i ended-up doing an in-lay (sort of) version that incorporated the "waste" of one piece into the top layer of the original design. it is was a simple move, but one that resulted from the making step of my design process.
sometimes i feel like i am moving in slow motion. that my designs develop through a series of drawn-out steps - from mental pondering, to sketching, to thinking in-scale via autocad, to testing it out my making/cutting, and then tweaking and retesting based on the results - discovering different tidbits with each step. (i am fortunate that i can be hands-on with the laser-cutter, because i learn a lot through the act of cutting my own pieces.) perhaps my process is more drawn-out because i am juggling multiple things and my making simply needs to flex with my schedule. however, i've always maintained that design takes time - whether jewelry or interior design or architecture - some solutions just take time to arrive.
i've been thinking a lot about the design process and the importance of having a variety of ways to 'test' ones ideas. my students are in thick of developing their design projects for the final review that is in about 10 days. i have been meeting with them individually and in groups to review their progress and to help them navigate through the process of developing their ideas and determining the best ways to communicate them. for some the making is a result of a solid idea and for others the idea is solidified through the exploration of making. each of us has our own way and our own collection of tools to discover and express our intentions. it has been invigorating for me to witness 20 different ways, concentrated on a similar problem. learning by teaching and teaching by learning.