LaserH

23 Feb 2006

Over the kristmas break I decided I'd finally use my power tools for something, and decided on a simple project to test my latent woodworking skills. I decided to make a H. But not just any old H, a scale model of Helvetica Neue 75 at about 1000pt! And then I wanted to finish it in a nice high-gloss white.

Took a day or two, but I was careful, I followed the golden rule: measure twice, cut once. Then, I remeasured the cut pieces, and after a second cut here or there, had all the bits I needed. I glued internal batons, then screwed it all together for a nice solid build. I even counter-sunk the screws, then hid the heads with wood-filler. I sanded it till it was silky smooth, then under-coated it, followed by two coats of full gloss white enamel. I was even patient enough to paint the bottom separate from the rest, so it had a dry surface on which to rest while drying. You could barely see the joins, and the paint had almost no bubbles or dust bits in it. - All in all, it was a piece to be proud of.

I presented it to H. She didn't really know what to make of it. But it was still placed on the mantle with some puzzlement and not a small bit of pride. And there it sat.

Then the other day I thought I'd take a picture of it, perhaps with a nice red glow as it reflected the lava lamp (ala blurry photo from new years party that never made it here)? Or, I wonder... was it glossy enough to reflect the laser-pointer? And if it was, how would I prevent everything in the background from showing up?

This is the answer. A 15 second exposure, with a backdrop of black velvet.

If you look closely you can see some of the velvet did actually reflect a little. I was going to edit it out, but that'd be cheating. Turned out quite well, given that I had to frantically scan up and down in the dark, hoping to get fairly consistent lighting and scan coverage, for the whole 15 seconds. - I took front on, 3/4 shots, and below perspective shots before deciding that the 3/4 gave a better sense of depth.

H still doesn't know what to make of her H.

The A will happen later in the year. It'll be black. (I wonder how that will reflect?!)

[edit 10/03/06:: submitted to Photo Friday Red]

[edit 09/11/06:: The A's been made, but in an attempt to make it super glossy, I used furniture polish on the black gloss paint... and ruined the finish completely! Shame. Now it sits half sanded back, and unfinished. Maybe it'll be next years kristmas project?!