I’ve been using the Rabbit Laser Cutter at TinkerMill for a few months now, and I’m getting better at putting together the designs and controlling the cutting and etching levels. I’m well under way with jewelry displays, box making, key chains, and the first set of miniature furniture. So far I’ve been using up a sheet of 1/8 inch birch plywood, a great starter wood, but I have my eye on some lovely hardwoods.

The great thing about starting with smaller projects is that you can make a lot of mistakes and not use up that much wood. Now I’m making fewer mistakes and more finished pieces.

Starting with the right design is important, and scale model furnishings don’t leave much room for error. I’m using a free open source program called Inkscape to build my designs, and embellishing with images from the Dover Pictorial Archives, a great source of copyright free material for artists.

I’ve even made wooden versions of the etched metal mehndi hands that I like to turn into pendants. So far I’ve got them in two sizes and 9 designs, and I’m making paired left and right hands for earrings too.

I’ve got lots of fun ahead adding details with fabric and lace and trying other finishing techniques, and I’ll be sure to share how it is all coming along here in the upcoming year. The year 2016 had a lot of difficult moments, but also many creative opportunities to learn and grow, and I’m glad to still be doing that!