A new workshop for quilt artists interested in exploring laser cutter technology
by Valerie S. Goodwin
The physical means of making has always been a part of my professional and artistic life. Immense professional satisfaction and artistic expression has come from making things by hand throughout my career. On the other hand, I understand and have an interest in current technology. Much of the work I do as a quilt artist combines both the digital and physical realm of creating. Sometimes I am split between using the digital and staying true to a handmade object, the physical.
During the summer of 2013, I was selected to participate in a 3-week residency at Florida State University’s (FSU) Facilities for Arts Research (FAR). The title of my project was Mapping Time and Place. During the first week of my residency, I tested laser settings on over 30 natural and synthetic fabrics. In addition to exploring combinations of layered materials for my experimental fiber artwork, I created a binder with fabric samples and laser cutting settings as a resource for future FAR researchers.
In the final weeks, I laser cut and engraved large fabric panels. The panels will be combined and layered in the final work which documents the displacement of Seneca Village, an African-American community that once occupied the current site of Central Park. The final piece is still underway in my studio. This link provides a small glimpse of my residency experience: Mapping Time and Place Residency
The laser cutting workshop
My experience with the laser cutter and its interaction with fabric sparked a desire to share my knowledge with other quilt artists. Since doing the residency at FSU, my department at Florida A & M University’s School of Architecture has acquired its own Epilogue laser cutter. As a result, I am very pleased to be able to offer a 4-day mixed media fiber art workshop this summer entitled: The Laser Cut Edge.
Workshop participants will experience the new possibilities of creating a work built up of laser cut surfaces with transparent and opaque properties. They will create small art pieces comprised of laser cut samples, (within the machine’s 1′ x 2′ dimensions). The laser cutter not only cuts, but it can score and etch. Some materials will be provided as part of a kit, but artists can and should bring their own fabrics as well. A variety of techniques will be demonstrated and experimentation will be encouraged. Students will tackle ways of creating layering and transparency, pattern as well as texture.
Our School of Architecture has a great workshop space where students will work with the laser cutter. Also provided is a separate, secure and air-conditioned studio space where students can work and get further instruction and critique. We provide a creative atmosphere for experimentation and learning. To register click here: Laser Cut Edge