One assignment for my Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop was to come up with a paperless poem. Being who I am, I really wanted to make something. I had an idea that I wanted to write a poem about scars and the words embedded or embossed on a surface.
Wood seemed like a good surface to work with. Originally I wrote the poem with a lot of gradations– different depths and different heights. I decided that was pretty hard to fabricate, so I changed it such that were there just three different styles: raised, embedded, and neutral. This is what I came up with:
I laser-etched in the words I wanted embedded, outlined the ‘neutral’ words, and glued in the raised words, which were also laser-cut. There were two tricks which made it much easier: the first is laser-etching where I wanted the raised words, such that I can sit the laser-cut words into the right location, and the second is to have each phrase underlined, so I don’t have to glue in over a hundred letter individually. (I did that in the my first prototype, and it sucked.)
I think it came out very well! My only complaint is that I should have workshopped the poem before I etched it into wood, though I guess that fits with the theme of the poem. 🙂