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104 Lasers

Christian Baldwin Nameplates

Week 01: Christian Baldwin’s faceplate. I hear these are still in great condition!

Back when we first started 52 Lasers, Jennifer and I sought to create an outlet for more creative endeavors with our laser cutter. We’d owned and operated a laser cutter for home business purposes since early 2011, but we weren’t really getting around to some of the more creative ideas we had that didn’t have clients or customers attached to them. Jennifer recognized this issue and proposed a weekly blog post, each week centered on a new creative side project.  For one year, we would take alternating weeks, work on our side projects, and would post our work, success or failure, on Wednesdays.


Week 52: A toast to 2015, as Jennifer finished off our “first 52” with lasered food!

I think in the beginning we expected it to last only one year. We held fast to our Wednesday deadlines, and for 2014, not a single weekly project went unwritten. Through convoluted weekly schedules, unexpected life complications, the busiest work seasons and everything else, we legitimized our tagline: “One laser, fifty-two weeks.”  In December of 2014, after Jennifer wrote her toast post, we discussed what to do with 52 Lasers. It was absolutely proving to be the creative outlet we sometimes needed, so we decided to just keep it going. “The First 52” were finished, but who said we couldn’t write 53, or 54? So we did.

Side by side, left to right are the original, Version 2 and Version 1. Version 2 is spot on for size, and once I go the correct length, the decorative line work worked better. Other than those tweaks, I also thickened the linework between version 1 and 2 to make it more visible.

Week 57: Jennifer uses layered acrylic to recreate her grandmother’s costume jewelry.

Without any real expectations or resolutions in 2015, we just kept right at it, writing about how best to display Nintendo’s amiibo figures, whether or not you should paint your material before engraving, and how to use laser safe rubber to make your own rubber stamps. We bent acrylic, shared paper templates, and designed laser-cut pop-up cards.


Before we knew it, another whole year was gone, and not a single Wednesday slipped by. Here we are, at 104. That’s twice the lasers we expected! Just like last December, we had a brief conversation about where to go from here, and while we’ve agreed again to continue working on the 52 Lasers project, we’ve also agreed to make some changes to the schedule.

Week 70: Ryan gently engraves Samus Aran's Super Metroid logo into a fleece blanket.

Week 70: Ryan gently engraves Samus Aran’s Super Metroid logo into a fleece blanket.

For 2016, there will be one 52 Lasers Project per month, to be posted by the third Wednesday of that month. While this does mean there will only be twelve main projects this year, it’ll allow us to maintain a higher quality for the project posts in the face of new more complicated external obligations eating at our allotted blog time. I hope that it will also allow us to explore some of the more neglected post types we’ve played with here once or twice, like writing about external laser projects that weren’t created with 52 Lasers in mind, finding cool laser-engraved things out there in the wild, and revisiting old 52 Lasers projects to see where we’ve gone with the techniques therein since then.

The happy couple. Photo courtesy of Jamie Wallace.

Week 97: Jen cuts Papel picado for a wedding! These took nearly a half hour of cutting each!

So keep an eye out for January’s post—no, this post doesn’t count!—to be presented by the third Wednesday.

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Year three starts today! Or six days ago, sure fine whatever. 😉



One thought on “104 Lasers

  1. Rebecca says:

    Phew, I started reading this and was worried you were calling it quits. I have loved seeing all the different things you have done and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2016 brings.


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