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Monday, April 30, 2012

A step back, and a framework...

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Laura here - Dave let me have a whirl at the blog this week. After Jen's lovely "Tree of Life" design, Chris' inspiring "Celebrate Your Roots" theme, and David's beautiful integration of them both with the addition of some of his fantastic knotwork, it's about time I start contributing something, anyway, I think. I believe when Dave left us last week, he mentioned I'd be trying to come up with some kind of "magic" to lend to the overall form of the spoon. Hmm. No pressure, though... ;) Ha.

I wish I could just come back with something as finished and beautiful as everyone's done so far, but, well.... I like to think I'm not completely insane. ;) Realistically, I knew it was probably time for a step back. After the initial discussions with Dave, my task was to go away and work on a general framework that would include 4 balls in a cage made of roots, growing out of a bowl, then reaching up to form a handle that would include Jen's tree of life with some stuff Dave was going to build up around it, and possibly some other element topping it all off. In the midst of this discussion, Dave had also sent over a rough sketch showing me that we were on the same page with our thoughts of an underlying very organic root/vine framework - whatever shape it may be. We talked about this very modern, organic look, but also talked about "Celebrate your roots" hinting at tradition. Before I even had a chance to get to my drawing board, Dave came back with the lovely rosette we saw in last week's blog, so I had that to keep in mind, too. I asked him its size, which helped me start thinking scale, and right away, to be cautious about letting the size get away from us.

So, with all these thoughts in mind, I taped together two large pieces of tracing paper, some print-outs of the rosette at different sizes, and sat down at the drawing board. Hmmmm.


Well, I had to start somewhere, so I started with the bowl. I think I drew about a dozen bowl shapes, but finally arrived at one I liked well enough at least to move on. Then, I started drawing some roots growing out of it, coming together to begin to form a cage. I had lots of thoughts about caged balls, definitely about how the cage will be organic and irregular, and NOT with straight bars, like a normal cage, and I thought about proportions of all the parts and all the mechanics of it.... then started to draw it, when I quickly realized that drawing something organic really can't be sketched - because nothing is left to the imagination like you can do with regular and geometric shapes. So I'll really just needed to  draw an example, not necessarily a final drawing here. So I drew roots up from the bowl to the base of the cage, then erased them and drew them again, then erased and re-drew, ..... several times... And about now, I also became overwhelmed with questions, many coming from the compulsive planner in me, and suddenly I was stuck. So here's the beginnings of a root cage coming up from a bowl just to give Dave an idea for the direction I had in mind, but I really haven't even begun to draw in the complexity of the cage that I have in mind, though it may give you an idea of where I'm going with it:

It's probably less obvious here because I've erased about 20 versions, but I was lost in the details. I needed to get back to the overall framework, but how to get on with that? Hmm... then all the questions kept popping up in my head again, like - Who would be carving what parts, because that could affect proportions a lot, and did Dave have any great desire to carve the caged balls? - that could be REALLY fun, so if he wanted to do it, I didn't want to take it from him. And what dimensions could we work with, and how small did he think we could get this rosette, with it still big enough for him to be comfortable carving it, because I was mapping out some proportions and it could get really big? and did he have something in mind for the top of the spoon, because I couldn't really think of anything? And did he have some kind of wood in  mind, because this will be a big one, and could we get a big enough board? And who would carve the bowl? And I shared an idea I had for keeping the design unified by having each of us take a couple passes building out the root/vine/foliage framework - so what did he think of that? And did he have thoughts for any other elements he'd want to include? And who would carve first this time? I think I even mused over a rough schedule.... I'm sure there was more... Dave patiently indulged my incessant questioning, and, after some discussion, here are the resulting framework sketches I sent him - keep in mind, the circle is the rosette you saw last week, the bowl is smooth and solid, the narrow part above it is a root cage with 4 balls, and everything else (for now) is an unspecified density of loose, organic roots/vines/foliage:

 You may notice, these are all symmetrical. I did actually try some asymmetrical shapes, but didn't come up with any that were good. I don't know if that's because I just couldn't come up with any (sometimes you just don't have the muse for these things, when other times you do), or if perhaps I just still had that "roots" hinting at "tradition" idea that Dave mentioned still in my head. Regardless, I asked Dave if any of these appealed to him, and he liked the second one, so that's what we'll use. Progress! Yay!

So - Next, he was beginning to have a flurry of ideas for more elements to build around the rosette, and he'd need a cleaner, more refined version of the frame to work with, so I sent him one - and I thought it might be useful to also see the rosette in different sizes and positions. I'd printed it out, now, in sizes ranging from 4.5 to 7 inches, looking at it in relation to tools, etc., and decided it looked too small any smaller than 4.5 inches, and probably looked best between 4.5 and 5 inches, depending on what else he'd put around it. Anyway - So here's some of that thought process, in pictoral form.

 That's a 6" ruler there, to give you some perspective... Then, to try out different sizes, in different places....

Oh, and I sent him a nice, clean blank one, too, so he can place the rosette exactly where he wants it.

I think the next step is to actually build out some detail here in the bottom half, while Dave plays a bit more with these ideas he's got to build more around the rosette, and then we'll hopefully have two parts we can start to figure out how to integrate soon. I can see us getting very carried away with this one... this is going to be fun!!! You'll definitely want to get lots of tickets for your chance to win this one!

1 comment:

  1. Angels and Ministers of Grace defend us! You two are going to do 4 (FOUR!!!) balls in an irregular cage and that . . . that . . . rosette as well? I swoon at the thought! My hands hurt. And . . . let me guess . . . you are going to do it in maple or Brazilian cherry or yew, right? This will be one seriously complex undertaking. Best of luck! I'm sure it will turn out more magnificent than the concept.