I first found out about Lauren though her her company Infraredstudio and the amazing jewelery she make there. Enjoy!
The Laser Cutter: So, Where are you from?
Lauren Nicole: Currently Minneapolis. I moved here in 1994 to attend the Minneapolis College of Art & Design.
TLC: How long have you been an artist, or do you prefer designer?
LN: In 1999 I graduated with a degree in Fine Art/ Interactive Multimedia. So I guess that puts me at about 10 years as a working professional designer. I originally went to school for fine art but switched majors during my junior year so that I could actually pay the rent.
TLC: Do you have any formal training as a jewelry maker?
LN: I am a self taught jewelry designer... but my most valuable training has come from working in the graphic design industry. Minneapolis is one of the top cities for graphic design & MCAD has a fantastic design program. Between work & college I've had some awesome mentors that have helped me refine my creative skills.
TLC: When did you first begin using a laser cutter? Who taught you? Where do you get access?
LN: About a year ago I decided I wanted to make graphic based jewelry. I liked the look of laser cut acrylic so I researched various vendors and outsourced the cutting. It's really not much different than screen printing, letterpress, or print. Once you design the graphic, you spec the materials, and find someone to make it for you.
TLC: How do you set up your files?
LN: I use Adobe Illustrator.
TLC: What’s your favorite material to laser cut? To etch?
LN: I like the look of stainless steel. When it comes to etching I prefer felt. The burnt edges can add a nice element to a design.
TLC: Do you have any laser cutting horror stories to tell?
LN: Not really. If I owned my own machine most likely I would have several stories to share. The worst part about laser cutting is the smell.
TLC: Where do you get you inspiration? Web sites?
LN: Music, urban subculture, street fashion, and art history. My source of inspiration changes constantly. I would have to catalog the sources by year. I watched a lot of MTV growing up and have always been inspired by album cover art.
Here's a few sites that I dig.
TLC: Do you have any future laser cutting plans TLC may be interested in?
LN: I am always coming up with new ideas. At some point this year I would like to design a series of laser cut clocks.
TLC: So where can the readers reach you?
LN: Shop: 1000markets.com/users/infraredstudio
TLC: One last question… Is there any smell better than freshly laser cut wood?
LN: Burnt felt. It smells like burnt hair.