This ray gun is constructed out of curly maple and aluminum plate with an nylon cord.
I often joke that have spent most of my life trying to master Nineteenth Century modes of making, but over the past decade I have also worked to find how computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) can be integrated into my traditional processes. Romantic conceptions aside, craftspeople are by necessity pragmatists, so to me CAD and CAM technologies are just another tool rather than a practice. Like any tool, the use of these technologies is assessed based on their efficacy and the needs of the project at hand. However, Ray Gun, 001, which started as a sketch during a workshop on computer numerically controlled (CNC) routers, is an exception. With this piece I resolved to make the piece an opportunity to improve my CAD and CAM skills. The initial sketch was developed and modelled using a CAD software package and the materials were then shaped on a CNC router with the final shaping and assembly being done by hand. The result, like the process, is enigmatic and presents its own unexpected set of challenges.