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Golden Ratio


After the last entry, (Night Terrors and Flying Things in the Dark), I thought I might make a bit of a departure away from birds for just a bit, and touch upon a bedrock design consideration -- the 'Golden Ratio'. (Truth be told, if you have any interest in bird photography, bird carving, bird paintings, etc, this is all still valuable, so you might want to read on anyway.)

So what is the Golden Ratio? Well, it's arguably the the most comfortable ratio of image objects (typically height v. width) for the human eye. That ratio is usually about 1.6:1. Just look at your average book... if you multiply the bottom width by about 1.6, you'll end up with the page height. (To really get wonky, you make the ratio of the short element compared to the long element equal that of the ratio of the long element to the totality of the design itself, which is what I did below.) So, anywho... I faced that dilemma in this Shaker clock design...

math resized_2011-09-20_110918.JPG

Yeah... If Algebra ain't your thing, the numbers above probably don't mean too much; but the bottom line is that the following is true: 'short is to long as long is to total.' The eye can feel the balance as it slides down from the clock face to the pendulum bob and lands squarely on the bottom as if it were a perfect funnel.

As it looks so far (and I fuss with the details of the door...)

face in perspective resized_IMG_3191.JPG

This may sound esoteric and unrelated to birds, but it isn't. There's a reason why we're drawn to birds and carvings and all the rest -- the proportions are just right. Do this... open up your 'Sibley Guide to Birds' to any page. Look at the layout and balance... Say no more...

See you by those harmonic feeders...


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