Tag Archives: wood

10 Mind-blowing Artists and Makers Using Lasers On Wood


From paper and textiles, to stone and metal, AP Lazer machines can be used on nearly any material, but one of our favorites to work with is wood. It’s a renewable, biodegradable, timeless, and universal material that’s downright gorgeous in its own right. When spruced up with etched illustrations or custom cut into a unique pattern, wood becomes even more instinctively beautiful and endlessly versatile. Searching for inspiration, we found the following artists and makers who are doing some pretty incredible things with their laser machines and our favorite material.

1. Gabriel Schama

Cutting and gluing layer upon layer upon layer of designs from wood, Gabriel Schama (with the help of his laser cutter, Elsie) creates mesmerizing three-dimensional artworks. Ranging from entirely abstract, organic shapes to his more recent portraiture work, Schama utilizes the laser cutter not just to make his process faster or easier, but to open up his full range of ability. Although he creates his art with the help of a machine, Schama’s technique is inherently handcrafted.

2. Lightwave Laser

Western-Casework---Chin-Chin-Rest WEB 679

Utilizing laser precision, Ron Macken of Lightwave Laser is able to create custom designs and exclusive company patterns from wood that an ordinary contractor simply couldn’t execute. Coming from a background on the engineering side of laser technology, Macken’s artistic pursuits have seen various applications in commercial businesses, as well as private homes. Hotels, restaurants, bars, retail stores, and even a mosque, sport Lightwave Laser panels as wall dividers, external and internal wall decorations, doors, and lighting fixtures.

3. Rogue Journals

On a significantly smaller scale, Rogue Journals creates laser cut wooden bookmarks that are just as detailed as Schama’s and Lightwave’s large-scale pieces. These delicate creations use wood’s ability to be both smoothly cut and engraved to portray full scenes within a mere 5″ x 1.25″ area. Again, these complex works simply could not exist without the innovation of laser technology.

4. Big Secret

Big Secret is one secret that every laser fan should know. The laser and design company provides assistance at any stage of the making process – in their own words – “from design and development to fabrication and finishing.” Their website and Instagram are full of mind-blowing, award-winning collaborations, as well as some of their own in-house creations. The above baseball bat, designed by Kevin Cantrell and Juan Carlos Pagan, is just one of their beautiful collaborative works.

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

5. Stay Gold Co

Organic Super Flower Plugs

Stay Gold Co makes tattoo art inspired t-shirts, stickers, phone cases, and plug style earrings. Their products are only available for limited time periods, but they currently have 13 beautiful, laser-etched, wooden earring designs for sale. These Super Flower Plugs are by far the most intricate. This pair of earrings – available as small as 12 mm in diameter – highlights a laser machine’s ability to create incredibly detailed texture, with some seriously impressive, minuscule carved portions.

6. Anila Quayyum Agha

This one might look familiar to our fellow Michiganders. Mixed media artist Anila Quayyum Agha swept away the competition with this 2014 Art Prize winner, Intersections. If you experienced this work in person, then you know the feeling of amazement over how such a simple construction, perfectly executed, entirely transformed the space. In fact, the work was so stunning, it inspired a somewhat impromptu marriage proposal. Agha’s still creating sophisticated patterns with laser machines, now opting for steel or paper, but this original piece was made from wood.

7. Carved Lake Art

With another series that’s probably familiar if you’re from Michigan, Carved Lake Art creates striking 3D nautical maps. Their collections span the Great Lakes, a variety of states’ inland lakes, Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and some international waters. The works are made by stacking up to 8 layers of laser cut Baltic Birch – which seems to be the ideal choice of plywood for laser machines. The layers are also engraved with topographical details, again demonstrating wood’s particular ability to be both cut and engraved in beautiful detail.

8. SpaceWolf Limited

Illustrating his love for sci-fi and pop culture, and known only by the mysterious moniker, SpaceWolf is an illustrator, printmaker, and woodworker who creates extremely limited edition wooden posters. With his absolute mastery of the laser machine, he pulls off the most impeccably smooth shading we’ve ever seen. Often based off movies, TV shows, or books, by using cherry wood as his material of choice, SpaceWolf’s work redefines the idea of what a poster is. If you’re concerned about whether or not these posters are actually more or less environmentally conscious than paper, rest assured in knowing that SpaceWolf personally plants a tree for every single poster sold.

9. Dragon Powered

Hinge laser cut from 5mm birch ply

Mike Wilson of Dragon Powered is another engineer-turned-laser-artist. He has a small selection of jewelry boxes, lamps, and keychains – all made of birch – that are available for direct purchase through his site. But the really exciting stuff is in the blog section. That’s where we found posts like how to make the wooden hinges pictured above and using a custom jig to cut at an angle other than 90 degrees. His video tutorials aren’t particularly detailed and he doesn’t provide any templates, but there’s enough guidance to get a resourceful woodworker started.

