The gilded panels need to be raised from the back of the light boxes to enable them to be hung using nails. To do this I have used off cut pieces from the hinges to make runners for the false backs to sit on. I have simply used PVA to put the strips in place and PVA to attach the panels. The runners will not be seen, so I felt that it would be appropriate to recycle waste material.
I have spent a lot of time choosing the colours for the fabric flex cabling and deciding what style of bayonet fittings to use. I have decided that for the light fittings I want to use metal bayonet fittings, but these need to be matched to the gilding in the boxes.
For the grey boxes I have chosen to use the anthracite and white zig zag cord along with silver gilding and nickel bayonet fittings. This is because I want to keep a more monochrome feel to this piece, as it has a timeless feel to it.
For the green I chose to use the burgundy, red and white mixed thread cable alongside copper gilding and antiqued brass bayonet fittings. I chose this style of thread, rather than sold colour as I feel it may have been too strong alongside the other cables, and it was a nylon material, rather than a linen like the other colours. The bayonet fitting style was chosen as a shiny brass would not look right against the copper, as it would be too much of a different metal.
For the natural MDF wood I wanted to go with natural colours, so I chose to use a natural coloured flex that is off white. This goes well with the gold gilding and shiny brass bayonet fittings.
I have chosen the cabin for their texture, as it gives continuity between the different designs. The use of the same style of bayonet fittings in different metals and finishes also continues the continuity.
After picking up the laser cut material from Bespoke Laser UK I have had to put the pieces together quite rapidly as I was not able to pick them up as early as I had hoped. Because of this I managed to put together six boxes in a day, which is a record I have not managed to beat. Although working at speed my work still maintained a high quality.
I picked up four sheets (1000x610mm) worth of laser cut lights yesterday, unfortunately there were a few pieces that had not fully cut. This is because the Valchromat is 8mm thick and more dense than standard MDF, and even the super powerful laser at Bespoke Laser UK only just cuts through. I have managed to fix the problem with the parts by creating a file for the uncut sections, cutting them in card and placing the Valchromat pieces into the holes left behind. It has taken about three or four passes (this laser has only 40 watts of power) and the edges are a little more charred than the smooth quality from Bespoke Laser UK, but, I made it through!
Today I picked up the final cuts to construct for the degree show. I had four files, two green Valchromat sheets and two grey Valchromat sheets. Three designs fit on each sheet, as they are 1000 x 610 mm. I had them cut to the size of the laser bed at Bespoke Laser Uk when I picked them up from Avon Ply.
Another piece cut by Bespoke Laser UK. After sanding this piece down I have tested out the measurements I used for the supporting hinge. This is the first time I have only used two notches as I have previously been trying to get this right so the piece can be cut down in size.
The next stage is to prepare more files like this one for cutting in green and grey valchromat.
I got more of my work laser cut by Bespoke Laser UK on Friday, ready to sand it all down and fix it together!
Here’s a new design. This uses a hinge I experimented with a few months ago, but have left behind whilst I developed the other styles. This box plays on earlier ideas I had to incorporate lighting with storage solutions, as can be seen in a previous visit to the photography studio.
Initially I wanted the hinges to move within the box on elastic or a runner, but this seemed hard to achieve due to the nature of laser cutting. As the pieces are cut in one direction it is difficult to achieve movement in another, the hinges do not flow easily. But instead, create a curved shadow effect, like the one in the image above. The hinge is also interesting when not clipped into the end pieces and hangs naturally.
The front panel of the final design simply clips onto a middle support section, I felt that gluing it to the box would limit the movement. By not permanently attaching this piece it also allows more versatility of the design. It can be removed if desired and could also aid cleaning.
This design can be developed further through increasing the size of the box and also by adding more hinge panels. The next steps for this object are to oil the parts, as I have begun in the third image, and to begin to cut false back panels to gild.
At first I was planning to simply gild the back of the boxes, as you can see in the image above. This was before I had developed the cuts for hanging the work onto nails. For a neater finish I have chosen to put false MDF backs into each of the designs, this is to hide the nail holes, as you can see in the last picture and also because gilding at right angles is not easy, and will not have as crisp a feel. To accommodate for this I have added 10mm to the depth of each design, as this will allow for the thickness of the MDF panel and raised runners which I will be using to raise the panel from the nail holes.
I have gilded these panels to have a textured finish. If I wanted a smooth and flawless finish I would have used metallic spray paint. I feel that the textured back gives more of a nod to the hand finished element of the design and is a contrast against the clean cuts the laser cutter creates. The texture of these will also allow light to bounce off the panels in a more arbitrary way.
I always see these light boxes as being hung, but they could also form table top lights and, on a larger scale, even become a floor lamp.
I have experimented with three different cuts to hang them over a nail, and the light boxes will have false backs so these will be hidden. After playing with a nail and these cuts I have decided that the style on the right is the best as it will allow a larger nail to be used if desired. This cut does need to be made a little smaller though to allow for a smaller head on a nail. This will now be incorporated into all of the back panels of the light boxes at different angles to allow the box to be hung in different ways.