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Glass Cutting using 2D Vector Design and Water Jet Technology

Instructors: JD Harris (NC State student) and Jo Ellen Westmoreland

This course is designed especially for fused glass artists to equip you with the necessary skills to create 2D vector designs using tools in Adobe Illustrator and then utilize those to design and cut out detailed glass shapes using water jet technology. This class will provide you with the knowledge and hands-on experience to bring your creative ideas to fruition.

Workflow: Pen and paper sketch  2D vector design   Water jet fabrication

You will learn the fundamentals of vector design. Topics covered will include creating and manipulating shapes using the pen tool, working with layers, applying colors, and incorporating image tracing to convert images into vector designs. You will use our class laptop computers & software during class.
[Please note: You can download a trial version of most software programs for use on your own home computer as well.]

Additionally, you’ll explore the concept of water jet technology, which allows for precise and intricate cutting of glass materials. Learn about the principles behind water jet cutting, the equipment and materials involved, and safety considerations when working with glass.

You will be guided through a step-by-step process of designing vector graphics and learn how to optimize your designs for water jet cutting, considering factors such as cut paths, line thickness, and material constraints. You’ll also gain insights into how different design elements, such as curves, angles, and patterns, can affect the final glass fabrication process.

Apply these skills to create your own 2D vector designs and preparing them for water jet glass fabrication. Learn how to export your designs in suitable file formats for the water jet cutting machine, ensuring the precise and accurate execution of their designs. Emphasis will be placed on troubleshooting and problem-solving techniques that may arise during the fabrication process.

By the end of this class, you will have a good understanding of Adobe Illustrator’s tools and techniques for 2D vector design and possess the skills to transform vector designs into real-world glass products using water jet technology.

Thursdays [3 weeks] August 31 – September 14: 6:30 – 8:30pm and
Wednesday, September 20: 6:30 – 8:30pm

  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Prerequisites: Basic computer literacy and familiarity with Adobe Illustrator would be beneficial but not mandatory. Students should have access to a computer with Adobe Illustrator installed. No prior experience with water jet technology is required.

Class fees by level:  NC State students – $65    Public – $95