Wall Art Pieces - (why I bought my Glowforge)

These three pieces are made at least partly using my GF. There are things in here that I simply could never do without it. Each one is about 16" square, and made entirely from pressboard or found materials. I use a technique I have worked out over the years to imitate the textures of rusty steel, copper patina, old paint, and other distressed materials. Part of the fun is trying to create a complete illusion. Some of the pieces I have created in the past were quite large, and I plan to continue that tradition, which is why I have a Pro – to use the pass-through slot.

There are often hidden messages in these pieces as well. For example, the large bolt heads also have letters and numbers on them that, when put together, create a message for the viewer to add to the overall impression of the work.

Some of these also incorporate LED lighting to enhance the image.

This first one is called “Fragile” and the bolt heads, the word “fragile” in the center, and the other components like washers and corner squares are also made on the GF. The bolt heads spell out, “don’t be fooled.”

The next piece in the series uses the GF a lot more. Not only did I once again create the bolt-heads, etc. on GF, but I also created a texture map from some actual rusted metal with peeling paint and cut it into sections of the work. I then applied acrylic paint to it using the same dry-brush technique I had used previously. I also created the lock on the right side and the “control room” and “free!” words. The bolt heads spell out, “not secure.”

The third and final piece here is part of a different series, paying tribute to the periodic table of the elements. It’s called “see you” and attempts to get a copper-with-patina look. This was my first try at actually using a texture map to imitate the decayed metal, and I used a photo of some actual corroded copper to create a texture map for the center area and lower part where it looks corroded.

These pieces are all fairly early forays into creation of fine art pieces utilizing the GF. To be honest, I really have let myself get distracted with making things like boxes and iPhone stands for friends, which is fun and very rewarding, but not why I bought this wonderful machine in the first place. But, I have learned a lot and realized that the possibilities have expanded immensely as to what I can do!


Your faux finishing techniques are remarkable! (Thought it was real metal.) :grinning::+1:


Oh SNAP that copper periodic piece is amazing.


These are fantastic. I look forward to seeing more of your fine art pieces.



So glad the GF is a great addition to your toolbox!!


These are fantastic!


The last is my favorite! The possibilities are endless.

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Really like these

this detail is so subtle and well done.


The rusted metal look is relevant to my interests. Can you share anything about how you did it?

In brief, it’s a mixture of sand and gesso. You have to play around with different sands, gesso consistencies, and brushes to get what you want. I have found a softer brush works better. I use various sands, but one important one is aquarium sand because it’s very fine. Then I use multiple layers of acrylic, some wet at first, then dry brush technique after that dries, to get the variances. I’ve spent years developing it, so it’s hard to describe beyond that, because it’s just become part of my creative DNA. I don’t think about it much. Hope that helps.


Very helpful, thank you! Makes a lot of sense.

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Glad you’ve returned to your true calling… and are sharing it with us! The finishes are so realistic!

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You bring the GlowForge up to a new artistic level.

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I’d be really curious to see your workspace.


What about it would interest you? It’s a small warehouse with a long workbench, a roll-up door, my GF, and a bunch of tools. Not much to speak of, although I did have to buy a portable AC unit to keep my GF cool in summer months (gets hot in SoCal).


You just sound like you have a lot of cool finishing supplies. Seeing how other people organize their spaces is always interesting.

Ah. Well, I have a lot of brushes. Handheld orbital sander, miter saw, dremel, clamps, drills — pretty much the usual hand and power tools. The GF is a real luxury, although it has become the centerpiece. I don’t have a table saw, probably won’t get one because they scare me, but I have been thinking about getting a radial-arm saw.

I have a contractor table saw and it’s terrifying.


Table saws are not as scary as miter saws in my opinion. I have both and they do their respective jobs very well. Now the real partners to a Glowforge are a Bandsaw (with the capacity to re-saw) and a drum sander. Then you can make your own material.

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