How to make a cucaloris

How to make a cucaloris

You can create your own cucaloris, otherwise known as a “cookie”, with several different materials. Cucaloris is a Greek word meaning “breaking up light”.

You will need several 2’x4’ ¼ “, thick boards. 

A scroll saw or a hand-held jig saw.

And ¼” drill.

Black flat spray paint.

Draw your shapes on the board. 

Drill a hole in each of the shapes to get your jigsaw through. Use your jigsaw to cut the shapes in the board. 

Paint the boards black.

You can create a variety of different shapes to create different lighting effects.

Another way to make a “cookie” by creating a 2’x4’ frame out of 1”x2” wood or a premade metal “flag” frame. Then covering the frame with Scrim material which you can get at an art supply store by the roll which is usually 4’x60’-125’.  This can make a bunch of scrims for under a$100.

Cut And tape (use white tape) the scrim material to the frame. I recommend reinforcing the tape with the staple gun. 

You can make these scrims any size you like. with one roll of scrim material, you can make quite a few scrims. this is much cheaper than buying premade scrims. They can be 2’x4’, 4’x4’ or any size you would like.  

 Now that you have a scrim, or several scrims, take one and either cut or melt/burn holes in the scrim material, like the shapes in the cookies above. This gives you an advantage of softening your shadows because your board is not opaque it is translucent. This softens the effect.

The possibilities are endless.

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John Armitage

John Armitage is the founder of Armitage Photography, Inc. in Norcross, Georgia. He's passionate about product photography and hosting classes teaching various elements of professional photography in Lilburn and Atlanta, GA.

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