Black Keys.

The journey has begun! My first completed piece utilizing the new die cutting machine is called — what else? — “Black Keys.” The artwork field is  @ 7″ x 7.5″, with an interior 3.5″-diameter circle.

Like a lot of my work, making it happen posed unique procedural challenges once I had the design in mind.

I had the initial idea to cut an interior circle out of the background field and then flip it so the colors balance nicely. But if you’ll notice, the black stripes aren’t uniform or symmetrical — which I really like. Therefore, it wasn’t going to be as simple as that!

Here’s how I had to do it: Setting aside the shorter black strips to simply stack on top of the finished assemblage, I first had to make one piece that would serve as the “outside” area, gluing everything down using low-tack tape. Next step would be to meticulously recreate another circle for the center of the piece, which would be identical except that it would be flipped so the orange was at the top. So the same stripes were used to measure and cut a “flipped” center circle.  Then I carefully removed just the black stripes and die-cut both circles. Lastly, I glued everything down and returned the short strips to their spots along the center horizontal line.

Voila! A learning experience to be sure. Stay tuned as I continue my trip! Aloha —

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