Sunday, December 5, 2010

Making It Big(ger) - part 1

I have started selling some of my carving from my Etsy shop. But it hurts a little each time something sells and you know you'll never see it again. It's a little like having one of you kids grow up and move out. (That's not always a bad thing). Recently, I was carving from scraps and without a plan and this little guy popped out. I've grown to like him quite a bit, but I wished I had made him larger. So I set out to see if I could scale him up without loosing too much of his personality. Two things are working against my creating a larger replica. First, I'm not so good a carver that I can duplicate my own work perfectly. Second, the larger versions are still being made from whatever I have lying around in my scrap box, so scaled up in height, but not to scale for  the width/depth of the block. So keep in mind, I will be talking about transferring proportions on the height of the blank only.

This will be a 2-part blog enter since there are several ways to scale proportions. Each has a different set of expense, ease and process. But it all starts with some simple math. Like I said, I am not starting with a scale amount and then cutting a blank to fit - that's a different lesson. Maybe a subject for a future blog post. Here. I'm taking the original (about 3 1/2" high) and transferring proportions to a couple larger blocks I had on hand.

First, I have to convert all my measurements to decimal so I can use my calculator. I have been doing this for years, so it's second nature. Pardon me for this if you haven't memorized decimal conversions.

So 3.5" is the original and my two blanks are 4 1/2" (4.5") and 6" tall. I want to come up with a scale factor. I do this by simply dividing the larger by the smaller. 4.5 divided by 3.5 = 1.28. 6 divided by 3.5 = 1.71.  We're shooting for "close" so I'll round off the numbers I get. I still use conventional measure. If you use metric, it's a little more accurate and the math is easier.

So for the middle size figure, I will multiple every measurement I take from the original by a factor of 1.28. So if the original figure is 1 3/4" (1.75") from bottom to top of nose, then the 4 1/2" figure will be 1.75 X 1.28 = 2.24. That's darn close to 2. 25 or 2 1/4". Close enough. This project is not about getting an exact scale enlargement, as I said, but the principles are exactly the same, if that's what you set out to do.

In part 2 of this post, I will show at least four ways to scale a figure, or a photo of one. One method of transferring measurements does not even require math at all beyond the first calculation.

More to come ...


Bob Easton said...

You've mentioned your Etsy shop a couple of times Don, but haven't included a link.

Unless Blogger prohibits such linking, I think it would be a good way to let blog readers know where to find your carvings.

Been enjoying watching you make chew toys, etc. ... and Santas, of course. Great fun, especially without the math part.

Don Dailey said...

Bob, It's The Winter Tulip, I have it listed with my Favorite Sites on the upper right. Thanks for your interest. I took down a lot of the larger Santa figures because I have them in a local consignment shop right now.