Speed Racer. This project is using a laser cutter to render Anime and Japanese Woodblock art.
Speed Racer is my first recollection of anime and manga type art. I have particularly fond memories from traveling in Japan and seeing many woodblock prints and individual artisans working on unique wood carvings in the mountains. Anime, of course, one sees everywhere as the graphic novel is one a mainstay in the Japanese reader's diet.
This project is focused on getting materials to make fun stuff. I have access to a laser cutter (and can rent a CNC Router by the hour) and want to share the time, so to speak. Materials can be expensive and my goal here is to buy enough material that lets me make some mistakes without worrying too much about the cost. I'm a careful woodworker and measure three times and four times before cutting, but the laser takes some learning. Sure, its precise, but things happen and you cut where you meant to engrave or vice versa and then the piece is toast...
Here is an original of the Kanagawa Wave woodblock:
Not long ago, I discovered that many of the famous woodblock prints are in the public domain and I started working on modifying them so that they could be reproduced on a laser cutter. Some of them work out well with a bit of modification; others take a ton of work. And some sadly can't be re-created on the laser cutter. Thankfully, many of them are working out and look wonderful.
Here is one of the blue acrylic engravings and another in MDF (three pictured here are different power/speed/DPI settings), and finally one in maple wood that I did last week.
There is not much anime-style art in the public domain, and I'm trying to create some original, yet simple anime-style pieces that would engrave or cut well. If I find an anime artist willing to share some designs or perhaps sell the rights for a limited number of prints, I'll let you know that immediately. Until then, I'm creating anime elements from scratch or reproducing public domain works that look good on the small tiles and make fun collectibles or knock-about pieces of everyday art. In a public library workshop I was part of, people swarmed around the samples we had out on the table and the anime "eye" and "girl" that are pictured here were the most popular.
In the video, you'll see the blue acrylic of this character. And here is a wood version of the anime eye that I'm working on drawing, then engraving, in different ways.
I hope some of these rewards appeal to you and that you'll consider backing this project. Please tell your friends, too, if you think they'd enjoy it. Thanks for reading and watching. I will post an update on Day #2 with links and more photos of the anime and woodblock art.
To the Laser Cutter!
*Restriction: I made a note in the rewards around custom art. I'm happy to customize the reward, however, the art, image, whatever it is -- must belong to you. I'm not interested in a copyright battle. You must own it. And it must not be obscene in any way. I reserve final right to reject a customization. I'm a pretty reasonable guy, though, so don't worry. Email me before you back the project if you have concerns.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $670 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on May 21, 2012.
May 14, 2012 - May 21, 2012 (7 days)
Pledge $5 or more
2 Anime Tiles. Choose two from several simple anime-style engravings on acrylic. Suitable for making into a button (if you add the pin) or keychain or something hanging off your backpack. International orders outside the USA add $2.00 for additional postage.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $10 or more
2 backers Limited (198 of 200 left)
Anime or Woodblock Tile Set. Set of FOUR tiles in acrylic or MDF wood. For an additional $5.00, I will customize the set for you. You send me one original piece of line art (or your name or word in a plain font) and I'll engrave that one design on the four tiles for you. Tiles are 1.75-inch squares - approximately 45mm square). *See restrictions note. International orders outside the USA add $3.00 for additional postage.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $25 or more
Japanese Woodblock Set of FOUR 2"x3" woodblock reproductions in MDF wood. PLUS, one 8x10 black ink print on paper (from woodblock) suitable for framing from one of this set. Each woodblock set is individually engraved/carved on the laser. International orders outside the USA add $5.00 for additional postage.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $35 or more
8x10 engraved Woodblock Wall Art piece. You can select from one of 20 woodblock pieces I'm modifying for the laser cutter (and this project). This is like having an original as each one is carved individually on the laser cutter. This piece is engraved/carved on MDF wood. International orders outside the USA add $12.00 for additional postage.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $75 or more
Full Package:: 1.) Four small Acrylic or MDF tiles.. 2.) Four woodblock print reproductions in wood (including option to customize).. 3.) One 8x10 woodblock ink print on paper.. 4.) One 8x10 woodblock carving/engraving on wood.. International orders outside the USA add $20.00 for additional postage.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $550 or more
0 backers Limited (5 of 5 left)
I will engrave your original one-of-a-kind piece onto wood or acrylic. Must be within 12"x24" size. Not everything will engrave well, so this reward level will require a conversation on email to start. If you want a much larger engraving/carving, feel free to email me for a custom quote. I can work with a 4 foot x 8 foot size item on a CNC Router, if needed. International orders outside the USA for this 12"x24" (that's one foot by two foot) level include postage... Anything else is a custom quote and will involve additional shipping costs, but i'm happy to discuss.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012