Jewelry Designer Makes Magic On Etsy

The Moon Lab’s Laser Cut Creations Combine Science + Pop With A Side Of Quirk

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What happens when spirituality, science and pop culture combine forces in the universe? A little magic is made.

The Moon Lab is a unique Etsy shop with a style and flair all its own. “When starting with jewelry design, my challenge (and also my desire) was trying to create pieces that I personally had always wanted; things that don’t exist; things you can’t find anywhere,” founder Aeryn explains.

And she has succeeded at creating a collection of stainless steel pieces that have become her signature style. What’s interesting: Stainless steel wasn’t her first material of choice.

“When considering what type of material to use, I first thought about using colored acrylics,” she says. “I did some searching online, and that’s when I came across Ponoko and saw the laser cut acrylics, wood and also stainless steel. There are a lot of people selling acrylic necklaces, but I hadn’t seen the type of things I had in mind done in stainless steel.”

Aeryn thought it seemed like a great idea, so she chose stainless steel for her designs. “My first run of stainless steel pieces from Ponoko came out so wonderfully that I kept submitting designs and ordering more,” she says. “The look and thickness of the stainless steel is absolutely perfect for my products. They came out beautifully and very unique.”

An Eclectic, Artistic Mix

A graphic artist living in Burbank, California, Aeryn says her Etsy shop has an eclectic mix of themes unified by consistent design aesthetic. The inventory rotates because the things she loves varies so much, but right now the collection features a little bit of spirituality, science, old school gaming, movies and anime.

You can see her spiritual side in the Flower Of Life (left) and the Hamsa (right) necklaces.

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The Flower Of Life is a geometrical shape composed of multiple evenly-spaced, overlapping circles arranged in a flower like pattern with six fold symmetry like a hexagon. According to Token Rock, the perfect form, proportion and harmony of the FOL has been known to philosophers, architects and artist around the world.

In New Age thought, the Flower Of Life has provided what is considered to be deep spiritual meaning and forms of enlightenment to those who have studied it as sacred geometry. “The patterns recurring in nature depict space and time,” Aeryn explains. “It’s a template from which all life flows.”

The Hamsa—a symbol of an eye embedded in the palm of an open hand—has been variously interpreted by scholars as a Jewish, Christian or Islamic amulet, according to My Jewish Learning, and its magical form continues to be shrouded in mystery.

While scholars debate nearly every aspect of the Hamsa’s emergence, it is recognized today as a kabbalistic amulet and as an important symbol in Jewish art. “The Hamsa is known to protect against the evil eye,” Aeryn explains. “A powerful amulet indeed!”

Inspired By Science

Science is another theme Aeryn explores, and there’s no shortage of inspiration. She recently added three new pieces to the collection to pay tribute to the works of Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla and Carl Sagan.

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What attracted Aeryn to these scientific greats? “Einstein is one of the greatest minds of our time. Tesla, the inventor of free energy, is a man ahead of his time. And Sagan will take you on a trip through the cosmos,” she says. “I was tired of seeing names like ‘Jessica’ on these necklaces, so I switched it up with something a hell of a lot cooler!”

She has also tapped into some scientific symbols that serious mathematicians, chemists and fans of The Big Bang Theory will fall in love with.

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Pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, seems a simple enough concept. But as Live Science explains, it turns out to be an “irrational number,” meaning its exact value is inherently unknowable.

“Computer scientists have calculated billions of digits of pi, starting with 3.14159265358979323…, but because no recognizable pattern emerges in the succession of its digits, we could continue calculating the next digit, and the next, and the next, for millennia, and we’d still have no idea which digit might emerge next. The digits of pi continue their senseless procession all the way to infinity.”

Wearing 3.14 around your neck sounds like the ultimate expression of number love. For even more fun, Aeryn says to make sure you wear the necklace on March 14th while eating pie. Or wear it backwards because, coincidentally, it spells PIE!

If that doesn’t make you smile, then perhaps you need more serotonin—the molecule associated with making you feel good—in your life. If you’re feeling a little down, this necklace (middle) that details the molecular structure of serotonin will certainly cheer you up.

