As I approach retirement, I plan to transition from being a physician to being an artist. I spent my summers while in junior and senior high school working in a boat yard helping mechanics, painters, and wood workers. I have always enjoyed using these skills to build furniture, but it wasn't until the last few years that I branched out and started to create what I call architectural art. Visitors to the house have seen a progression of projects over the years
1. I started out by making a sketch in Adobe Illustrator, as shown below. This took quite awhile since I had to learn how to use the software.
2. I sanded a copper plate and coated it with varnish that is chemical resistant
3. The next step was to use a computer driven CO2 laser to burn the image onto the varnished copper. The laser vaporized the varnish in any area that white. All black areas were untouched. The plate was then submerged in ferric chloride that dissolved any copper that was not protected by varnish. In a few hours I had the image chemically engraved into the copper.
4. The last step was to apply chemicals to the copper that would oxidize it and create a patina.