13 February 2011

AA2A and Laser-cutting

Last year I applied for a place on the AA2A Scheme at Huddersfield University.  For those that don't know, AA2A stands for Artists Access To Art Colleges, and the project provides placements for visual artists and designer makers to Higher and Further Education institutions across England to undertake a period of research or realise a project, using the workshops and supporting facilities available.
Here's a link to the website AA2A

This is a really great scheme to share resources with artists who don't have access to specialist equipment but a successful placement does depend on the goodwill and commitment of the art department involved.  I got accepted on the scheme in September last year but for reasons that have never been made clear, I wasn't allowed to make a start until this January.  Also some of the advertised facilities that lured me in, such as screenprinting, are not actually available!

It has been quite a frustrating experience up to recently but now I've decided to put all that behind me (hopefully) and concentrate on making the most of the amazing laser-cutter that is available for AA2As to use.  A couple of weeks ago myself and Beka Haigh another AA2A artist, had a very thorough induction from technician David Bentley with excellent, clear instructions.  So last Thursday Beka and I were able to do some autonomous cutting.  I was a little bit scared at first, being responsible for a very expensive piece of equipment with a white-hot cutting point, and lots of things that are easy to forget, like putting on the extractor so we weren't poisoned.   But its all very straightforward really.


Here's some pictures of my first attempts.  I'm revisiting a project I started a few years ago but gave up because the cutting put too much of a strain on the tendons in my hands.  The idea is of a pop-up paper Hebden Bridge sculpture that folds flat for portability.  You can see a black and white version over on the right, below my Profile.


If things work out well with the laser-cutter, I plan to make a more complex environment for the townscape and produce a saleable edition.

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