Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chapter IV: The Fascination of What's Difficult

On pp. 114-115 I write about how, after a preliminary pen and paper sketch, I develop my working plans in Adobe Illustrator. Let's take for example the foliage carving I'm at work on in the Prologue of the book.  Here is the quick pencil sketch I did to formulate my ideas for the carving:

It's a simple line drawing, as you can see.  But then, to develop the layered construction of the carving, I redrew this design in shorthand form in Illustrator and worked out its structure. In the book I talk about how incomprehensible these three dimensional, x-ray-like designs are, and how I'd never show them to a client. Here is this one, with each layer of carving in a different color: 

The layers are sawn out separately and then carved, starting with the forward elements.  Here's the completed piece. Incidentally the leaves I mention in the book's Prologue (pp. 1-3) are on the bottom left of the top grouping.

You might be interested in seeing what the bottom layer of this piece looked like, before the forward work was dowelled and glued onto it: 

Under Chapter VII below I've posted the design for an even more complicated carving, and alongside it a picture of the completed piece.   You will be able to see how the design has changed, sometimes radically, on the workbench during the carving itself.  The creativity that's embedded in the actual making of a thing is a subject that is close to the heart of the book.   
pp. 116-17.  Up the snowy escarpment at the head of the Swale Pond. 

On pp. 113-14 I note that Gibbons' presentation drawings are sometimes beautiful works of art in themselves, and I use one of them on p. 121 as the endpiece to this chapter.  Here is a full color image of it.