I have to admit, I’m having a blast with my big box of $0.16 each ceramic tiles from Lowes and a pack of Sharpie oil paint markers! If you haven’t tried it yet, I’d highly suggest it. It’s a whole lotta fun for not a lot of money!!!
I used a couple of my “graph paper doodles”, did a bitmap trace in Inkscape to make the grid lines go away, then let Glowforge do its thing! It’s easy to forget how unforgiving a laser is…every little imperfection (in this case my inability to draw a straight freehand line) becomes part of the design!
Nice. Makes me think of our recent vacation to Andalucia (southern Spain) and the amazing tilework of ancient Al-Andalus, like can be seen at Granada, Seville, Málaga, Córdoba and elsewhere. Here’s a shot from a book I picked up, written by one of the local professors in Granada, that goes step by step through the geometry of the patterns: The Alhambra with a Ruler and Compass by Manuel Martínez Vela.
Besides any inspiration you may draw, @aumanjoy’s comment also resonates with me. Hand-cutting all those mosaics — where the intent was to honor and reflect nature and divinity— left a certain level of human variance and imprecision in contrast to high level of precision which just makes them breathtaking. By the time the graphical approach was adopted later into stamped clay tiles, where the different areas of designs were just filled in with glazes (an example at the Réal Alcazar of Seville attached) the effect (though still with variance and some human imprecision) isn’t quite the same.
re: the ink application and removal. I colored with an oil-based Sharpie, waited until it looked dry (a couple of minutes), then gave the whole thing a squirt of Windex and scrubbed vigorously with a paper towel to remove the color from the glazed (un-etched) part of the tile. In some cases I did find some color differences (i.e. some wiped off the etched part too). What I’ve taken to doing now is actually repeating the process 2 or 3 times (color, squirt, wipe) to get a good even saturation of color.