At the start of lockdown I was restricted in the range of materials I could purchase and decided to use recycled cardboard to prototype initial design ideas. This proved to be a sensible and cost effective decision that avoided wasting materials whilst learning a new skill and testing whether the design worked.
One of the aims from taking part in this development opportunity was creating a new portfolio of work that showcased laser cutting and laser engraving skills for future commissions and work opportunities. I focused on designing a range of nature inspired patterns featuring my own bird designs and floral motifs derived from traditional Japanese katagami (paper patterned stencils) to be laser cut and engraved from paper and wood materials. As my expertise is in paper arts and crafts, the first stage involved crafting hand cut paper stencils. I then converted my paper cuts into digital files through scanning and then worked on the files in Photoshop and Illustrator before fabricating the final designs using laser cutting and engraving technology.
I feel very fortunate to have had this development opportunity. With my other work commissions having been cancelled in 2020, this activity received my total focus and gave structure to my time during lockdown. I've really developed my skills in working with wood materials and fabrication technology. It has opened up new possibilities to how I develop and make work during the next phase of my career.