When I first got the glowforge I hoped to be able to use it on canvas that I’d painted to make collage effects. Unfortunately, burning heavy metal pigments is apparently frowned upon, so I’ve been experimenting with switching the process around.
Cut the canvas first, THEN paint.
This is a portrait of John Coltrane. Cut the parts, painted them and glued them atop a background that was also cut.
I’m still learning the best way from preventing the fans from disturbing the material during the cut. Magnets help, but I’ve also found using masking tape to secure the edges so air doesn’t get under the piece helps.
Another trick I’ve learned on things like the background that are made of hundreds of pieces that would fall apart on their own it to cut them on a piece of draftboard, then when they’re done cutting use overlapping swaths of masking tape to hold all the pieces in place. You can then remove them all at once. After that you can take individual pieces off and paint them before returning them to the proper spot. When you’re done glue the canvas side down to a support. Let it dry and remove safely remove the tape. (Obviously the front side is the part facing the tape)