Traditional crafting met cutting edge technology at the highly successful digital paper crafts event in Guildford Library on 27 January.

Participants brought their own materials along including Christmas cards and the pages of an old paperback book and were shown how to recycle them into eye catching decorations, baubles and crowns.

The group soon got stuck in using paper templates, glue and scissors. However they were also given a demonstration of how the Silhouette Cameo electric paper cutter kept in the library could speed up the process for them. The session began with a short video showing the potential uses for the device and the attendees were quick to take the opportunity to try out this out with different materials for their art projects. This allowed them to cut out a whole page of identical shapes quickly and cleanly rather than painstakingly cutting them out one by one by hand.

A large crowd was also attracted by a demonstration of the larger Trotec Speedy 100 CO2 laser cutter. As well as the crafters, passing library users, students and local business people dropped in to see the machine in action.

The laser quickly cut or engraved intricate designs into materials such as card, paper, stone, wood, cloth, metal and plastics and visitors were encouraged to suggest different design ideas which were then demonstrated.

Designs could be created directly on the attached laptop and sent through to the machine in minutes. The results included keyrings, patterns on a T shirt and even a Darth Vader design on wood! The room was really buzzing as people discussed the possibilities for creating bespoke clothing, signage and decorations without needing to refill cartridges

By the end of the morning the group had produced a colourful selection of decorations and felt really inspired by the possibilities offered by the paper cutter and laser cutter for future projects.

Would you like to see our laser cutter in action? Just watch this short film