Verse 10

Kingfisher on a branch
above the Cox’s Bay creek
and a menacing heron
stalking the shallows below –
their shadow stands up over
the small fry in the murky
historical tide that flows
back up the channel to where
storm-water drains disgorge junk,
stains of domesticity,
oily rejectamenta
of home-making, the dreamy
rainbows of effluent hope
swirling in the same spring-time
sunshine that casts the shadows
of twiggy trees on the grass
beside the water, as if
we were all dazzled under
the surface of something we
can’t seem to see past but think
we remember what’s up there,
those shadows, waiting for us?

How did we do it?

To prepare a surface to machine on we got a paua shell from someones bach. We then ground it down using 3 different grit sand papers and finally buffed and polished it using diamond paste with the help of the rock polishers in the geology department.The surface presented some problems as the paua is actually a grating a ridge structure from the layers of calcite paua uses in their shells. Initially we tried to use the nanosecond laser system using a really tightly focusing lens we found that we really damaged the shell.

We ended up using the femtosecond direct write to machine the shell and found how comparably clean the machining was compared with using nanosecond pulses (about a million times longer in duration). The poem ended up being 1.2 mm across. The imaging of the paua shell was also challenging as the curvature made it hard to focus on the text. Nine images needed to be taken and merged together to get an in-focus image of the whole poem. This was perhaps the most challenging object but also one of the most satisfying to complete.



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