‘Whoa, did you create that?’ Artist uses Makerplace equipment to take design work to a new level.


At the library’s Makerplace, anything is possible. All you need is a bit of creativity, something web and graphic designer and Arlington Heights resident Zoe Feast has plenty of.

Feast often creates pattern design work as a hobby and has recently been using the Makerplace to show off her patterns in an entirely new way with art pieces made using recycled wood.

“I came to one of the [Makerplace tours] and I just jumped right in,” Feast said. She quickly began using the Makerplace’s Dremel LC40 laser cutter to etch her pattern designs into wood she collected from her volunteer work at Cuba Marsh Forest Preserve in Deer Park, a part of her life that has even inspired the patterns she creates. She works in habitat restoration to remove invasive and non-native species.

“The wood when you see it sliced up, it’s so, so beautiful. Even in its raw form, it’s lovely. And the fabric design work I’ve been doing was initially inspired by my work on the prairie. I started painting the flowers I was seeing, and I thought ‘what else can I do with this?’,” she said.

The process for creating these pieces involved a lot of trial and error. Each piece of wood is unique in size, and it took time to figure out how to center patterns onto the wood while using the laser cutter. Practice makes perfect and she now nails it “every single time.” She regularly uses the laser cutter to create both small coasters and larger art pieces. And this process of creating has captured people’s attention.

“I’m in there and people come and see my designs and are like, whoa, did you create that?,” she said. “It’s very visual so people like to look and see it happening. And the detail that laser can get is amazing; the resolution is incredible; so you can really get very fine details. It’s a lot of fun.”

Feast already has her eyes set on more Makerplace projects as well. In the future she wants to try using the Makerplace’s quilting machines and Cricut Maker Cutting Machine. She also said she’s interested in taking some of the Makerplace cooking classes.

“I’m not done with that place at all. I think the more you go there, the more you can see the opportunities, the potential to learn new things and I really do enjoy learning new tricks,” she said.

“It really is an amazing place and I absolutely love it. I’d be there every day if I could.”

If you’re interested in seeing more of Feast’s art, visit www.zoefeast.com. And the next time you create something using the library’s Studio, Makerplace or an item from the Library of Things collection, share it with the library at www.ahml.info/creator_spotlight. We want to shine the spotlight on your creation and show others too.