The brief of the tree was tricky as it needed to be made of metal with the ability to come apart and be packed away for events throughout the year. It also needed to be used both inside and outdoors meaning it had to be sturdy, light enough for two people to assemble and disassemble without harming themselves or the tree.
Together with Inkymole, we came to the conclusion that we’d need to use 6mm aluminium with a powder coated finish in white. This was both light and strong and the coating was a good way to protect the metal from finger marks. The design was scanned, taken into Illustrator and refined just to the point where it was suitable for a laser cutting machine, without sacrificing the organic, and-drawn look of it.
Once we were given a .dxf file we checked it pre-flight for cutting and correcting the odd join and wayward spike here and there.
Once the tree was finished we realised that the white finish wasn’t quite right, especially since it glistered in the sunshine the morning it came off the machine. So we discussed it with Inkymole that perhaps they might want to leave that out, which fortunately they agreed with.
I want to thank Andy and his team, Matt and Jaz at Subcon for their advice and enthusiasm, Leigh for driving the tree to its destination and finally Alison and Judith for inviting me to make the tree. The challenging jobs usually turn out to be the best ones, and I think everyone is delighted with the outcome - I know I am!
Sarah J Coleman, Inkymole