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Will It be the End of Pattern Magazines?

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  • Will It be the End of Pattern Magazines?

    I've proposed this question on another forum, so I apologize if there is some how have read it before, however, this forum is one of the best so I wanted to ask it here as well.

    Recently there has been a lot of material in the forums and in the scrolling magazines regarding pattern design. Magazines are running how-to articles on pattern design, and there are ample tutorials on the forums and scroller sites dealing with various software programs to assist in the design process.

    Are the magazines in effect, "killing themselves" when they run articles on how to design patterns? Why would you continue to purchase a magazine containing mostly patterns if there are so many other ways to get your patterns? Do you consider yourself capable of designing the patterns, (whether you have the skill, or the time etc.)

    What makes you WANT the magazine if the patterns are available elsewhere?

    Just something that came to mind while cutting a new design today...

    Take care

  • #2
    Hi Toni,

    Personally, I have tried a couple times to come up with my own pattern. I have read hints and tips and tutorials regarding pattern designing. Basically, just like scrolling, I believe pattern designing is an art in itself. Even if I had the knack for designing patterns, I would rather spend my time scrolling. I spend too much time at the computer the way it is. If there is a specific pattern I can not find, then I may spend the time trying to design my own if I had the knack but I would rather somebody else provided the pattern so all I had to do was print it and scroll it. Unless somebody is extremely talented and experienced, I think they could spend as much time designing the pattern as cutting it. To me, the satisfaction really comes after I remove the pattern from my wood and actually see the end product of my labors.

    I have also come to the conclusion that many pattern designers out there probably don't scroll. You can tell from some of the free patterns. This is what they enjoy though so if they design an exceptional pattern occasionally, I appreciate it. Each to his own.

    Making sawdust with a Dremel 1680.


    • #3

      Is see the same thing in maybe a little different way. Yes there are all kinds of places that have tutorials on making patterns now. But the biggest share of these are making a pattern from an existing picture. I agree that it allows people to maniuplate the patterns a little and get something that is cuttable. But they mostly deal with having to have the picture or a pattern to start working from. Many times the final pattern are in jpeg or bmp format which leaves things a little jagged or fuzzy.

      I see it getting easier with programs like Coyote that will turn a picture or existing drawing into a pattern. But if there is not a picture to start with of the project you are lost. This is one of the reasons it is getting harder to find good quality or large pictures of projects in catalogs or on the web anymore. But I have not seen many programs that make it easy to draw something like the dome clock, Black Forest type clocks, boxes, wall shelves, and many other designs.

      Many of the patterns in the magazines have patterns that are drawn in fine line, many times vector format drawings. The magazines also have new patterns and ideas that have not been done before. In other words brand new pictures or patterns. And many of the patterns in magazines are not of the what we call portrait sytle patterns. I see designers with new never been done before ideas to still make and sell patterns, and supply the magazines with new patterns. I see the designers that just change the form of an existing pattern or picture to dwindle, because programs are making it easier for anyone to do that themselves.
      Rick Hutcheson


      • #4
        Most scrollers buy magazines for patterns, some for technique.
        I have literally tens of thousands of patterns at home, yet I still buy.

        Most of the projects I do are for special people, each with their own tastes. I really don't cut things out to sell. There are times when I just can not find that special pattern so then I make my own. ( maybe I should catalogue them better )
        The more pattern makers there are out there the more patterns magazines have to sell.

        Each person who makes a pattern is an artist in their own way.
        Each person lends a different flavour to the craft.

        There will always be scrollers and pattern makers with varying levels of ability.
        The real challenge for publishers will be striking a balance between the two art forms.
        Magazines should cater to the hobby as a whole not to just one aspect. This is one of the reasons I do not mind advertising content in a magazine. How else will I learn about new developments and tools.
        We must think back to Victorian times where someone would cut a silhouette out of a piece of wood with a hand frame. I wonder how many people did not start the hobby because they couldn't do a pattern.

        The more pattern makers there are, the more scrolling choices we have. I like the concept, and hope the magazines continue with both sides of this topic.
        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


        • #5
          I don't think magazine's are putting themself out of a job. I look for patterns all the time for something new to cut. I don't have the skills to make my own patterns so I would be lost with out them. If they stop having magazines with patterns then I would loose out. Everyone one has their skills and that's why we have magazine with patterns so those who have the skills can share it with others.



          • #6
            Toni, I agree with what both Carl and Eric said, I would be lost without the pattern makers. I think it takes a great imagination to come up with the patterns, I don't have a great imagination. I do have the ability to change the instructions on making a project to fit my style of woodworking, but to come up with all those little lines in a fretwork, I think not. When I try using one of the many draw programs out there, I say why am I wasting my time, when the pattern I want is probably out there already and all I have to do is go find it. Carl said when he needs a special project for someone, and he can't find a suitable pattern he designs his own, well most of the stuff I've made is because I seen a pattern and said "Oh so and so would love that I think I'll make it for them".
            Gosh does any of this make sense. Bottom line for me, I don't think the magazines are hurting themselves, there will always be pattern makers, there will always be scrollers and the two will meet in the magazine.
            Great question


            • #7
              Funny that you mention it...

