Tangent No. 1 (sketch)

Tangent No. 1 (sketch) by H. L. Birdsong
Tangent No. 1 (sketch), a photo by H. L. Birdsong on Flickr.

This sketch is part of my exploration of the relationship I see between geometry and motifs from folk tales (and, to a lesser extent, mythology). I transferred this drawing onto a grounded copper plate so that I could create an etching of it.

I took the time to re-create the geometry construction, using a ruler and compass, directly on the grounded copper plate. I’ve had some problems using these drafting tools on copper: the ruler edges skid through the ground, the metal needle that’s supposed to anchor my compass skips around on the surface of the copper. My first etching of a geometry construction had to be heavily re-worked to remove areas of scratches and foul biting. It looked so terrible on an otherwise clean print.

Since then, I’ve come up with a few tricks to compensate for those problems. Which is great, because now my main problem is relearning a bunch of math, so that I can create mathematically accurate and meaningful constructions. Have I mentioned that math was never my strong subject in school?

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