Laser Cutting in Massachusetts

As mentioned in a previous post, I collaborated with FreeFall Laser located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts for the cover page of Surveillance—my tunnel book project. 

Sarah Pike of FreeFall Laser was great to work with and efficient as she typically focuses on each specific customer with a personalized service. 

Our initial communication started with a brief consultation by email describing the project from which Sarah asked for samples of the page with printed images on the exact substrate chosen for material testing.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Inside my artists’ book  Surveillance —a mock-up.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Inside my artists’ book Surveillance—a mock-up.

My images for this project were reproduced on Moab Entrada Rag Bright paper. This is a double-sided archival acid and lignin-free, 100% cotton fine art paper. My question was “would this fibrous paper be a problem for the CO2 laser cutter”?

Double sided images need to be precisely registered for the desired effect to be successful. After figuring out the perfect registration, I sent a package with ten double-sided printed copies, hoping no difficulties would arise during the laser-cutting process.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Consulting with Sarah Pike for the cover of  Surveillance  FreeFall Laser in Massachusetts.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Consulting with Sarah Pike for the cover of Surveillance FreeFall Laser in Massachusetts.

When the work for Surveillance was completed, I promptly decided that picking up the work directly from the studio would naturally give me the unique chance to socially meet with Sarah in person. The plan for the first phase of my journey was to visit FreeFall Laser after I crossed back into the US following my two month stay in Canada. 

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah Pike showing me around FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah Pike showing me around FreeFall Laser.

Sarah’s approach combines artistic experimentation with technological experience to create exceptional work for fine artists, designers, conservators, bookbinders, artisans, woodworkers, and museums. It was a tremendous experience to see Sarah’s studio and her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s studio and her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s studio and her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

I was so excited when I picked up my precision cut covers that we discussed the distinct possibility of laser-cutting the binding for my creative project. I could not fathom cutting the exact holes for the electronics and faux camera another 8 times through binders board. What a life saver!

Visiting FreeFall Laser provided me the opportunity to observe some of Sarah’s own art work—what a treat! A lot of her art work is laser cut marquetry in wood veneer. Sarah also designed a beautiful sample book to demonstrate her CO2 laser cutter capabilities.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s sample book demonstrating the capabilities of her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s sample book demonstrating the capabilities of her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s art work using laser cut marquetry in wood veneer.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s art work using laser cut marquetry in wood veneer.

On my initial contact with Sarah, with due diligence, I wanted to view some samples of artists’ books or bindings created with the help of FreeFall Laser. 

© 2019 Sarah Pike. Laser cutting of the   The Radiant Republic   by  Sarah Bryant  at FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Sarah Pike. Laser cutting of the The Radiant Republic by Sarah Bryant at FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Sarah Pike. Laser cutting of the   The Radiant Republic   by  Sarah Bryant  at FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Sarah Pike. Laser cutting of the The Radiant Republic by Sarah Bryant at FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Sarah Bryant.   The Radiant Republic   by  Sarah Bryant , built entirely out of language found in Plato’s Republic and Le Corbusier’s The Radiant City.

© 2019 Sarah Bryant. The Radiant Republic by Sarah Bryant, built entirely out of language found in Plato’s Republic and Le Corbusier’s The Radiant City.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux.   Reason Belief Truth   by  Thomas Parker Williams , binding, French split goat skin, laser-cut binder's boards; edition of 12.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Reason Belief Truth by Thomas Parker Williams, binding, French split goat skin, laser-cut binder's boards; edition of 12.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux.   Reason Belief Truth   by  Thomas Parker Williams ; laser cut painted with ink and watercolor; letterpress printing (hand-set type, polymer plates) by Mary Agnes Williams; marbled paper.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Reason Belief Truth by Thomas Parker Williams; laser cut painted with ink and watercolor; letterpress printing (hand-set type, polymer plates) by Mary Agnes Williams; marbled paper.

Wynn Bullock images © 2019 Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved .  Wynn Bullock:  Relativity: Wynn Bullock and Albert Einstein , edition of 15; published by 21st Editions; binding by Peter Geraty and Julia Rabin with production assistance by Tim Faner.

Wynn Bullock images © 2019 Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved. Wynn Bullock: Relativity: Wynn Bullock and Albert Einstein, edition of 15; published by 21st Editions; binding by Peter Geraty and Julia Rabin with production assistance by Tim Faner.

Wynn Bullock images © 2019 Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved. Wynn Bullock:   Relativity  , 9 bound and 9 loose, platinum estate prints, 1 signed vintage silver print.

Wynn Bullock images © 2019 Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved. Wynn Bullock: Relativity, 9 bound and 9 loose, platinum estate prints, 1 signed vintage silver print.

I was content to get back to work, after my informative conversation with Sarah. Next phase—prepare the boards by covering them with Canapetta bookcloth, measure all the positions of the holes... so Sarah could make my vision a reality...