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Wooden Vases on the Scroll Saw Book $12 Each
Each digital book is available for download immediately after payment.
The books are $12 per edition and contains eight unique patterns each.
Watch the following video to see how easy these beautiful scroll saw vases
are to make. 

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Portrait pattern technique by Charles Dearing.

This portrait pattern design tutorial by Charles Dearing was recently posted in the Community Forum. It shows how Charlie designs is patterns from scratch with pencil and paper. If you are interested in designing this type of pattern and you want the most accurate detail then this is the best approach. Thanks Charlie.

Charles Dearing:

Well, pull up a chair 'cause here it is. You'll slap yourself and maybe me because it's that easy. I spent a lot of time writing out how it's done as best I could so bear with the look of commentary. It's cut and pasted:

"Huh? Layer what? Vector? Click what???" That's right. Making patterns on a computer can be confusing! I had to think of an easier way. I put my two brain cells together and here's what I do.

Find a picture in a magazine, on the internet, scanned on a scanner...anywhere (but respect copyrights). Print that picture out. Get a sheet of carbon paper and a clean sheet of white paper.

Place the printed out picture on top of carbon paper and then the clean sheet. Tape them all down to a flat smooth surface so they won't move. I use painter's tape so it won't tear up the paper.

This is the start of how to make your pattern, but let me explain how I do it.
In making a pattern, you have to know the premise of what makes a pattern cuttable. White is usually representative of what is to be kept in the cutting while gray or black usually represents what is to be cut out. For examples I use here, white is what to keep. Although my patterns are done on paper, they are colored in on a computer for your ease of seeing the areas to be cut out. When YOU make a pattern the way I do, you can put a colored dot or an x in each area to be cut out or just shade it in with a pencil. The eyes appreciate this more and it's less confusing when you glance at the pattern.

One thing we don't want in a pattern is what is referred to as "floaters". Floater is the term given to an area meant to be left in the pattern, yet it isn't connected to anything. All of the white areas have to be connected to other white areas. If they aren't then you'll have a picture that will fall apart when cut. When making a pattern you are basically tracing! It's more complex than mere tracing because you still have to take in mind what makes a pattern work, what makes a pattern appealing and what can destroy a pattern. All the while keeping in mind that you don't want floaters.

There is no law saying that you have to trace exactly what you see. If there are a lot of shadows then it is okay to break them up somewhat by tracing them in sections. In my patterns, shadows or dark colors are what I am tracing. This is open to your judgment on how much shadow you want to cut out while taking in mind that you cant shade with a pattern. It's either there or it isn't. This is unfortunate because I love to make realistic patterns. An example of this is someone with a hat on where the shadow is falling over their eyes and some other facial features. More often than not, I pretty much ignore that shadow so I can bring out the detail of the face.

My preference is to find large pictures because the bigger it is then the more detail you can see. Smaller pictures, even when enlarged can be blurry and only suggest certain details. Sure it may resemble the subject, but if you're going for realism then bigger is better. Keep in mind that no matter how big you make the pattern, you can always take it somewhere to be reduced in size for cutting. If you know you are going to do that then keep that in mind when making your pattern because what looks cuttable at one size may be too small when reduced.

Okay, now for the premise of making a cuttable area. Think of yourself as a bird. You're looking down at a shape from above. Let's say we want that shape to hold water. If there is a break in that shape's wall ...well, then you'll have water leaking out! Make sure the area you want to cut out is complete. Think of a simpler shape like a circle. It has no beginning and no end. It's enclosed. It'll hold water, therefore it can be cut out. Think of someone’s eye. You'll also notice that sometimes there is shadow (or just dark color) all the way around the eye. Well, that would make the colored portion of the eye a dreaded floater! That's one sacrifice we have to make is to not draw completely around that eye or it will fall out . Break it up a little. Trace the shadow/darkness in sections. When there is light shining off of the pupil of the eye, I usually connect that light to the nearest light colored area. You can also make that an intentional floater glued to the backer for more realism. Or put a small dot of white paint there. YOU are in charge of how much detail is in your pattern.

You don't have to trace every single shadow or dark area. If detail intimidates you, then be picky about what you want and don't want. Notice there are still some shadows and darkness not traced? Picking what you want in the pattern and what you don't. Occasionally you will also notice that there are hundreds of little dark spots!! You can basically do a broad area of them as one whole area to be cut out. Suggestion of detail can be just as effective as existing detail.

Detail can scare the heck out of some folks, but fear not my sawdust covered friends! Let's say you know all there is to know about how to follow a line with your blade on the scroll saw. BINGO! That's all you need to do! The ONLY difference between cutting out a simple pattern versus a detailed pattern is time. If you have the time and patience then you can cut any patterns! I am always out to challenge myself and most of that challenge is in my time because I want the finished product to look as realistic as possible when done. This is easier said than done if you have a deadline to get it done.
That's all?Huh Yes, folks, that's all there is to what I do to make a pattern. If after reading this, you still have questions...then feel free to ask.

