Intricate laser-cut wood artworks offer homage to nature (Video)

Gabriel Schama
© Gabriel Schama

Artists have long been fascinated by the multiplicity of geometries and sublime patterns found everywhere in nature: from the crystalline structures of snowflakes to the intricacies of protozoic radiolaria.

Not surprisingly, these visually and viscerally pleasing patterns often get translated into architecture, art and design -- as seen in these stunning laser-cut wooden artworks by Oakland, California based artist Gabriel Schama (previously). We get a quick look at his creative process, which includes old standbys such as paper and X-ACTO knives, as well as more recent digital fabrication tools.

Schama, who has long been interested in the various geometries found in Islamic architecture, Art Nouveau and Buddhist mandalas, first started creating his works a few years ago using paper-based materials.

It was a side hobby at first, but Schama wanted to do art-making full-time, so he launched a crowdfunding campaign to to purchase a laser cutter and upgrade his pieces into wood, which he then gave away as campaign rewards. It was the launch of his full-time art career, allowing him to sell these digitally fabricated artworks online. He's since named his laser-cutting machine Elsie, and quips that “Together, we try to pursue the outer limits of abstract kaleidoscopic weirdness.”

Schama's complex compositions are first created on computer, and then are laser-cut, layer by layer, and adhered on top of one another in order to create a multi-tiered, three-dimensional effect. His latest, largest piece is called Pachamama, a reference to the Earth goddess worshipped by the indigenous people of the Andes, and is made with thirteen layers of birch plywood.

Gabriel Schama© Gabriel Schama

There are potentially psychologically soothing effects in contemplating the form of a mandala, radiating out from a universal centre, representing what psychoanalyst Carl Jung called a "psychological expression of the totality of the self." Evoking the ever-patterning forces of nature that create fields of order among the chaos, works such as Schama's remind us of the universal human impulse to do the very same. For more, visit Gabriel Schama's website and shop.

Intricate laser-cut wood artworks offer homage to nature (Video)
Created with digital and manual tools and layered on one piece at a time, these complex art pieces are a wonder to contemplate upon.

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