Alchemy, the precursor to today’s chemistry, is a medieval chemical science and speculative philosophy that aims to achieve the transmutation of the base metals into gold, the discovery of a universal cure for disease and the discovery of a means of indefinitely prolonging life. Perhaps wearing this necklace (right) will begin the process of transforming something common into something special.

Fantastic Pieces For Entertainment Fans

The worlds of gaming and anime are full of characters that are ideal for being turned into jewelry pieces for fans, and Aeryn has tapped into this appeal to add a whimsical element to her collection.

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For the retro game lover, the Lakitu Cloud (left) pays tribute to Super Mario Brothers. “This is the special item you always saved for World 8!” Areyn says. “Gotta get past those pesky air ships, and this little cloud made it possible.”

For Final Fantasy fans, the Cait Sith (middle)—everyone’s favorite moogle-riding, crown wearing cat—is a must-have accessory.

Kodama—spirits in Japanese folklore that inhabit trees—are “the cutest characters from Princess Mononoke,” according to Aeryn. They are signs that a forest is healthy, so wear it in good health.

A Childhood Dream Comes To Life

Aeryn has created a lot of original designs as well as ones inspired by movies or TV shows she loves. But her favorite piece is something she has wanted ever since she was a little girl: A necklace inspired by the film The Secret of NIMH.

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“It’s this amazing red medallion with an inscription on the back,” she says. “I had to hunt around for the perfect cabochon to use for the red stone, and when I finally finished the piece it really felt like an accomplishment to me.”

Magic In The Making

Aeryn says she wanted to create unique items with a touch of magic, so she started her Etsy shop to share that magic with everyone. “I feel a connection to the moon and stars, basically just the heavens at night, and I wanted the shop name to reflect that,” she explains. “I’ve been an artist ever since I can remember. I’ve always loved the ability to just create something I want to own whether it’s a shirt, a plush toy, a drawing or a necklace. To be able to craft and create things brings me joy, and I’m grateful for this gift I was given.”

What can we expect from The Moon Lab in the future? “My shop will always be an eclectic mix, because the things I love vary so much,” Aeryn says. “But right now, a little bit of science, a little bit of quirk, a little bit of pop culture, and a little bit of magic is what you’ll find at The Moon Lab!”

 

How Motion Synth Became A Laser Cut Success

Motion Synth: A Laser Cut Kickstarter Success Story

AUUG Motion Synth

When the Auug team dreamed up their novel music interface the Motion Synth, they knew that there would be a great response from musicians and enthusiasts alike. Before Motion Synth, there was no integrated system that allowed for electronic musicians to interact with their instrument in a natural, intuitive way.

The innovation that makes all the difference with the Motion Synth is in the way that it combines a cleverly resolved physical interface with the robust and technologically powerful iOS mobile device range. Motion Synth consist of three elements, all working together: the AUUG Grip, the AUUG app and the AUUG cloud.

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The Grip is what we’re focusing on here. Laser cut from aluminium and then CNC cold-formed, it encases an iPhone or iPod touch in a way that leaves the fingers free to interact with physically defined regions on the screen. All this happens without interfering with the intuitive process of actually playing music; no distraction from whether the device is secure, or looking to see where to place the fingers.

You may think this sounds a bit like a 21st Century Theremin, but there is actually a whole lot more to the Motion Synth. A true laser cut success story, the Motion Synth is a showpiece for the integration of digital manufacturing technologies such as laser cutting with high-end electronic devices.

Auug’s Motion Synth is a fantastic example of how laser cutting gives product developers the ability to go from concept to fully functional prototype in a smooth, efficient workflow. Already highly resolved prior to the successful Kickstarter campaign, the commercial product has also received serious attention from investors on Shark Tank Australia. By working with the available technologies and making clever use of their combined strengths, AUUG founder Dr Joshua Young is breaking new ground with the Motion Synth.

We highly recommend checking out the product videos on auug.com to see just how amazing this combination of physical and electronic components can be, and you can also learn more about the product development and public funding process at the Motion Synth Kickstarter campaign.

