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Experience Invite

I had a lot of trouble figuring out what to build this week. I had originally wanted to bring back the psychedelic chandelier idea. I wanted to use the vinyl cutter for this. I tried a few times to find someone on the floor who could help me with the vinyl cutter, but I didn’t have much success. I know I could have cut the vinyl by hand, but I wasn’t completely sold on the idea, so didn’t feel it was worth buying all the materials if I wasn’t going to learn a new tool with the project.

So, I decided to scrap the idea. After much arduous indecision, I decided to use the opportunity to make an invitation for my applications experience, which is due this week as well.

I hadn’t used plywood yet, so I wanted to try that and the experience has a 1920s theme, so that gave me my look and feel.

I originally wanted to get both plywood and wallpaper samples from Home Depot, but when I got there I was surprised that they didn’t have wallpaper in store (I guess it’s not in fashion in Bed Stuy!). So, I got my paper at the Paper Source. After buying it, I heard there is a great paper store in New York, I forget the name, but I’ll have to check it out next time. I really love paper, and the Paper Source is good, but limited, and very expensive.

Paper from the Paper Source.
Paper from the Paper Source.

I also bought some 3M spray glue from Home Depot. I’ve never worked with it, but have heard it is great on paper (it is!). I used this along with Gorilla Super Glue and a glue stick as adhesives.

My materials. I didn't end up using the mounting tape. I used a glue stick though.
My materials. I didn’t end up using the mounting tape. I used a glue stick though.

After getting my materials and designing my Illustrator files, I started on the laser cutter. Per usual, the laser presented tons of challenges. The most annoying one was that my one etching file took one full hour to print. No exaggeration. I’m not sure if this is usual, or if I set something wrong, but it really threw me off. I had only booked two hours on the laser, and it was a bummer to lose a full hour on just one component. I also had trouble cutting through the wood on the laser, so cut some of it with the saw with the thin blade.

Pieces just off the laser cutter.
Pieces just off the laser cutter.

Aside from cutting the wood and the mdf peg board, I had hoped to cut my paper on the laser as well. I thought that it would cut well, but I couldn’t find the settings for it on the laser cutter documentation and someone in the lab said I shouldn’t put paper in the laser. So, I didn’t try it. This was a bit of a bummer because I then had to do all of my paper cutting by hand. I had originally wanted to do much more with layering paper, but it was just too time consuming doing all the fine cutting manually.

Hand cutting the paper.
Hand cutting the paper.

This is how it turned out:

The front.
The front.
The back.
The back.
Detail.
Detail.

I will admit, despite all Ben’s warnings, I have become quite fond of the laser. I have a feeling we will have a long, productive, slightly dysfunctional relationship during my tenure at ITP.

Materials list:

  • plywood
  • mdf peg board
  • paper
  • 3 types of glue — spray glue, glue stick, Gorilla super glue

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