Laser Cut Silkscreen

I love this time of year.

With the cold outside (at least here in New England) and the year drawing to a close (everywhere), it's a good time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the next.

The other day I took a moment to flip through the photographs of all the projects I worked on this year. It felt like visiting old friends that the busyness of the year had momentarily put out of mind.

In this post I'll give you a peek at the process of laser cutting Amze's print, as well as at the acrylic templates I created for Victoria Burge and her print on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

 

The project started back in 2017 when I received a call from Philadelphia based artist Amze Emmons. Sitting on the side of the road, I was traveling at the time, Amze asked if I was up for laser cutting up to 300 prints fora commission he'd received from The Print Club of New York to create their annual Presentation Print for their members.

My answer was of course, YES!

For this ambitious 10-color silkscreen, Amze collaborated with three printmakers: David Love, who helped with the original proof; Luther Davis of BRT Printshop for the printing of the edition; and me for the laser-cutting. One of the things I admire most about Amze and that makes him so wonderful to work with is how he uses these kinds of projects to engage and support other artists.

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Amze Emmons in his Philadelphia studio

Amze Emmons in his Philadelphia studio

Look closely at this print. You can see how Amze created a "glowing" effect behind the laser-cut skyline and balloon, an effect created by silkscreening neon ink on the back of the print so that the reflective light casts a glow.

You might be wondering, Why aren't there burn marks?
 
It's a common misconception that laser cutting always creates a burnt edge.

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See the small metal pins at the edge of the paper? (left)
I used the same punch registration printmakers use to ensure perfect alignment for the laser cutting.

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For this print, Amze drew inspiration from a trip to Chile where locals make sweaters and beds for street dogs.

FreeFall Artists in the World


Victoria Burge's imagery is built upon systems of mapping to generate abstract cartographies of imagined terrains. She contacted me before her residency at the MacDowell Colony about creating laser-cut acrylic drawing templates.

If you're in New York this holiday season, visit Victoria's print Cirrus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, exhibited inSelections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Hidden and Displayed.

This installation features works on paper that engage with their subject matter in different ways of putting them "on display," variously uncovering the unseen or keeping them hidden.

Selection from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Hidden and Displayed
November 1, 2018–January 27, 2019

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028

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Victoria Burge,  Cirrus,  2017, four-color screenprint with embossing on Hahnemühle Copperplate paper. Paper size: 19.5 x 22.5 inches; image size: 15.5 x 19 inches. Edition of 26. Printed by Brad Ewing, Marco Lawrence, and Grayson Cox.  Published by Planthouse.

Victoria Burge, Cirrus, 2017, four-color screenprint with embossing on Hahnemühle Copperplate paper. Paper size: 19.5 x 22.5 inches; image size: 15.5 x 19 inches. Edition of 26. Printed by Brad Ewing, Marco Lawrence, and Grayson Cox. Published by Planthouse.

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Sarah Pike