Preparing the Illustrator File for Laser Cutting.

18/02/15 – Preparing the file on Illustrator

With having to prepare an illustrator file for laser cutting, I have been slightly stressed out mainly because of how I’ve never used the programme myself, however Isabella briefly went over how to make semi-circles with me once she worked it out herself. I did end up using a tutorial online to help me out which showed a very simple method of creating the semi-circles. Here is what I did:

1) I made circles using the ellipse tool and holding the SHIFT+ALT keys and selected the anchor point using the direct selection tool:


  Anchor selected

2) After selecting the left anchor point I pressed delete and was left with a curved line:


 anchor point removed

3) To complete the semi-circle by adding a line, I simply selected the outer selection points where the curve ends on each side, went to Pathfinder and selected Unite to connect these points.

Semi Circle

Here is the tutorial I used: 

It wasn’t as daunting as I thought it would be, in fact it made me realise that I should probably start using software such as Illustrator and Photoshop more seeing as it’s useful to know the basics. It’s just that I feel some sense of enjoyment and accomplishment from working with materials and processes, like a greater understanding as to how they work and what I can do with them using my hands, I wouldn’t feel this as much with such programmes.

19/02/2015 – Installation changes

Whilst working on the installation, I made a few conscious decisions to change it slightly. Originally I drew out 6 semi-circles in my sketchbook as to how they’d hang in the space but the more I was working on it, I found that there was something I didn’t like about it. Initially I was going to to just draw 5 but when I was drawing it I felt it would be incomplete without the last one being a pair. However, the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of leaving the last semi-circle (which is the smallest) without a pair. I found for me, there is a completeness in the incompleteness of not having a pair. It leaves a feel for potential, an opening of space or allows the viewer to perhaps imagine infinite semi-circle structures that continue through the space, even if I haven’t made them physically. I guess it’s touching upon Brancusi’s use of base’s of a plinth in the Endless Column and how the last base doesn’t have a pair, which allows for something that is infinite to travel through space.

I took my Illustrator file I prepared for Isabelle to do a trial cut into paper. Naturally I’ve been wondering how to hang it, I’ve decided to make a hole at the centre point of the curve of the semi-circles and one near the top on the opposite side. I drew some semi-circles to scale on paper I measured out to the scale of the perspex sheets I’d be using (see below), but the curve was free hand as I didn’t have a compass to draw it as to how it should be and then went onto illustrator. I adjusted my semi circles so that they would be equal in diameter the entire way round by holding the shift+alt keys together followed by changing the scale with the selection tool. I obviously found the measurements of the curve were different to mine having drawn them free hand.

Isabelle went on to cut these out with the laser cutter which was done pretty quickly, I was happy with how they came out although she had to cut into my papers I planned the scales on as she had no paper so I only have two of them left. I’ll be using the remaining one’s to test out how I will go about hanging the installation in the studio.


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