              I'm heading to the shop now to work on a project out of the Ultimate Scrolling Pattern Collection...
              I'll be doing the fish design by Ellen's going to look nice in the guess bath that my wife is redecorating this weekend..


     I know why I don't do fret work..
              my saw dosen't like blades smaller than a #5..I was able to glue the first piece back in but the second piece did the project much for doing the project in 1/4 poplar...
              Last edited by Trout; 07-22-2006, 06:44 PM.
              Hawk G-4 Jetcraft
              Fish are food, not friends!


              • #8
                My two cents, two different skills, making and cutting patterns.
                Some folks have many skills some have a few, all skills are needed

                While i made my little christmas tree, i just ordered 6 pattern books from you folks (the ones that are 60% off of course... )

                If no one buys any patterns from anybody,mabey the craft/art needs to be promoted to the public better. I picked up the scroll saw to use with my pen turning, to make inlays etc. cant say thats true anymore, this is fun.

                In the last half dozen years i never ran into anything to do with scroll sawing other than in the wood working store or magazine. Never knew this community was around. Dont think Joe and Jane public is really aware of this. Trying to think of the art studios, nick nack places ive been in, dont think any had scroll saw projects.

                Mabey we can get Norm on the new yankee workshop to use a scroll saw for something, he has just about every tool know to mankind.

                If Norm does it then the rest of the world will follow.............pete
                Pete Ripaldi

                "Insert Clever Tag Line Here..."


                • #9
                  There are lots of people who don't want to mess with making their own patterns, no matter how many articles explain the process.
                  Also, as someone already mentioned, the "design your own pattern" books and articles usually deal with making "picture style" patterns from photos. I don't like and don't do potrait patterns. Apart from Christmas decorations, I like things with some use to them, like boxes, baskets, shelves, stamp dispensers etc. etc.
                  I haven't seen many books/articles on how to design most of those items and besides, one has to have the idea first. Not everybody is creative.
                  So, no, I don't think the magazines are putting themselves out of business. In fact, I wish there were more scrolling magazines (or that Scroll Saw Workshop published more than just four issues per year :^)



                  • #10
                    Another great thread here, and many good points have been made by everyone. And it looks by and large thus far the magazines have nothing to worry about.
                    I know that I enjoy every magazine and catalog that finds it's way into my mailbox, and I too find myself wishing there were more. Both issue's and # of publications.
                    As Carl stated also, the magazines provide info on new developments and tools as well as introducing new designers and ideas. And now aiding those who want to develop or improve their own designing capabilities. It seems to me everyone wins.
                    I feel they are doing what they should be doing helping to promote this wonderful hobby of scroll sawing!

                    Now lets all go make some sawdust!

                    DeWalt 788

                    aut viam inveniam aut faciam

                    God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....


                    • #11
                      Carl, Dale - Dictionary Alert!

                      Well said, Gudrun !

                      Although I design my own patterns by and large, it's nice to be able to look to magazines for inspiration. Moreover, there are some patterns that I'm simply not capable of designing because my creative juices don't flow in all directions. I can produce segmentation patterns with sweeping blocks of color and I've even been known to knock out the odd portrait or two. However, I don't have an eye for patterns such as those gorgeous geometric shapes Pedro designs, or the wonderfully Victorian curlicues that Evie cuts so magnificently. I enjoy variety in my scrolling so if I want to produce something along those lines I have to resort to commercially produced patterns, and magazines are probably the best sources for them.

                      Of course, we should all be berating Carter Johnson for proselytising his fantastic free-hand jigsaws! If we all followed his example, then the magazines would struggle. Thank goodness so few of us are as gifted as Carter.

                      Can I also make a point on behalf of the international community? Scrolling appears to be quite a common occupation in the Americas but it's less so in Britain and (I suspect) other countries. Having access to SSW gives me a sense of fellowship that helps to dispel any isolation I might feel.

                      There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                      (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


                      • #12
                        I love you Gill, but please add me to that dictinary list!


                        DeWalt 788

                        aut viam inveniam aut faciam

                        God gives us only what we can handle.. Apparently God thinks I am one tough cookie.....


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ozarkhillbilly
                          I love you Gill, but please add me to that dictinary list!

                          Fair enough . But you've got to admit it's a good word for a Saturday night, and it certainly identifies those who try to say it whilst wearing ill-fitted dentures .

                          Incidentally, Bill, I hope you don't think I was ignoring your valuable insights in my previous contribution - it would appear that our posts crossed.

                          There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                          (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


                          • #14
                            Gill you always make me smile, occasionally you make me look for my dictionary.
                            Lexicology must be another one of your hobbies.
                            Perhaps you can get a good font and agglutinate the two.

                            I saw a sign today in a store that I thought would make a good plaque
                            Our Credit Manager is Helen Waite
                            If you want credit
                            go to Helen Waite

                            Keep it up Gill it keeps us on our toes
                            CAЯL HIRD-RUTTEЯ
                            "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
                            Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


                            • #15
                              yup, Gill and those ginormous words!!! sheesh!
                              Dale w/ yella saws


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