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3Tone Halftone Art: Painting with Drill Bits

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Written by Paul Strauss | February 15, 2012

When it comes down to it, pretty much every image you look at is made up of dots – whether it’s a digital image made of tiny pixels, the fine grain in film stock, or the halftone patterns you see in traditional printed media. But I have to say this is the first time I’ve seen halftones made with a drill instead of ink.


Artist/engineer Jeffrey Sgroi’s 3Tones are a new artform, made up out of thousands of tiny conical pits, drilled out by a computer-controlled router. By digitizing photographic images into halftones, then programming the drill to cut varying sized pits into a block of painted Corian, he’s able to achieve some really cool and unique art.


When you look each piece up close, it just looks like an abstract pattern, but when you stand back, you see a fully-formed photographic image. What’s really cool about this art is that it’s not just flat, and you can actually feel the texture of each image.


Even better yet, you can actually own one of these 3Tone images for yourself. After working out the process using equipment at TechShopRDU, Sgroi is raising funds over on Kickstarter to get his own production facility up and running. With a contribution of as little as $50(USD), you can have your very own 3Tone image of your choice.


A $50 pledge gets your a piece measuring approximately 50 square inches, using about 1400 holes. $80 gets you a 100 square inch piece with about 3000 holes, $175 buys a 250 square inch/7,000 hole image, and so on… all the way up to a ginormous 800 square inch 3Tone image made up of somewhere around 23,000 individual holes. You also can choose from white or “vanilla” Corian, as well as black, midnight blue or black paint.

Assuming the project reaches its $21,000 funding goal by March 11th, Jeffrey expects to start shipping 3Tone images this April. Head on over to Kickstarter to order yours now!

[Thanks for the tip, Jeffrey!]