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The Perfect Gift | Creating Something from the Heart

By Jonathan Folian

What do you get for someone special who purchases what they want or need, when they want or need it? For me, I think about all the wonderful tools that I have available at my office that can assist in creating that one-of-a-kind gift! Then it is simply a matter of deciding what to make.

I decided to get a little sentimental this past Christmas for my wife’s gift and created a piece of hanging wall art. The art consists of 2 layers of wood, one layer as the backer that also creates a nice border/trim around the piece and the top layer is slats of wood that were parts from our children’s playset (which we recently took down). The design process started with the slats of wood from the playset and evolved from there. When creativity hits you hold onto it until you see where it leads. That is one of the challenges when designing is finding the muse, I was fortunate as I found her very quickly with this project. I knew that I wanted to utilize our laser cutter for the project, 1) because I wanted to etch into the wood, 2) because I needed to learn how to utilize this tool, 3) because it’s a laser cutter, and how cool does that sound!

So, now I have decided that I am going to use sentimental wood for the project, and I will utilize the laser cutter.. Now I just needed to sort out what to make with these items. I settled on etching the words to our wedding song into the wood slats, but that just did not seem to be enough… I wanted it to be even more symbolic. My wife and I had our reception on a paddleboat St. Pete Beach. That was the final piece to the proverbial puzzle.

After some trial and error, remember I was training on a new tool, there were a lot of trials and errors. Anyway, with the design finalized, I began programing the laser with my newly acquired knowledge. After a few hours of etching and cutting, sanding and gluing the gift was complete. I did end up using a stain marker to darken some of the etching, to increase the contrast.

I am pleased with how the project came out, and my wife was incredibly happy with the gift. I almost wish that I had waited to use this as an anniversary gift, but I am glad that I was able to create this one of kind gift for my wife.


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