Designs and such

Posted in Tips & Tricks on August 21st, 2008 by The Cyberwolfe

There have been a couple of comments recently asking about where I get my design ideas and whether or not I will be publishing patterns. Honestly, whatever I didn’t pull out of my own head was more than likely either copied off of something I had seen at an SCA event or something I found on the Internet.

I’ve seen some cool ideas for carving on tattoo websites, but I always make sure that the images I base my designs on are not copyrighted in any way. In this day and age, you gotta be real careful about what you copy, even if you don’t plan on selling it. The last thing I want is for some jackass lawyer to come ’round with a stack of paper in his hand because my design looks like his client’s.

Now, as for whether I will publish or give away my patterns and designs, allow me to put on my Asshole Hat for a second here. The entire point of doing this sort of thing is to be creative and enjoy yourself. I will never publish complete designs with instructions and measurements and such, because I want you to use the grey matter between your ears. If all you are looking for is instructions on pounding out some crap to sell or give away or whatever, go somewhere else. The world is full of knock-offs, and I would much prefer you take enough pride in your work to screw around with it until you think it looks good and would be happy to give it to a friend and have them show it off ’round the campfire.

There has been more than one occasion where I have taken a half-hour to carefully replace a screwed up rivet because i couldn’t bear to look at it. Would you?

As an example of this, I was at an event last year and discovered I had left my hat at home in July, and needed to get some shade on my head quick. I wandered over to a haberdasher’s and selected a wide-brimmed number with one side folded up. Now, it was all leather, but the guy had slammed it out on a commercial-grade machine, had run over his own seams partway instead of matching them up, and the hat generally had this “half-assed” feeling to it, like the maker was just trying to push out some stock for his booth.

Unfortunately, the guy got me talking and I forgot to ask how much it was until he was halfway through sizing it for me. He wanted $125 for this thing. The leather itself cost maybe $15, and the skull pinning the side up another $3, so he basically wanted $112 for the _maybe_ two hours he spent building and fitting it. If he hadn’t sized it for me I would have turned and left – as it was, I bought the damn thing and felt like an idiot for it.

So. The point here is that if this is the kind of work you plan on doing, get the hell off my website.

If, however, you plan on taking pride in your work, giving attention to the details and making things for friends and family that you will be proud to have them fuss over, well, you my friend are welcome here. But I still want you to think! Be creative! Use my work as an example of what can be done, but don’t blindly copy it for yourself. (Unless, of course, I have managed to perfect something beyond any hope of improvement. Then you may copy. snerk)

In the end, it all comes down to what you want other people to think of your work. Are you just goofing around in the garage, or do you want to make something to remember? Do you want your projects to get tossed aside after a year or two, or do you want your grandkids to ooh and ahh when you tell ’em you made it?

Me? I want the grandkids to ooh and ahh.