Six Piece Golden Ratio Compulsory #8

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Six Piece Golden Ratio Compulsory #8 with frame

This work is the eighth "Golden Ratio" Compulsory, and the fourth in my Large size. All four Large ones were based on the same design as I took time to work out a variety of problems encountered with making the larger works: cutting design details which demanded to be "fixed" when viewed in a scaled up size, board material, paint and framing problems

As it happened (from my Journal archives)

January 19, 2013

Saturday 6:35 PM - Today was "start work on GR8" day. This morning I tweaked the design before starting, as usual. This afternoon I put in about 3 1/2 hours of cutting - did the very difficult initial cut and one secondary cut of the work. Made two small cutting errors, fixable with wood putty, had a chip-out which will also have to be repaired, but overall things are looking pretty good. Tomorrow I expect to complete the cutting and then do the sanding if there is time. I may get some painting in on Monday. I'll be in Philadelphia for the remainder of the week.

Cutting was delayed because there was a hummingbird in my shop which could not figure how to get out, flying in circles at the ceiling level. Eventually, after coming up with a solution, I took down that panel I normally take out during the dry summer months for ventilation, and within 10 seconds the bird flew out and was immediately greeted by its mate and together they flew off.

Hummingbird resting between frantic fly abouts

Black arrows - modified areas - blue arrows - tweaked areas.

GR8 - cutting today

January 20, 2013

Sunday 6:00 PM - In about five hours of work I completed the cutting and I sanded both sides of one of the six pieces. No major problems, but on average the cutting for GR7 was more precise than for GR8. I'll do more sanding tomorrow, but will be interrupted by other things, it is unlikely I'll get it done.. As I will be leaving for Philadelphia early Tuesday, painting won't begin until next week as I also need to drill the holes for the magnets on the back and address at least four chip-outs prior to painting.

January 21, 2013

Monday 7:18 PM - Been somewhat of a hectic day. Was at the shop twice, got three more GR8 pieces sanded on both sides, have two more to do. Several more chip-outs due to sanding, thus yet more work to be done. Leaving for Philadelphia early tomorrow, will be back late Saturday, will resume work on GR8 on Sunday.

January 29, 2013

Tuesday 9:34 AM - I returned from super cold Philadelphia late Saturday January 26. I've been having a borderline cold the past couple days and hoping to avoid a full blown episode.

Yesterday I went to the shop and after a one week interlude resumed work on GR8. I completed the sanding and drilled the holes for the magnets. Could I possibly be so careless to drill a hole on the front side of a piece? Unfortunately yes. So now I have to become an expert in wood putty. As there are a total of seven chip-outs and the 1/2" drill hole, repairs are the next phase. I'll bring the damaged piece to Rockler's Woodworking to get advice and purchase what is needed.

I have decided that GR8 will be the last large wooden Compulsory. There are many issues, the main ones being unable to cut as precisely as I want to when manipulating such a large heavy piece of wood around the super tiny blade, developing arthritic-like conditions in my fingers mostly due to the laborious hand sanding required and persistent problems with all woods that I've used including chipping, voids and warping. One of the next major artistic projects I have in mind is to take this kind of work to the next level. Ideas are beginning to come to mind, I have a huge learning curve in front of me - writing software, lasers, metal. I won't be abandoning wood.

Meanwhile, during my trip to Philadelphia, I regained possession of a practice Compulsory (made on September 12, 2008 between #16 and #17) from the estate of my deceased stepmother. What was significant about this one was that it was the first one in which I experimented with color transitions.

A practice Compulsory - September 12, 2008 - unsanded prior to painting
I like the "interrupted gear curl" lower right center

January 30, 2013

Wednesday 5:29 PM - I put in about five hours of work on GR8 today and made good progress. I repaired the drill hole in the one piece and painted and glossed all six pieces. Finally the art-gods were with me, I encountered no paint or gloss problems, all six pieces look good. They are currently at the shop drying. There is slight imperfection with the appearance around where I did the drill hole repair despite practicing before I did the production repair - the surface looked and felt incredibly smooth, but the look of the area after the painting does subtly give the area away. I'll have photos of GR8 after the framing work is done.

Drill hole repair prior to painting
I like the composition of this image

I've decided that even though I drilled holes in the backs of the six pieces for the magnets, I'm going to scrap the idea of magnets for this work as I think galleries may have objections to the use of powerful magnets. Instead I'll screw the pieces into a backing plane of an undecided material - will require great precision as I won't have the nice adjustment capacity which the magnets provide.

January 31, 2013

Thursday 6:40 PM - 6 Piece Golden Ratio Compulsory #8 is done! I ended up using a 1/4" sheet of birch plywood as the backing plane. I used bolts with flat heads to attach the board to the frame leaving a flush surface so I could place the pieces smoothly on the board. I screwed in the pieces using wood screws from the other side, four screws per piece. Alas, I did have a problem in that the surface I put the pieces on while screwing them in was not ultra smooth and some small scuff marks are now on the pieces - why I allowed this to happen I don't know - I solved a lot of complex framing problems today, yet overlooked something so elementary to the detriment of the work! Yet another thing to remember next time if there ever is a next time. Still, the work looks impressive and is far better than GR6. I'll have pictures tomorrow as it was dark by the time I finished with the framing. Anyway, I have now solved all the "manufacturing problems" with this kind of work.

Ever since returning from Philadelphia I've been a bit under the weather. I'll have plenty of time to rest in the coming days!

For historical purposes this is a picture of GR5 and GR6, top row and GR7 and GR8 bottom row:

GR5 - Top left was damaged during shipment - made using 1/2" Medium Density Fiberboard - no frame made
GR6 - Top right experience paint wrinkling problems - made using 1/2" 9-ply Baltic Birch - framed using powerful magnets to hold the piece within the frame
GR7 - Bottom left, shipped - framed using powerful magnets to hold the piece within the frame
GR8 - Bottom right, for my own collection - framed using screws to secure the pieces to the frame's backing board

Six Piece Golden Ratio Compulsory #8
John Stokes
Date Completed
January 31, 2013
30" x 18.54" plus frame
Cutting Style
# Pieces
Color Line Cutting

© John S. Stokes III - Puzzle Crafter & Webmaster

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