From design to… design.

Last time, I talked about the concept stage of a large chandelier project. The next step was to meet with the client and actually see the space. They are remodeling their dining room, and they are hoping for this chandelier to be a central component to it. We agreed upon some parameters for the design and I set to work. Notably, I had to adjust my design to fit two adjacent corners rather than opposite corners.

Because of the complexity of the space, I had difficulty at first drawing a design. From some more detailed concept sketches, I already had a good idea of what the arms of this chandelier would look like, but the interweaving component was a bit much. I decided to make a scale model from small round stock I had in the shop. It was really helpful in getting to understand the physical space and the constraints I was likely to run into.

The room you see here is open in the back, leading to a living room. There are stairs directly under the left-side chandelier. For reference, the left hub is attached to an overhang measuring 10″. In this model, it is about ~25mm, because I did the whole thing in metric for ease of converting on a 1:10 scale. Further details of the left and right sides are below.

A note about metric versus imperial: I try to work in metric if I can. I prefer it for ease of calculation — there are no 12-3/4 that interact with 7-5/32. I don’t have to convert between decimal, fractional, and gauges. It’s all whole numbers divisible by 10. Unfortunately, constraints of materials in the States require me to switch back to the imperial system for purposes of buying stock and a few other calculations, because that’s what people use here. My recommendation to you is to work in metric as much as possible — it’s much easier to think it whole numbers like that. Tell your friends to use metric and soon enough, measuring things will actually make sense!

From these models, I was able to draw the full design with many of the visual details.

I think it came out pretty good. Those of you with actual drafting experience might be looking at this skeptically. I’ve taken one drawing class (figure drawing) in my life, so everything you see here is self taught. It’s definite progress from this time last year.

You can tell I’ve traveled a bit from the original concept drawing (see last post). I’ve definitely refined the concept and chosen a specific path — there were a bunch of options and different ways the concept could go, but I had to pick one that I could actually make with the tools I have access to and knowledge to use. The process is always an interesting one. There were a number of generations of sketches, especially for the hubs, before I managed to settle on something that I was happy drawing. I’m certainly going to keep the concept around to use it for something else in the future!

Next up, what happens when the client says, “Yes.”

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