Sunday, February 9, 2014

Water Jet Metal Cutting

Way back in 2008 I started adding letters cut out of copper sheet to my pieces. I've kept a journal for most of my life, and many of the thoughts therein wanted to come out onto my artwork, so it seemed like a pretty natural way to go. Since I've always been very hands-on, I cut all of these letters out by hand with a jeweler's saw. Super labor intensive. This piece below is an example, the words follow the branches (a bit hard to see, but you can enlarge the image by clicking on it):

No one said it would be easy
but no one said it'd be this hard
but look we've come this far

"No One Said It Would Be Easy"
Copper, enamel, brass, mixed media

The good news is this year I found a wonderful man, Bob Powell (, who lives close by to cut all those letters out for me with his water jet cutting equipment! I created a file in Illustrator and then he translated it into a DXF file for his use. Here's a picture of the first sample that he ran.

These letters are just under a half inch tall, so the detail is amazing. My wrists and cutting arm are so thankful!


  1. Your old method was not just labor intensive, but was quite dangerous as well. It must had been a chore for you to make "No One Said It Would Be Easy", since it had plenty of letters you had to cut out manually. Well, I guess this means more cut-out letters from you, right? Good luck with your future projects!

    Brandi Bradley @ Rotax Metals

  2. Simple cutting may take long time.hydraulic machines are also available for sheet metal cutting.but this method is used for only heavy metal cutting and its cost is very high.we are using a pneumatic system for sheet metal cutting in a easy way.control valve is operated by a compressor.