What are the most unique materials you plan to use?

I’m really interested to see how creative people can get with the materials. Metal, wood, cardboard, leather, and glass are a given but I’ll bet all you creatives have great plans beyond that. Can’t wait to hear your ideas :slight_smile:

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I’ve inscribed tagua nuts on the makerspace laser, to good effect. It creates a neat, old-timey looking photo.



First quick project is an image or pattern on a calfskin banjo head. (without the calf) Never seen it done and can’t think of any reason why it should not be possible, other than the care that must be taken not to impact the integrity of the skin.


We have a friend who is an avid player of the banjo. Maybe someday after I’ve learned enough to do it, I can talk him into he and I collaborating on making a new head for his instrument. That would be fun.


Almost all banjo heads are mylar and will more likely melt than accept an image. The old time banjo players (not bluegrass) will often use natural skin heads to get a plucky percussive sound more than the tinny metallic sound of the bluegrass genre. The skin heads should work great.

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Dried mud
Lava Stone
Glass dust
Natural clay


I LOVE the idea of lava stone!

Elephant Ivory all the way. That and whale bone. … Just joking!! :smiley: I happen to love elephants and whales so I am most likely going to stick to bamboos, plastics, woods, chocolates, and mammoth ivory :slight_smile:

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Definitely chocolate! And some corian…is abalone shell veneer considered unique? hahaha. And I don’t know if it’ll work, but I have huge hopes for some crazy gingerbread houses for next year’s holidays :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I know you’re joking, but check out the tagua nuts I posted earlier - they’re often called vegetarian ivory for their hardness and resemblance to the real stuff.

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He’s been playing for a very long time and has several instruments, so I’m sure he would have more definitive info. about the materials than do I. Thanks for the information.


I’m planning on trying to etch sea shell’s from the beach. And toast… well I guess it will be bread when I put it in the Glowforge.


Want to also try mother of pearl. Have tried it before with little success but that may have been my fault. Only had a little material to experiment with…

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We’ve laser cut paua (abalone shell) - it’s very cool!


Thanks. Yes, saw that. Mine shattered. Clearly a power thing.

If I remember from my childhood, smells like burnt hair.

@jrnelson Wow… That is cool. I didn’t even know about those nuts. I was thinking mostly of using my Glowforge for creating maps and 3D molds for pouring concrete in… so no animals involved :). If the nuts actually last as jewelry I might look into them later.

The most unique material I have collected so far is a stack of slate shingles.

beach glass
beach stones