She loves the sea and whats under it and she never has enough earrings, so I thought I would put the two together for this one! I must say, at this stage, its the thought that counts, because they didnt turn out as pretty as I thought they would.... but she will love them anyway ;--->
I used 1/8 inch maple wood, again, from my favorite fast-shipping wood store.
I made these at Techshop!
Step 1: References
Step 2: Start With a Outline to Follow
I used the Line Segment Tool to produce a rough outline to follow as a trace. I thought about importing one of my reference images, on a new locked layer, but decided to go with my nose. This outline doesn't have to be fancy - its more of a guide on where we will place other vectors.
Lock the layer (I also renamed it 'Template') and create a new one.
Step 3: Elipse Tool to Create an Organic Coral Look
Now align the larger circles to end points on the templated line, making sure the center point of each snaps to the end point of a line segment.
Step 4: Add Other Circles
Now make some more circles, smaller in size. I used a different stroke color, just to differentiate them.
Drag these circles to snap along the trace lines, this time on the edge of each circle. Feel free to scale the circles so they fit in proportion to the others. During this time, keep in mind that the interior of the holes will be wood left, so make sure they all touch. I also started copying and pasting groups of circles, then scaling them and moving them somewhere else along the trace lines.
Step 5: Expand All and Fill
Next, draw a big ass square over the whole drawing, select all again, and press Command m, to bring up the Shape Builder Tool. This tool is your best friend, and is worth hours of fun play time ;-)
Holding down the option key (you should see a little minus sign), click on the outside fill area surrounding all the circles. Select what is remaining.
With them all still selected, Open the Pathfinder palette and click the Unite tool.
And presto! In 2 seconds you have all your circle outlines all compressed into one giant fill object. This is the time where you will see if there are any gaps between circles. Fill these just by adding more fill circles and using the Pathfinder tool again to unite. This is the stage where you should be monitoring how the whole outline of the shape looks, since this is where the laser cutter will be following.
Step 6: Convert to Stroke, Ready for Cutting!
Test a cut on cardboard first, then do your wood. Give the final pieces a light sanding and maybe a little spray varnish. Make sure you use hypoallergenic ball hook wires for the actual stirling silver earring wires...
They're not the prettiest earrings, but my sis will surely like them - they are hand made, after all :->