10. Beam Designs

Planetary Gears Clock 1

Husband and wife duo Nathan and Sarah Jones combined their respective aerospace engineering and textile art and design backgrounds to create Beam Designs. Their website and Etsy shop offer a variety of laser cut bamboo goods, such as earrings, key chains, and wall clocks, like this wooden gear design. They intentionally chose Moso Bamboo, which is native to Britain and sourced from their local sawmill, for all of their products because of how well it compliments their environmentally conscious ethics.



Bonus: Obrary

Alex Chair - the living hinge chair

Obrary (short for open library) is a maker’s new best friend. If you operate a commercial laser service, you might like their Shopping Configurator software, which helps customers see dynamic mock ups of their personalized product so they can be assured their order will be accurate. If you just like to make things, you’ll enjoy their selection of 100+ free design templates and video tutorials gathered from across the Internet. These tutorials focus on laser cutting wood to make items like a working microscope, lamp, or padlock, to name a few. Our favorites of the designs they’ve collected utilize living hinges – laser cut Baltic Birch (yes, it has to be Baltic Birch) that allows the wood to become extremely flexible. The Alex chair above, designed by Alex Zhang, uses a living hinge to create a seat and back from a single piece of wood.

Engraving and cutting wood with a laser

Engraving and Cutting Wood with a Laser Machine

wood engraving with a laser machine

Can I use the AP Lazer with wood?

Absolutely! Laser engraving and cutting machines are one of the most popular tools that are used with manipulating the look of many types of wood. Whether you are a custom woodworker or are integrating wood pieces into a production line, we have a laser system that will meet your needs.

Why should I use a laser for woodworking?

Multilayer engraving done with AP Lazer
Laser engraving and cutting wood is becoming increasingly popular among woodworkers because there are so many ways to utilize the laser. All AP Lazer laser systems can simplify and streamline your manufacturing, as all AP Lazer models can engrave, cut and mark a wide variety wood materials. AP Lazer’s high power 100w CO2 laser can cut certain woods 3/8″ – .5″ and produce high resolution permanent engravings on all types of wood. Multilayer Engraving makes it easy to cut vectors and engrave raster images simultaneously, saving you both time and money.

Take your business to new heights when you utilize the laser for engraving QR codes, logos, names, and cutting out wood pieces for architectural models, toys, puzzles and wood inlays. Create one-of-a-kind pieces of wall art, personalized gifts, custom furniture and more.

Interested in Learning More?

Call Today: 800-585-8617

What size of wood piece can I engrave?

Unlike a traditional ‘boxed-up” laser machine, an AP Lazer machine offers a patented, one-of-a-kind open architecture design that will allow you to laser engrave or cut nearly ANY material size, regardless of size and weight. With a variety of configurations available, we have one that will fit your business needs and give you the advantage you are looking for. AP Lazer can function like a traditional “boxed-up” machine when it is placed on the home base. This configuration is ideal for engraving and cutting small items like business cards, trophies, and awards and personalized gifts. Placing the laser on the Utility Carriage will provide enough room to engrave large and bulky items like hope chests and other large furniture pieces. The removable laser top can also be placed directly on the floor to complete custom etchings of all kinds. The sky is the limit!

laser machine configurations

What kind of detail can I expect when engraving and cutting wood?

A laser can produce amazing high resolution images on all types of wood. It can produce photos, artwork and clean cuts on a variety of woods. It’s quite simple; the laser works similarly to a printer; simply import your image from the provided graphics software and send it to the laser to create your custom product. Because all wood has different qualities, the final look will result in a unique and beautiful finished product.

laser engraved wood items

Who should use the AP Lazer for woodworking?

Anyone looking to add custom artwork and personalization to wooden objects. If you are not currently in the woodworking industry, the AP Lazer will allow you to diversify into this new market. If you are in the woodworking industry, why not add to your current product offerings and take your business to the next level? AP Lazer users range from hobbyists, start-up businesses, online shops on Etsy or Pinterest, cabinet makers, gift shops, sign businesses, awards companies, urn/casket companies, schools/universities, furniture companies, clock companies, and hot tub manufacturers, just to name a few. A wide range of wooden materials to work with and the ability to cut and engrave the many different types of wood makes our AP Lazer System a perfect addition to your existing workflow.

laser machine on floor

Still not convinced you need a laser for woodworking?

We’d love to engrave or cut a sample of your material! Contact a representative by filling out our online form, or give us a call at 800-585-8617. Let us show you why the AP Lazer is the right choice for you!