Three Things; – Work In Progress – Laser Etched Wooden Beads


This week Kris has been looking at some small flat wooden beads we bought for him. Visitors to our studio usually ask about the largest thing we can fit in the laser cutter – on a recent laser cutting course we managed to get in a large piece of sandstone, over an inch thick and about 1 foot long! On the same course we also managed to etch one of the smallest things we’ve ever done, a beautiful piece of stone all the way from Australia. So these beads were really interesting for us, as they’re much smaller than most things that we’ve etched before.

Aligning the laser with the flat circular wooden bead

The laser cutting software allows us to control the starting point, so for this etch Kris aligns it with the centre of the bead. This has to be very precise as the entire circle is less than 2.5cm wide!

Finished circular wooden bead with laser etched compass motif

Here we can see the finished etch next to an original piece (Kris uses this to help adjust the bed height to the correct position). One of the best things about working at this size is that the etch is finished in seconds!

Flat circular bead laser etched with compass motif

The finished piece is highly detailed, ideal as a badge pin, necklace, or as part of a larger necklace or bracelet.

Small wooden bead laser etched with the word 'enjoy'

After etching the compass jpg image, Kris decided to etch on the smaller beads with some text. His favourite font this week is Baskerville Old Face, and he managed to shrink it down to fit on this small bead, only 1.5cm wide and less than 1cm tall.

Wooden beads laser etched with words and bird silhouettes

Once Kris completed one bead, the next obvious step is to do an entire set. A suitably summery beach based phrase provides the starting point for this full necklace / bracelet.

Laser etched wooden beads form a necklace / bracelet

And what would laser etching be without our faithful oyster catchers? And because these beads are drilled we can thread them onto anything – leather cord, satin, small loop chain, fabric loops, or as in this case, some simple cotton thread.

Laser etched bird silhouettes on bracelet cord

What would you make? Why not come on a Creative Laser Cutting course and make your own custom jewellery? Or request a commission of custom images?

You may also be interested in our

Photographing Natural Texture and Detail Course
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Miniature Fused Glass Seascapes Course

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