about someone else and incorporate it into art and have them love the outcome. I also loved how I created something from paper, and it actually became a wearable necklace. Seeing my own design being cut onto acrylic was really rewarding. I will definitely remember that the process to actually laser cut is meticulous and long, and if I want to create more at the lab I will plan ahead and book as early as possible for a consultation.