This is another mini project I was set for the ‘Specialist techniques’ section of my course, where we learn about the practical elements and the skills needed for work in this industry. This time, we had to make a scale Palladian window using illustrator and the laser cutter – rather than making it by hand like the scale room model. Before this task I had only used illustrator once before, so it was a learning curve for me with this new piece of software. However, as I began to use it more and experiment, I could see the benefits of using CAD software to help create something small and intricate like this scale window.
To create my window on illustrator, I found an existing image of an actual Palladian window and traced over the main elements to get the scale and window pane size etc. before adding my own elements, such as the layering and engraving detail. To make parts of the window more three-dimensional and to give the whole thing structure, I created several different layers that could all be combined to make certain parts stand out. Once I had created all my layers, they were cut out in mount board on the laser cutter – which was very interesting to watch as I had not used this piece of equipment extensively before – and I then stuck them together using a glue adhesive.
From this experience I learnt not to make the pieces being cut out too small, as they sometimes get extracted by the laser cutter and lost. Therefore some of the smaller elements I had drawn up could not be included as pieces were missing. But I now know this for next time! Even with this mistake, I am very happy with how my window came together. It was then photographed in a theatre model box (above) with lighting, showing how a piece like this could be used within a theatre set and how it would look on a stage.