I decided to buy a pack of Four mirrors from Ikea with the idea of using the laser Cutter at the Making rooms Fab lab in Blackburn to Etch my design into the back of them and hopefully giving a distressed look to the otherwise Pristine Square mirrors. I had a look on Pinterest and noticed a lot of the mirrors were always etched either in the middle or at the right side of the mirror but I thought I would see what I could do using the design image and expanding it over the 4 mirrors so that each Mirror potentially has part of the design and all four mirrors form a large mirror with the complete image on.
Working with Julia she showed me how to enlarge the image and position it how I would like over the four mirrors on the computer, this didn’t take long. Each mirror was 300.00mm x 300.00mm so I placed 2 side by side and a further 2 below them meant it was 600.00 x 600.00mm area to Etch on so the Larger Epilog Laser needed to be used.
The Glam etching settings used were 300 DPI 35speed and 100power taken from the Manual. The back of the mirror turned out to be mirrored Vinyl so the Vinyl heated and bubbled on the low setting rather than melting it away completely.
Because of the low setting and the size and intricate details the design took two hours to etch and I had to watch to make sure a fire didn’t start in the machine which can on occasion happen.
Unfortunately when I removed the mirrors to check the design it was disappointing to find that the mirrors had in fact cracked and the only thing holding it together was the vinyl backing. I deny that I was gutted that my idea hadn’t worked.
On reflection I can only think the heat from the laser and the vinyl caused the mirror to over heat and the vinyl stopped the mirror from being able to expand and cool properly or it may have been because the design was so close to the edge of the mirrors or a mixture of reasons, anyway it’s something to learn from. When I attempt it again I think I will stick to glass as it’s tried and tested and make my own etched mirror by adding the backing after. The design in the vinyl backing of the mirror is still there so I will try and use it in another way and make it much more visible.