How would the laser be driven? Would it be working of a greyscale image on a pixel by pixel basis? Would that not limit greyscale range too?
Originally Posted by DREW WILEY
Thanks Barrie B. I've been reading some of Alan's work in a book published by the Royal Photographic Society. I was able to get my hands on a copy of "Walter Woodbury, A Victorian Study" when I visited them in Bath last year. It's a very good book about Woodbury's life in Australia before he returned to England. The RPS Victorian Chapter then attempt to recreate the Woodburytype.
The details are below if any of you are interested in it.
Walter Woodbury, A Victorian Study
The Royal Photographic Society, Victorian Chapter
Peter - laser sculpting has actually be done at a miscropcopic level. But the public can purchase very precise miniature works nowadays, just
to give you an idea of how precise it can be. But I don't know the exact workflow involved in the specific case I was referring to, with respect to Woodbury. I do know the people and that they do very expensive work that often involves proprietary equipment as well as software. They're hired guns who are always itchy for some new angle, and asked for ideas, and we tossed around the modernization of Woodbury a couple of times, but the latest instance, basically ceded it to someone in NYC who is not subject to the same level of environmental controls as here (and frankly, due their own health concerns, having had some "near misses" in that category with alt processes already). They already specialize in laser etching photographic images, and recently did some big granite slabs for Chuck Close.
This neighborhood has already spent billions in hazmat expense cleaning up all the lead and cadmium from both old military installations and
a lot of past industrial paint factories. The last thing they want is someone working with lead in any form, and that seems to be the ticket
to doing Woodbury at the moment.
Heating lead with laser beams is horrific for health. But Peter was referring to use cast lead and press it. There is no fume involved. Does it have a impact to health ? Is cast lead illegal to manufacture or buy ?
Yes, lead and laser would be a very bad mix. That's why we were looking at epoxy substitutes. But that potentially has real health issues too,
as would be tricky to make behave properly for the process itself. Shaving lead via CNC etc generates a lot of hazardous dust, which can in
fact be contained and recycled, but only a serious equipment expense. And around here, the permits would be impossible to acquire. Working
with lead sheet is sometimes done in peripheral cities. I know a guy who specializes in seam-welding lead sheeting for nuclear reactor liners.
Needless to say, he has biceps and a neck the size of tree trunks. He heat-welded my long darkroom sink, but using thick polypropylene sheeting. But are high-frequency carving application of lead is something else entirely. I've certainly witnessed more than my share of lead
poisoning, mostly older artists and house painters, or those who carelessly sand old house paint (now illegal without proper extraction gear).
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I think you have the wrong end of the stick.
I'm not looking to CNC Lead or laser engrave lead, HSE & COSHH implications alone make it non viable.
I'm not looking to laser engrave epoxies or similar. I know from experience that when photoengraving by using a laser the process uses a greyscale image and works on a pixel by pixel basis so it's not continuous tone like a woodburytype or carbon print; although it does create an image through height relief similar to a lithophane.
Ideally what I would love to know it this, I like the work that Barett Oliver has done, I missed his lecture last year about his work with Chuck Close. I've have a copy of his book and I have read his book. I was wondering if anyone attended his talk or recorded it last year as I was unable to attend it. I've contacted the organisers of the talk and they unfortunately did not have a proceeding or book that accompanied the event and they did not record it themselves.
Thanks again to everyones input, I've already got a few gems from it.