Following the appearance of the "Chip Carved 3D Illusion" article in Woodcarving Illustrated (WCI) this Spring, I received requests for a pattern from several people who didn't feel they could do the drawing and compass work or were uninterested in doing it. They did want to do the carving.
I'll admit it, I was disappointed at first, thinking perhaps the directions weren't made clear enough. Most people recognize that a Publisher's most precious commodity is editorial space. For that reason, directions sometimes need to be condensed and photos consolidated. In my experience the WCI editors were diligent about keeping the article clear and informative. They also provided me with multiple opportunities for review. In fact, they felt strongly enough about clarity to increase the number of pages devoted to the article. So any lack of clarity is mine to bear. That said, if you have given it a fair try and are confused in any way over the information provided, please contact me directly. I'll spend as much time with you as needed to clarify instructions and answer questions.
It seems however, that the actual pencil and compass work was the problem among those who requested a pattern. This is something I hadn't anticipated, but completely understand and respect! It's easy to see how dexterity, eyesight, lighting, time available, and many other factors could contribute to frustration - especially given the precision required in this particular project. The first 2 or 3 requests for a pattern struck me as the perfect "jump from the fire into the frying pan" analogy. Many people are successful and happy with graphite paper (aka transfer paper) to transfer a pattern onto the wood to be carved. I use it at times too. But I don't like it on large or complex designs that require precise measurements, stationary patterns, a very steady hand, and X-ray vision to know, at all times, that the pattern is still perfectly aligned with what has been drawn so far. Okay, I was kidding about the X-ray vision - but not the rest. I could go on, but suffice it to say, I've always preferred to draw, with pencil, ruler, and compass, directly onto the wood to be carved. The heat, or more dangerous chemical, transfer methods might work better than transfer paper, but I'm skeptical when it comes to this particular array of lines, vectors, and circles.
So what's the answer? I'm working on a unique way to provide those who are interested, with a "Ready-to-Carve" solution. If you want a sneak peek, you can click on "Store" in the menu bar at the top of this page, then scroll to the bottom row and click on the "10" Basswood Plate with 3D Illusion Pattern - Ready to Carve". By next week, I'll know if the new approach to this solution will be even better .... and perhaps less expensive!
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One last thing. If you're receiving this Blog but found yourself uninterested in this particular topic, please know that I'll still include information about upcoming Shows, new carving underway or completed, classes being offered, etc.. Please let me know what I can do to make each post of more interest to you.