|Mt. Vernon Tulips, Laser Engraved Claybord, 5" x 5" |
before color application
In the case of Claybord I tried engraving the surface. I found that by varying the power and speed of the engraving I could just kiss the surface of the Claybord, removing some of the clay layer without breaking through into the tempered masonite below it, or I could break through the clay layer and expose the dark board. By applying more power and slower speeds I could dig deeper into the board if I wanted to create more of a bas relief effect.
|Mount Ranier & Lodge, Laser engraved Claybord |
with Prismacolor pens & alcohol
My process so far is to take a photograph, usually a color image, and to convert it to gray scale. Then I run that image through any number of digital photographic filters to reduce the image to a line drawing. The laser engraving doesn't show until the surface of the Claybord is breached to reveal the board underneath. The result is a two tone image made up of the white clay and the darker under-layer MDF. Lightly scoring the surface of the clay does create a faint subtle shadow depending on your lighting but that is not enough to simulate a gray scale image. The process does create a certain amount of soot as the clay is lased away. Once the engraving is done I have used plain water, dish soap and sometimes a mild scrubber to wash the soot off.
Once I confirmed this process worked well I played with applying some media to the Claybord. So far I have only tried Prismacolor pens and watercolor. I am not an artist so these are fairly feeble attempts that someone with even modest skill in any painting media could surely improve on. The engraving process didn't seem to affect the remaining clay layer in terms of its ability to accept a paint."
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