London Test Drives

LaserCut Works Halloween – #LaserPumpkins with Google Local London

Last night I joined the @GoogleLocalLdn folks in Bermondsey for some hi-tech pumpkin carving courtesy of @LaserCutWorks. As the name may suggest, we were aiming to carve out our pumpkins with a high powered laser rather than the traditional knives and mini-saws. I mean, that’s just so 20th century! (yeah I can’t really pull that sorta thing off…)

laser pumpkins

A couple of jack’o’lanterns showing up the lasered designs welcomed up to the space – as did a very friendly wolfhound named Sochi. After being thoroughly licked (that’s one friendly dog!), we were sent to pick out our pumpkin and then set to work. Although there were lasers ready to carve, some prep work was necessary as you had to slice a whole and scoop out the stringy, slimy innards. I’ve never had  problem with that and quite enjoy the scraping process (it’s strangely relaxing). My companions didn’t see the same joy and we soon had a suitably Halloween-y soundtrack of screams and moans.

Sochi! Isn't she cute?

Sochi! Isn’t she cute?

Once the pumpkin was cleaned of its goopy guts, we got to select a design and then it was popped into the laser cutter. The guys at Laser Cut Works (more on them in a bit) were on the ball with explaining every step of the process and then it was time to watch it in action!

My skull being lasered into the pumpkin

My skull being lasered into the pumpkin

It reminded me of those old laser printers than zapped the paper in a line so you slowly saw the image appear from left to right. I guess it’s on the same principles just a much more power laser that could cut through the thick pumpkin shell (in fact it often burned the interior of the opposite side). I know I’m a bit of a kid at heart (or maybe mostly a kid) but that laser was damn cool and I was mesmerised. If I worked at Laser Cut Works, I’m pretty sure I’d think of it as a big toy.

My skull was soon engraved on the pumpkin and a few choice pokes knocked out the key bits to let the light shine through. I’ve got to say this was far better than any I’ve carved by hand although I would have preferred some more open spaces for a the light to come out but it turns out I could have selected that at the start!

We piled them all together for a picture (and almost broke the table) and I couldn’t resist quickly hand-carving another one to bring the classiness down a touch (see if you can figure out which one that is…).

Our collection of lasered pumpkins and a hand carved one of my own design - can you guess which that is?

Our collection of lasered pumpkins and a hand carved one of my own design

The Google folks had provided some themed cupcakes and teacakes as well as a few bottles of Meantime Chocolate Porter to wash it all down. I think that counts as dinner, right? Brilliant fun event and now my flat is suitably decorated for Halloween! I wonder if I can still go trick-o-treating…

And to end, a little bit on the LCW boys. Their backgrounds range from architecture to graphic design to pure art. While most of the work is producing orders with completed designs, they also work with new artists to successfully execute ideas and are happy to tweak designs to take full advantage of the laser cutting process. They also have a 3D printer (brand new toy) which is absolutely brilliant although very slow. If you happen to be an artist, I’d strongly suggest checking them out for your 3D pieces. Also, if you stop by Gauchos, check out the new metal menus which were produced by LCW.

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