 

 

How To Make a Laser Cut Wobbler

Get your creativity rolling with this simple DIY laser cut project

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Watching things wobble has something mysterious and mesmerising about it, and when you add in the precision of a laser cutter, the results are mathematically sublime. Building your own laser cut Wobbler is a fun way to learn about the physics behind motion and inertia, or if the how and why is not as critical for you as the what, perhaps having something novel and intriguing to roll across the table is reason enough!

Thanks to Thingiverse users Greg Zumwalt and Ella Jameson, making your own laser cut Wobbler is easier than ever. You may notice from the image above (and the video below) that Greg’s design is not actually laser cut… it has been 3D printed. That’s where Ella comes in – she remixed Greg’s design to make her laser cut version, and shared the files for others to enjoy.

Simply download Ella’s .svg files (different disk sizes have been prepared for a material thickness of 3mm) and fire up your Ponoko Personal Factory to laser cut in your 3mm material of choice.

Here is a video of Greg’s wobbler in action:

So how does a Wobbler work?

The Wobbler moves so nicely because its center of gravity remains very nearly constant while rolling along, thanks to the ratio between the slots that connect the disks and their radii. This can be calculated for any round-ish shape using mathematical magic, but if equations make you wobbly, then you can cheat a little and use the approximated ratio of:

Slot Length = Disk Radius * 0.293

Wobblers can come in a number of forms, and with the repeated motion of the disks as they roll along, there is a great opportunity to laser etch onto the surfaces for further visual impact. It is also possible to apply the same mathematics to other Wobbler constructions; perhaps the most notable example of this is John Edmark’s laser cut Rollipses.

Click through for a video of yet another stunning kinetic mathematical wonder from John Edmark, as well as a collection of Wobblers presented by Tim at Grand Illusions. (more…)

Laser Cutting On Display

Laser cut hands, pins, girls, bananas, and bow ties!

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Above is a POS display for a Samsung Camera. It is laser cut from acrylic like Ponoko.com‘s own Glass Green,  with an application of mirrored foil and comes from Milos Paripovic.

After the jump, pins, girls, bananas, and bow ties… (more…)

Bare Bones of Laser Cuting

Laser cut skulls, elephants, a broken clock, and some abstraction!

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Above are Calavera skull charm bracelets. They are laser cut and etched from mirrored acrylic like Ponoko.com‘s own and come from Guy Blanco.

After the jump, elephants, a broken clock, and some abstraction… (more…)

Laser Cutting Can Be Very Sophisticated

Laser cut ties, mushrooms and ants, skulls, and a tiki god!

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Above is perforated necktie and comes from Cyberoptix. It is laser cut from black and red leather and could be produced using Ponoko.com‘s own Veg Tanned Black Leather.

After the jump, mushrooms and ants, skulls, and a tiki god… (more…)

Counting on Laser Cutting

Laser cut omer counter, a pavilon, and a bottle opener…

Above is an Omer counter, It is laser cut from hardboard and has a very clever “spring” which allows for the counting. It comes from Jo Kamm.

After the jump, a pavilon, and a bottle opener… (more…)

Cats Of Laser Cutting

Laser cut cats, more cats, a safe, a comb, and a notebook…

Above is a laser engraved and cut cat face pendant. This mirrored acrylic tabby is from KatzeShop and based on the designer own cat. She thoughtfully abstracted the cat’s pattern and incorporated the hanger for the chain into kitty’s ears.

After the jump, more cats, a safe, a comb, and a notebook… (more…)

Laser Cutting Royal Lions

Laser cut lanterns, signs, skulls, and a map!

Above is a laser cut paper street lamp. This work, cleverly transforming flat media like Ponoko’s cardstock into 3 dimensions, is from Paper Faber and looks just as good flat as it does “poped” up. See another look at this street lamp at the end of this post!

After the jump signs, skulls, and a map… (more…)

Laser cutting, clearly…

The Laser Cutter Roundup — a weekly dose of laser-cut love: #225

Hey, Sam here collecting the post from The Laser Cutter.

Above is a laser cut see through birdhouse designed by Joe Mansfield of engrave.

Make sure you join TLC’s Facebook page.

After the jump, cheese, a cathedral, and a girl… (more…)