Laser Etched tropical fish in acrylic and wood

Jun 14, 2010

No, it’s not Nemo (he’s a salt water fish called a Percula.) The Clown Loach (Botia Maracanthus) is a freshwater fish from southeast Asia that has a lot of personality and keeps our snail population under control.  Yes, we are fish geeks too. :)

clown loach acrylic edge litOne of our Clown Loaches etched in 1/4″ clear acrylic, displayed on a custom made stand with LED edge lighting.

Clown loach fin vector detailThis etching is unique because the fin rays are done as vector lines on a low power so they don’t cut all the way through, but provide a different look than raster lines.

Clown loach reference image

Here is an image of our model. It was traced by hand in Adobe Illustrator over the course of several hours. It turned out very cool, but wasn’t a simple process.

Clown loach on curly mapleHere is the same etching on on Curly Maple Wood Veneer. A single layer of hardwood veneer would be too brittle, so we laminated two layers together with a layer of paper in between to keep it from splitting along the grain. After that was dry, we applied two coats of Minwax PolyShades (one-step polyurethane and stain) in Pecan color. The engraving process removed the polyurethane and exposed the raw wood again, so we applied a coat of Minwax PolyShades black color to the exposed areas and wiped off the extra.