2014 Lasercut Ornament Process

Every year we send our clients a holiday/New Year ornament. This year we wanted to up our game, and with a new laser cutter, we thought what better way to start using it!

We began with some early studies, cutting into different kinds of rock material, paper, and wood.

Early lasercutting studies

Early laser cutting studies testing cutting through and etching onto material

Generic ornament design study

Ornament design study

Once we got a hang of how the laser treats different materials, we proceeded to produce our custom envelopes. Even the return address was lasercut into the surface.

The custom, lasercut envelope

The custom, lasercut envelope. Let’s hope the postal service can read laser.

And we made a lot of them.

Stacks of the custom envelopes

Stacks of the custom envelopes

After testing materials, the wood veneer seemed to give the nicest effect for an ornament. We purchased these premium veneer sheets from GL Veneer in Los Angeles. We wood-glued 4 layers together, varying the outer veneers. This allowed us to have a different texture and finish color for the back and front.

The veneer layers

Veneer layers being glued together in batches

Here’s our laser-cutter, Zing. With Zing and a dedicated computer, the vector graphics were set up to print.

The lasercutter!

The laser cutter in action

Here’s a short video showing the laser cutter in the final process. Cutting the outer edges of the ornaments last allowed us to etch several on a sheet at a time.

And part two, removing the finished cut ornaments from the laser cutter.

The negative left overs of the Looking LA ornament

The negative left overs of the Looking LA ornament

In order to personalize the holiday cards this year, each member of the Looking studio designed their own unique ornament design. Ornaments were run in test batches to optimize shape and composition.

The negative of the Joy ornament

Dan holding up his negative trimmings veneer sheet of the Joy ornament for Instagram

One finished ornament, @lookingla #2014.

Looking LA

Looking LA

Various string for the ornaments were used to match tone and add contrast between ornaments on the final card. We used thin copper wire to adhere the finished ornaments to our holiday card.

Yarn choices!

Thread choices and future assembly line for the ornaments

And then the assembly line!

Production time!

Production time!

Production time!

Production time!

Production time!

Production time!

After a few weeks we produced over 600 ornaments, roughly 100 of each design. Ornaments were composed and attached to the holiday card, three at a time. 

The final 6 unique ornaments

The final 6 unique ornaments

The custom laser cut card was designed to house the ornaments by looping wire through the holes. The unique dot pattern at the bottom reads as “2014.”

2014

2014

The final card with three ornaments, placed in the envelope, stamped, and sent!

Each mailer included 3 of the 6 unique designs

Each mailer included 3 of the 6 unique designs

Here’s to 2014!

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