Thursday, April 13, 2017

merit badge brooch

I have a merit badge in….. (three-week project)

Assignment Brief:  
Use digital fabrication tools to create a merit badge that builds a narrative, creates social awareness or commemorates an event.

Learning outcomes:              
Students will learn Adobe Illustrator, a laser cutter/engraver and traditional hand skills to make a wearable badge/brooch 

Skills list:                    
Vector tracing images from digital photos
Illustrator: Grid, scale, units, rulers, RGB versus CMYK, printing to regular inkjet printers
Illustrator: Importing images, Image tracing, vector shapes, brushes, scatter brush, layers, re-sizing and layout tools
Laser cutter:  what materials can be cut?
CO-works/Bank building: learning a workflow for using the bank building and co-works
Pin backs and prong settings

 You must have an etched component (using the vinyl cutter, laser engraver).

Tell a story in five words or less.  Uses identifiable symbols to create combinations that support your concept.


Icons/ logos
Family crests
Merit badges
Military medals
Police badges
Car medallions
Commemorative coins
Maker’s marks
Road signage
Ikea directions
Mason symbols
Architectural details


How can symbol combining create a narrative?
How big can a piece be before it becomes a brooch/badge/medal?
How can material inform your concept?
How can simplifying imagery support a piece?
How can it take away (think contrast or symmetry)?
How can framing and layering silhouettes create dimension in a piece.
Can a personal narrative be universally understood?
Where does your piece fit in the cannon of jewelry?


You have to have at least four layers
You have to use a laser cut component
You have to have a pin stem (double or single)  

Reliquary of the jaw of St. Anthony. Basilica di

Santo Antonio, Padua. 1349

Becky McDonah, reliquary for ear plugs

Jack Cunningham, 'The Great Barrier'

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What you should have done: Photomontage/First blog post Vinyl project/images Fold up brooch sample/ hydraulic die ...