Karl Williams–The Machine Art Exhibit opens


My good friend Karl Williams opened his show at kwartzlab last week.  He’s playing with some interesting ideas around the translation of ideas to digital designs to realization of the work via machines such as his 3-axis CNC mill.  Here’s a clock he designed and built.  The printed circuit board is designed in Eagle CAD, then etched with ferric chloride.  The finished board is backlit with blue LEDs, giving a fantastic effect.  The chrome orb is very eye-like, which of course strikes a chord with me.


Dr. Zaius, I presume?  This image is rendered in 6mm translucent smoky acrylic using the CNC mill.  A grey-scale image is converted to a tool path, which is then cut with a 1/8” endmill in reverse-relief into the back side of the acrylic which is then backlit with white LEDs.  The deeper the cut into the acrylic, the more light gets through and the lighter that part of the image appears.  Conversely, the blackest black here is not cut at all and thus not passing much light and appearing darker.  There’s a great serendipity that Karl enjoys about this type of work, not knowing exactly how the finished piece will appear.


This face relief was designed in SketchUp, carved by the mill, and edge-lit behind 6mm smoky acrylic so it only appears as revealed by the LEDs.


Karl created these tree reliefs using a source image and software to create a spiral toolpath.


This 8-bit Audrey Hepburn relief is one of Karl’s first pieces.  Very clear linear toolpath here.  Love the coarse resolution on this one.  Check out the show Tuesday nights 7-10pm.

Happy making,


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One Response to Karl Williams–The Machine Art Exhibit opens

  1. What an amazing son, one of three, we have!

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