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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A useful program for making patterns

I've usually used very low-tech methods for making my patterns--ruler, compass, cookie cutters, graph paper, etc. While that usually is sufficient, it's not the easiest way to make a pattern for a bowl or stacked ring box.

I've recently started using a program called PolyDraw, created by Dave von Ess, available on the scrollmania.com website, which lets you create rings of various shapes and widths pretty easily. There's a tutorial to walk you through creating basic shapes--round, oval, rounded square, ripple--and once you've gotten the hang of it, you can play with various configurations. Patterns can be saved either as files that load right into the program, or as pdf's once you've drawn them.

I used the program for the outline of the 7-lobed box, and was pleased with how much easier it was than trying to draw a shape like this freehand. Dave is very helpful if you run into problems, and there's an email provided for this purpose.

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