In 2017 NextFAb, the makerspace of my dreams opened a new facility in Wilmington. The facility houses a 3D printing lab, a Roland Vinyl Print and Cut System, a wood shop and a Universal Laser System. The Creative District of Wilmington awarded artists, grants in the form of training under the title Innovation Workshops. These workshop trained 20 plus artists , of which I was one in all areas and on all equipment. It was like Christmas in July. I was attracted to the laser engraver and wanted to learn how to engrave images on Plexiglas and wood. My head was swimming with ideas.
When I became a member Adobe Illustrator, the software used to communicate with the laser printer was foreign to me. Thank goodness the staff is so knowledgeable and patient. They helped me with small projects like creating signs for Highlands Art Garage, the business I was running at the time. I improved my Illustrator skills by taking classes on Skillshare, the online learning platform. Over time I got better at successfully, the operative word being successfully, translating my ideas into files that the universal laser could execute.
Subsequently, I completed two pieces with the help of an opportunity grant through the Delaware Division of the Arts and many hours on the Universal Laser. I believe I successfully married my aesthetic as an artist with the technology offered at NextFab. The Plexiglas pieces hang from valances I designed and made in the wood. My Dad would be so proud.
Life of a Tree