Saturday, June 01, 2013

Designing Texture Plates for Metal Clay from Original Drawings

I'm working on a custom order for some bird themed jewelry. I love working with customers to make their jewelry personal and one-of-a-kind. I'm waiting on feedback for the drawing shown here.

Since I've had some inquiries about how I convert my original drawings into texture plates, I thought I'd detail the process as I work it through here.

First I started with a request for two canaries. I did a Google image search and settled on this photograph as a basis for my design.

three red(!) canaries

Working freehand, I did a rough sketch of the rightmost two birds, but tracing would be an easier option.

sketch of two canaries

This sketch was then reduced on the copier to fit inside a roughly two inch diameter circle to work on the fill pattern and background. 

canaries filled with pattern

Once I had a fill pattern that felt acceptable, I made multiple copies and tried different patterns for the background, finally settling on this one with the canary names.

background for canaries

The rough design was then scanned into the computer and cleaned up in Photoshop, changing everything to nice crisp black and white and removing the rough circle where I traced around a roll of tape.

circle removed from canary sketch

Then I copied out the circular area and set it into a dark background for the final design. 

final canary texture 

Once modified and finally approved, I'll invert the black/white to get the high/low right for the final texture plate.