Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Development

Lacer's Edge has come a long way since its initial beginnings. With so many ideas and projects planned, we wound up focusing on Jewelry, making laser engraved pendants and earrings. We always had so many other things planned, even stemming away from laser engraved products, hoping to make routered wood products. While that's still in the plans, we're focused still currently on laser engraving.

So what's our newest development? Meticulously designed laser etched and cut boxes!

Designing the structure of the boxes alone to be compatible with our equipment and materials was a journey in and of itself. Even once the initial design is completed successfully, the structure must be altered significantly to make variable designs for different types of boxes.

Our initial design was a box structure that had a windowed panel for a lid, which was open. Below that, a rectangular slide separated the contents of the box, as a lid. The slide was easy to pull through a perfectly sized gap at the small end of the box.

Since the initial design, which was fine as it was, we've even modified it further. Through various iterations (Which are all marked as prototypes) we've come to a design we're incredibly pleased with. It features the same function, but with improved points. The slide may no longer come fully away from the container, the end of it locking it into the box with a small notch, but this remaining bit of the slide inside is hidden by the lip of the top of the box, so to not obstruct accessing the contents when opened.

We've also included magnets on the slide, to secure it safely to the whole of the box when being stored/moved about.

Guess what the original etching design for this box was. A hobbit box! Sure enough, the long sides of the box feature a delicately engraved map of the Shire, while the short ends sport the phrases "No Admittance Except on Party Business", and "In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit", each bearing the familiar ornate font they appear written in. The top of the lid has border-work matching border-work from the map and short sides. The slide is barren aside from the center, in which is engraved a Hobbit Door, rune and all.

That's not even including our other box variations.

Our second design was the most simple of boxes. Just a short, rectangular box, with da Vinci's drawings and writing engraved artistically across the surfaces. The lid was just flat with an insert that fit perfectly with the rest of the box, securing it with perfect suction.

The third design and most ambitious yet, was a box who's structure was carved out like the skeleton of a box, with only the angles and bounding sides present. So what makes this a box, if none of the sides are present? Immediately behind the skeletal structure are panels, which are engraved, fleshing out the box. This gives the box a more complex design, offering depth to it.

Our very first, and currently only design for this version is a steampunk design. The "skeleton" pieces have gears as a part of their structure, partially obscuring the designs on the panels. The lid is slightly separated from the body of the box, and the top and bottom tabs are "too large" completing and accentuating the "clunky" steampunk look. (Other designs that aren't steampunk and meant to appear "clunky" will not have the enlarged tabs or separation from lid and body)

 As you can see, the gears on the edges of the box are raised from the panel beneath, giving a wonderful extra bit of dimension to the box.
 The side with the hot air balloon and text is the lid, while the watch and floral pattern is the long side.

Designing the structure of the box isn't the only hard part. Preparing, compiling, arranging, and manipulating the images takes a remarkable amount of time, and no small amount of proficiency with image editing and use of design software.

Fortunately my prior work with image editing and manipulation for our jewelry products (and even previous digital art practice) has given me a fair advantage in tackling this large of an endeavor. Rather than fumbling through [most] tools and tricks, I know a fair bit to navigate my way through what I need to do to achieve the overall aesthetic I'm after. Though there is still a good share of stumbling that occurs, as any endeavor that strays from what you're used to will inevitably cause you to encounter situations that you are unfamiliar in dealing with.

That's all for now! I hope you enjoyed our previews of one of our boxes. There will be more coming later, when I'm not snowed in. I'll be showing the da Vinci box and Hobbit box fully next time. (And maybe even show the two hidden sides of the steampunk box)

If you like our designs, we always love hearing from you!
Don't like them, or something about them and have suggestions? We'd love to hear that too! We always want to know how we can improve.
Maybe you have a suggestion for more designs? We're open ears!

For those who may be wondering, yes these boxes will be for sale. They'll be appearing in our Etsy store, LacersEdge.

The best way to keep an eye on when they're available is to follow this blog, where I'll be posting frequent updates about them, and new boxes.
I'll also be posting them to our Facebook page, as soon as they're in the shop!
Finally, you can get in touch with us directly at LacersEdge@stargladecrafts.com

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