Working with a laser cutter and CNC router, Martin Tomsky creates illustrative relief pieces built up from layers of stained plywood. Tomsky's work has been exhibited throughout London. 

I have always loved to draw and spent my childhood and young adult life doodling everywhere I went. After studying Art at GCSE and A Level I began my foundation course at Central St Martin's thinking I wanted to study design. I quickly found that my interests lay in illustration.

I studied BA Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts for three years, graduating with a 2:1. My work developed during this time to bold, graphic style focusing on developing worlds with intricate details and characters.

After University I started work at a model making workshop where I learnt about materials, model-making and, most importantly, laser cutting. Having spent over twenty-years doodling I found myself with a repetitive strain injury in my hand and for the first time in my life, unable to draw. Determined to continue making art I used the skills I had learnt through laser cutting to translate my work into a new medium. So now I  create illustrative, relief pieces built up from layers of laser cut, stained plywood. These range in size and shape from very small pieces of jewellery to much larger, bespoke artworks. Each piece is hand assembled to a create beautiful, organic object that lies somewhere between craft, illustration and sculpture.

First I sketch out the piece in pencil - this often takes two or three drafts before I am happy with the design and ready to move onto the digital stage.

I then scan the artwork into Adobe Illustrator and manually trace the drawing to create vector paths for laser cutting using a Wacom tablet. This is the longest part of the whole process and it allows me to make any final alterations to the artwork.

Before cutting, I prepare sheets of plywood with stain and varnish. I then cut them all myself on a laser cutter, ensuring that the grain of the wood is suitable to each piece. Operating the machine myself allows me to ensure that I get the quality of finish I am looking for. The laser cutter I use is a Trotec Speedy 300, which is great for high detail laser cutting. For thicker and larger sheets of wood, I get all my CNC routing outsourced.

Once all the pieces are cut, I assemble using high quality wood glue and any finishing touches are done by hand.

The laser-cut wood sculptures are available through Etsy.

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