Unglazed bisque ornaments: a happy accident

I was really excited about the results I got lasering on porcelain ornaments, so I tried to order a bunch on Amazon Prime. But I didn’t pay close attention to the description and accidentally bought these unfinished bisque ornaments instead. I had been planning to send them back, but I couldn’t stop thinking about what it might look like to try to do a 3d engrave on one. So I picked a test ornament to sacrifice, and tried out a simple gradient with increasing power settings. The gradient showed up pretty well!

Gradient 3d engraved on bisque

I searched Google Images for bump maps, and tried engraving one of those with the best gradient settings I found (full power, 500 speed). It looked kind of carved, just like I wanted!

Bump map engraved on bisque

So I decided to try a real photo. I started out like I usually do, cutting the subject of the photo out of the background.

Photo with background cut out

Then I played around with the Silver Efex Pro filter to convert to black and white with lots of structure and contrast. I cut the photo into an ornament-friendly circle with the ellipse tool, and added an outer glow to the layer.

Photo prepared for laser etching with silver efex pro

Finally I used the ToonIt! filter to make the artwork look more like a line drawing. I chose the “anacleto” style because it left a lot of white even in the dark areas of the photo.

Photo Prepped for Laser Etching with Silver Efex Pro

Then I sent it to the Glowforge, and it came out great! Now off to make more!

Laser etched unglazed bisque ornament

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