Friday, July 10, 2009
I visited woodworker Michael McCallister, aka "Mel", of BoxHaven to see his marquetry studio and lazer cutting machine. It's in a well organized basement, desk, computers and lazer clustered in one area, the rest of the space has finished projects and walls hung with stacks of colored and natural veneers.
For demonstration Mel used a Japanese design that had been translated into vector patterns. He said that paper is actually harder to cut than the veneers because of the cross linked fibers. The lazer was quick and fairly quiet. (How noisy can light be?) It quickly cut the intricate pattern, and works to thousandths of an inch tolerance. It's a wonderful example of the machine freeing the artist from hours of painstaking cutting, allowing him to focus on the art.
I was so engaged watching that I forgot to ask about the machine itself and what the cost would be to hire it out for custom designs. It's worth a second visit. If you have any questions about your own projects, Mel can be reached here.