Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pantographyville Next Stop

OK! I needed a break from the Gimp anyway. Well, the pantograph works like a champ. It required a bit of tinkering to get it and the image platform at the block-face level required for block imprinting, got it!

The rig took up allot of room on the table, cause it`s temporary I didn`t cut anything. I found stuff that added up to block-face and either clamped it or set rocks on it to keep it from sliding (the forces involved weren`t much).

The first experiment was with fonts for arithmetic blocks. They were sooo crisp, but tended to use the room allowed for figure stretching to fill the space less interestingly than hand drawn ones. This pointed out how highly accurate aspect-ratio was in the image transfers, so-what,eh?

On the first foray into Pantographyville our block spot-lights the genius of Walt Kelly and V T Hamlin particularly their strips "POGO" and "ALLEY OPP".

The force of the weight (usually my cell phone) on the pencil arm of the pantograph sometimes rolled the block out of the stage-blocks when working close to the edge. Even that small of a weight makes a tweakable pencil image of amazing accuracy. Notice,it`s a little tough picking out that left Oop face on Hamlin-Kelly-blocko2. Cause I`m erasing that crap. Well, I am. The other faces are looking cool enough to invest a burn in to see if they`re possible. Even with good hints from the pantograph, and a simple looking scene, I couldn't`t see any hint-o-Hamlin except the trippy bell-bottom leg. Good thing wood erases good .

Finding the small scenes that will burn and still reveal at least a hint of the artist being remembered is a weird and picky direction to go, but if it works it could open up a cool vein-o-blocks. I want to see Degas and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec blocks, how about Henri Rousseau, or Edward Gorey, gnahhh, gnahhh, gnahhh!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Arithmechristmas boy I like sayin that

The fraction block was`t looking as good as I wanted so I did another one. In case anybody`s counting, yeah yer being shorted one Indian`s O Tha West block. Instead here`s a tease fom the Olmec (aprox. 1400BCE to 400BCE) block so far it`s still in pencil, but it`s fun pencil.

This post includes the two cube root blocks, the two fraction blocks and the first of two varios tribes indian blocks. Unfortunatly I didn`t get all the indian tribes named on their style faces. The research I did was image oriented, tilted at first toward diversity, then more toward a celebration of their cultural richness. I did this research at the public library, and unfortunatly didn`t get tribal origins pinned down on the first few faces. I hope to remedy this eventually, and apologize if I stepped on any religios toes, as I am only a student of these cultures ( and a rookie at that).

On the mass production front, I`ve begun experiments with a pantograph.

It`s built outta yard-sticks from homedepot ($.61 each, took 3) from somewhat incomplete plans and partial instructions found on the web. In the first tests it produced much better reductions than enlargements, but so far I haven`t gotten it to mark on a block face yet. Hey, gimmie a minute, I`ll provide the links eventually (such as they are).

Monday, December 14, 2009

R0 H0 H02

Now see, there it is again. I wanted the headline to read Ro Ho Ho squared but I couldn`t even sneak up on it with a cut, paste, back door like (mañana) cut and pasted from Wictionary to get tha ~ to get over the n. Anyway I finally got the square root blocks done and three Roman numeral blocks. I even did tha-one with the XII and the IIX adajacent to each other, it felt pretty dumd though.

The plan for the next addition to the set is the two cube root blocks and the fraction block. This leaves room for the next two blocks in "The West" series to fill our the next five eh?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Ho Ho Ow, Damn that`s Hot!

Fa la la la hah! Props to Santa, man with all the soot, smoke, and hot ceramic
pipe, I couldn`t even get in the chimney, much less down it. Just as well, I guess, my best efforts at coming up with the 4 or 5 sets of arithmetic blocks I wanted to share with my favorite tiny humans are still well beyond my reach. When Niko first saw the arithmetic blocks he wanted to share them with Chloe and Madison`s cousins, but none of us has been successful making the shift into mass production necessary for this to happen.

But hey, tis the season, there is still hope for the hard-headed. I`m still working on the peels of the original Chloe/Madison set with a few picture blocks tossed in for spice. Today`s installment includes the odd, even, prime, the fibonacci, and the first of the three blocks in "The West" series.

The patterns seem to be getting better looking to me, but there`s way too many to go for me to go back and tweak up the first few yet. Well drag out yer round pointed scissors and yer glue stik. Set up the tv-tray table and go to cuttin anda foldin while watchin re-runs (you don`t need to watch em so close). Good luck, hope the picture matched tabs hide yer seams, they worked pretty well on the test block (da fish). Well, I got my five blocks to photograph and assemble into today`s peels, mañana.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Arithmachristmas

Ho ho ho, merry arithmechristmas. Well they`re finally here, the first patterns for the Blocklogic arithmetic blocks. They were slow coming and won`t be all that fast in unfurling. Originally the plan was to make a plan and a list of the block-set but instead I tried to concentrate on making a few sets of the blocks, ouy! Whata pain in the butt. The one at a time cutting with a band-saw improved the quality, but even a belt sander and a jig to hold 16 blocks at a time didn`t make it fast. Hand mortissing, free hand lettering, multiple fonts, and wood burning the letters made each block take about two anda half hours.

Much as I wanna see these in play this version may not be very common. The printer version should take about 10 minutes apiece to print cut fold and glue. Making the first 5 patterns, of a set of 21 with some picture blocks to round up to 27 (to fit inna cube), took me about an hour each with photoshop.These were slow but I think they`re gonna make good arithmechrismas ornaments so I`ll still continue to crank em out. This will also be the plan for the set. Somewhere in a later post I may post definitions of the symbols, maybe not.
Here`s the link to the list on wikipedia that was the source of most of my favorites.

The set being mapped is the only set so far and are all on home-made blocks.
So far my research has yielded a number of manufacturers of blank blocks. , but I haven`t tried any of them yet.