Laser Cut Commission: Earnest Ice Cream

I am pleased to present this recent commission I completed last week for Earnest Ice Cream. The piece was installed in the shop last Saturday morning and will be on permanent display.

Ben and Erica reached out to me over the summer about creating artwork for their new scoop shop that opened on Fraser Street in August. As our discussions began about what sort of work they wanted for the shop I had just done the first experiment of translating my paper cut designs into laser cut wood, and this is what they chose to go with.

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Because their budget was limited we chose the design from existing paper cut work, which you can see in my portfolio. From there I scanned the work in two pieces (because it was too large for the scanner), then assembled and cleaned it up in Photoshop.

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The most involved bit of work in this process was creating a clean outline of the design using Illustrator. I don’t have a lot of experience using this software so my friend Kirsti kindly gave me a crash course in what I needed to know. I used the trace function to create the outline but it was hours (and hours) of tedious work to clean it up into something usable.

This is a key step because the laser cutter works with vector files, and the cleaner the outline, the better the final product.

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The finished piece is cut from bamboo plywood, and was fabricated by Hopewell Works Ltd. This is a laser cutting and engraving fabrication studio, located right in my neighbourhood, and I was referred to by Derek of Laser Cutter Cafe. The people at Hopewell Works really know their stuff, and it was great to work with them.

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It was a huge learning curve to figure out how to make this piece, and I could not have done it without the help of Boris, Arnt, Val, and Kirsti. Each one of them shared their knowledge with me, or lent a hand in some essential way.

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