What is the course about?
This course begins with image and artwork development in Adobe Illustrator. You will create a range of simple motifs and patterns that can be laser cut in a range of materials including cotton, polyester, silk, leather, wool and paper. You will receive technical support, individual encouragement and group tuition.
Designs can come from a wide range of resources such as your own images, imported from the web, text and words (e.g. your name) and repeating geometric shapes. A range of fabric and paper samples will be created that you can use for your portfolio or further develop them to use within personal projects.
What will we cover?
- Introduction to Illustrator: exploring tools, importing images, creating simple all-over vector based patterns and designs.
- Creating laser cut paper and fabric: testing and sampling, selecting suitable materials and fabrics, checking and exporting files. Students are free to bring in there own materials to experiment with.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
Use Illustrator to create a simple vector file suitable for laser cutting.
Understand how the laser-cutting machine works.
Know which materials can safely be cut by laser.
Make and evaluate laser cut samples in different materials.
Apply laser-cutting technology to small personal project ideas.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a beginner’s course, no previous experience of laser cutting needed. Some experience of using Photoshop or Illustrator is desirable but not necessary. The basics will be taught.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
The first class will introduce students to the studio, facilities and the laser cutter. You will see examples of laser cut samples. Demonstrations and set tasks in using Illustrator to design text that can be laser cut from paper and/or fabric. In the second class we focus on using more complex tools in Illustrator to design an all-over pattern that can be laser cut from fabric. Experiment with different power levels to achieve embossed and etched effects. The final class will support personal projects. Classes will be supported and aided by technicians. Group discussions and feedback are encouraged.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
- A USB stick to take away any files you make.
- A notebook, pen and visual references for inspiration such as drawings, photographs, images from magazines etc.
- Sample cotton fabrics and cartridge paper will be supplied, however students may wish to bring their own materials for cutting such as leather, vinyl, silk etc. Please check on Google that it is suitable for laser cutting.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Laser cutting can be used in a wide variety of contemporary crafts and 2D visual design:
VX305 Textiles and surface pattern: understanding repeats
VX704 Textile sketchbook: developing ideas and projects
VK507 Develop a children's picture book
VK388 Design with Photoshop and Illustrator.