My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond #254: Evolution of a Design

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 02-12-2011 02:32 PM 5764 reads 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 253: Planning Ahead Part 254 of My Journey As A Creative Designer - Woodworking and Beyond series Part 255: I Need Some Lathe Advice »

I really love the way we get to interact with each other through places like this. I know that the internet sometimes gets a bad rap because people abuse it, but I also think that the way we use it here in Lumberjocks and other similar forums is a fine example of how great it can be. I have met people from all over the world here who I consider friends. I have learned a lot from so many who are willing to help others, and I hope I have also helped some people too.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a request from a customer to design something for him. Even though I am busy a lot of the time, I always try to help people when I can. Designing is my passion and I enjoy making a vision into a reality. It doesn’t always come out as planned, but I like trying new things when I can because sometimes I surprise myself and it looks even better than I thought.

In any case, Bob wanted me to take my Sweetheart Candle Tray design and alter it a bit. The inside of the candle tray (the part that is recessed that the candle sits on) is typically four inches. The outside of the original tray is about seven inches. Here is a picture of the original design:

What Bob wanted was for me to increase the inner section of the tray to six inches in diameter, and make the outer diameter of the tray approximately eight inches. In order to do this, I would have to simplify the design a bit, as the smaller area (approximately 1” ) border would not work with the amount of detail that was in the original design. I thought it through a bit, and I chose to use the smaller hearts only and redrew the design. Although it was much simpler, I still believe it had the essence of the original design and was still quite pretty. I had shown you the result of what I drew last week, but I will put a pic of it here again for comparison:

I compensated for the simplification of the design by adding a slightly thicker border and accenting it with some drill holes and oval fretwork holes. I really liked how it came out wound up making it into a pattern just ‘as is’. With Valentine’s day coming up, I thought people would really like it because it was pretty, yet would not take very long to cut. I wound up giving it as a free pattern for my mailing list customers when they ordered to show appreciation for their loyalty. I like doing stuff like that, and it seemed to be a win/win/win for everyone.

So yesterday, I received an email from my customer and he thanked me again for doing the pattern for him. He had read in this blog that I was thinking about doing some patterns and designing which incorporated both wood turning and scroll sawing together. He sent me a picture of what he did with my pattern and I was so impressed with it, I asked him if I could share it with you. He graciously gave me permission, as well as permission to use the pattern as I wish. So here is a picture of a beautiful earring tree made by Mr. Bob Yates:

I think it is amazing! It is all made from Padauk and the finiale is of Amboyna Burl. It is a wonderful example of how you can combine several different techniques to make wonderful projects.

Seeing stuff like this really gets me thinking. I really love designing and it seems there is a whole world of possibilities for us out there. I love working with wood so much. You can turn it, scroll it, carve it and shape it and make things that are functional and beautiful and will last a lifetime. This really gets me excited all over again about learning new techniques and making new things.

It is wonderfully creative people like Bob who are willing to share their talents and knowledge with others that make places like this so great. I am happy if my original design inspired someone’s own creativity, as it certainly came back to inspire mine. It really makes this all a lot of fun. (Did I mention I love my job?)

I hope you all have a fun and inspired Saturday!

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

13 comments so far

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2860 days

#1 posted 02-12-2011 02:58 PM

Neat, I enjoy seeing the development. Iron sharpens iron.

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View NH_Hermit's profile


394 posts in 3120 days

#2 posted 02-12-2011 03:22 PM

very nice.
Stay warm! Spring’s now about 5 weeks away.

-- John from Hampstead

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3139 days

#3 posted 02-12-2011 03:59 PM

great blog Sheila , thank´s for sharing the interact with your costummer
its saying much about how you care them to see such reply´s to you
it´s a great project mr.Yates have made combining different trades of woodworking

take care

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3010 days

#4 posted 02-12-2011 04:22 PM

That’s really cool, Sheila! :) I love the earring tree- it looks like the pattern was designed with it in mind.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#5 posted 02-12-2011 04:28 PM

Thank you all so much! It is certainly show that “two heads are better than one!” It helps me think in another direction!

:D Sheila

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4003 days

#6 posted 02-12-2011 05:09 PM

Hi Sheila;

I’m thinking we’ll be seeing a new dimension in some of your products.

So, when are you buying your new lathe? I believe that’s coming!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#7 posted 02-12-2011 05:37 PM

How well you are all getting to know me! ;)

We are going to look into lathes at the show. Now . . . how we are going to do lathe work here is going to be another story. It may take some more ‘creative thinking’. Humm . . . . . . .


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View deadheadeddy's profile


2 posts in 2684 days

#8 posted 02-12-2011 05:37 PM

Very nice work kido…

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3060 days

#9 posted 02-12-2011 08:41 PM

The design evolved really well. Good to look back at this kind of progression. I find it re-assuring (that it went well) as well as giving pointers to what else might be tried. More than one person having input can be confusing sometimes but can also lead to novel designs and approaches. I used to mis this from my college days but I find friends here at LJ’s a great help in this respect.

I also like using the half asleep, as I’m just about to drop off, time in bed to let my mind wander over a design. Sometimes less control is better, with ideas.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2944 days

#10 posted 02-12-2011 08:57 PM

Hi, Martyn:
When Bob asked me to modify the design, I had thought that he just wanted the center larger for the tray aspect so it would have a larger holding area. This was a wonderful surprise yesterday when he said he read where I was talking about integrating the scroll saw designs with turning designs and thought I would like to see it. My head immediately started thinking about all the wonderful designing this could open for me.

Now it is a NEED for me to learn how to do lathe work. I plan at least one to two full days of personalized instruction by my friends Jean and her husband Bill when I am in the States. They are wonderful artists and teachers and I will have a full ‘story’ on them in my blog, I am sure. Over ten years ago at a wood show, Bill and I bartered and out of the deal I got a beautiful hand turned pen set from him. I have it here next to me at my desk to this day and I think about the show and he and Jean every time I look at it. It is one of my treasures.

I have had so many great ideas from people here who are willing to share – both business ideas and design ideas. It is a great place to keep in touch with others and learn.

Funny you mention about your time when you ponder your designs, I was up shortly after 4am this morning thinking of things to make. I finally just got up and wrote some things down and have been up ever since, but it was a great thing. Once those wheels start turning, I hate to try to stop them!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View stevebuk's profile


57 posts in 2708 days

#11 posted 02-12-2011 11:24 PM

now thats a great idea, i have made earring stands before and this is a new slant on an old theme, must try it. I must say though sheila, i love the original design too, especially as the tray is only 4 inch wide, candle size. Hmm just have to see what comes up shortly.

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 3042 days

#12 posted 02-12-2011 11:53 PM

Bob Yates design is very good and I like it very much! I would suggest that instead of a dome on the upper part, a bowl designed to hold more jewelery!

Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18286 posts in 3700 days

#13 posted 02-13-2011 02:38 AM

Nice combo!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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