The Scrollsaw Workshop is primarily supported by donations. If you enjoy this Blog and would like to make a donation please click this link. Your support is greatly appreciated.Make A Donation

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The Scrollsaw Workshop is primarily supported by donations. If you enjoy this Blog and would like to make a donation please click this link. Your support is greatly appreciated.Make A Donation

CATALOG DVD $20+ Shipping

- There are now two update DVDs for 2013 and 2014. The update DVDs contain just the patterns for that year and are available for $7.50 each. Order all three to have a complete collection.
Here is the link to the order page for all the DVDs.

This DVD contains all the patterns from the Scrollsaw Workshop blog from May 12, 2007 to December 2, 2012. There are 1113 pattern books many with multiple patterns. These are the patterns that are available in the free online catalog. This DVD is for those who wish to have all the patterns and don't wish to try and download hundreds of patterns. Use the DVD for club meetings, sharing with friends and customers, Archiving etc.

No returns are accepted. No refunds. Defective DVDs will be replaced. Please watch the instruction videos to understand what you will receive.

PC Instructions Video:

MAC Instructions VIDEO:

Create a Family Heirloom. Download The Jigsaw Puzzle Template Book. Only $7.00

Create one of a kind jig saw puzzles. Imagine how thrilled they will be when you create a hand cut wooden jigsaw puzzle of their photograph. Wedding and anniversary photos, birthday or special occasion.
Watch this video demonstration to see of the templates being used to create a wedding puzzle.

You will be directed to the download page after your purchase for instant download.

This pattern book contains the following size patterns

5x5 25 piece

4x6 24 piece

5x7 35 piece

8x10 80 piece

4x6 96 piece

5x7 140 piece

8x10 320 piece

Important: On the successful payment page click the Return to Merchant button to be directed to the download page. This pattern book contains only the puzzle patterns. No pictures are included. The book is in Adobe pdf format and requires Adobe Reader to view. This is a download only. If you wish to pay by check please include an email address and I will send the file to you. I can not mail a disk or print of the book.

Stencil Printer 1.7

Stencil Printer Instruction Video.

The Scrollsaw Workshop Stencil Printer 1.7 is my latest software for creating patterns. It will create key chain fobs, desk name plates and more. Click the image above to download the latest version. It is free to use donationware.

Scroll Saw Pattern Printer update 1.1

Scroll Saw Pattern Printer update 1.1
Download the Free Scroll Saw Pattern Printer Version 1.1. Create name patterns in seconds.
Download Version 1.1
Please consider a $5 donation for The Scroll Saw Pattern Printer v1.1.

Scroll Saw Keychain Pattern Maker

Use the Scroll Saw Keychain Maker to start a small keychain business. Build yourself a nice display and make up severl keychains with common names. Sell at craft shows, on Ebay or at work. Everyone needs a keychain. Take custom orders. Heck just make them and give them away as gifts. It's all made easy with the Scroll Saw Keychain Maker. Watch the video demonstration then download the file below and get started with the fun.
The following link will start the download process. After the file download is complete just click the setup file and the program will be installed. Please consider a $5 donation for the program.

Download the Oval Keychain Pattern Maker.

Enjoy designing and printing these great personalized key chains. Give them as gifts, make them for fun or sell them at craft shows. It's easy, just watch the video demo then download and install the program. You will be designing these fun projects in minutes.
Download the Free Oval Key Chain Pattern Maker. Create Oval key chain patterns in seconds.
Download Version .9a
Please consider a $5 donation for The Oval Key Chain Pattern Maker.

T-Shirts and More.

T-Shirts and More.
Show your love for the hobby and support the Scrollsaw Workshop. Safe and secure order fullfilled by CafePress. Take a look. You are sure to find something you like. CLICK THE IMAGE to visit the store.

The Lifter

Papa's Custom Patterns.

Sheila Landry Designs

Sue Mey Scroll saw artist

Sue Mey Scroll saw artist
Make sure you visit my good friend Sue. She is one of the finest scroll saw pattern designers in the world today. .

Philip Lowndes Noah's Arc Pattern Available. Watch the video below.

This video is from Philip Lowndes. He is the designer of this beautiful Noah's Arc puzzle pattern. If you would like the pattern follow the link below.
Buy This Wonderful Heirloom Puzzle Pattern

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Think Safety

Remember to keep the safety of yourself and others in your work shop in your thoughts at all times. Always wear eye and ear protection. Follow all the manufactures warnings that came with your power tools. If I demonstrate something on this web site that you don't feel is safe, don't do it. Your safety is your responsibility. Fingers are handy things, try to keep all of them.
The Scrollsaw Workshop Blog is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Scroll Saw Woodworking and Crafts Magazine formerly (Scroll Saw Workshop Magazine) or it's publisher Fox Chapel Publishing.

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