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Passing time…

I have enjoyed using Affinity Designer and it’s sister products Affinity Photo and the beta Affinity Publisher, but the lack of a trace function in Designer is a serious drawback.  Compared to CorelDraw (£599) or the endless cost (and irritation) of Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer (£50) is fantastic value for money and there are no extras or pressure to use on-line ‘services’.  So, why is it taking the developers at Serif EU such a long time to add trace?

Designer was launched almost five years ago and whilst Serif have never specifically promised to have a trace function users have always wanted it, and eventually gone elsewhere – Illustrator or CorelDraw.  Inkscape (freeware) manages a trace function but Inkscape can be clunky and it’s interface a little daunting.  The power of current computers is such that the trace function should be straightforward.  Come on Serif!

A little work to correct some errors and it is ready.

Paddle craft, self-assembly toy, 3mm laser-cut plywood, approx 20cm x 10cm.

 

 

 

 

This is the rear paddle version, which proved easier to design and seems to be well received.  On sale soon.

Once in a while I come across work that inspires me to keep trying, keep working at my art.  I have been reading, “In the Spirit of Crazy Horse”, by the great American author Peter Matthiessen which tells the story of Leonard Peltier and the FBI’s 1970s and ongoing war on the American Indian Movement.  The book was first published in 1983 then suppressed by FBI-sponsored lawsuits for several years.  Leonard Peltier is still in prison, recognised around the world as a political prisoner, framed by the FBI and the US judicial system.

leonard-peltier-painting-1

Leonard Peltier’s art can be found easily enough on the web, his story continues. The FBI continue to try and suppress his art.

Still toiling over another model/toy boat.  Laser cutting is a great way to make things and the precision available constantly tempts me to make more complex designs.  But complex is not necessarily the way to go, when what I am looking for is play value, simple clean lines and ease of assembly.  paddle drawing for web

This (detail) drawing in Affinity Designer is getting quite complicated, hopefully the final design will reflect the ideas above, rather than any underlying complexity.  I had a trip down memory lane trying to measure the length of an arc. Finding π on the keyboard was not as straightforward as it should be  – Alt 227  won’t work for me, I don’t know why.

Many years ago my father taught me to use a fretsaw and then a treadle fretsaw; I was so proud to make cut-out models and shapes, happy to spend cool evenings in our tiny kitchen sawing, sanding and gluing with a hot, smelly glue pot and a sticky brush. treadle fret Dad made lots of wooden toys – forts, garages, vehicles &c., often working from plans in Hobbies magazine.  He invariably gave them away.  I think he would have loved the laser cutter.

I am using Affinity Designer to create another plywood model boat – the world needs more – and I have nothing bad to say about this £50 app. But it cannot rival the likes of Autocad (more than 10 times the price). One thing I want to do is measure irregular objects on-screen and that is proving tricky. flex_

In the physical world the flexible curve is invaluable but is there one for Windows? It doesn’t appear so, only straight line rulers are available. So, print out the shape, check the printout size matches that on screen, then measure with the flexible curve.  There must be a better way?

Plywood Model Helicopter

Plywood Helicopter construction toy, new, 20cm x 10cm (8"x4"), eco-friendly material, moving rotors and working winch. May be assembled with or without pva glue (supplied). Ideal gift for girls and boys. May be painted with acrylic paints (not included). Instructions supplied. Original model/toy, designed in Bristol, UK, by MixPly, laser-cut by Basically Wooden, Devon. Free UK postage with Royal Mail 2nd Class, £3 postage outside the UK. See blog for other models.

£11.95

I went to Ross-on-Wye yesterday  where my son Luke has a lovely organic food shop, Field Fayre

Field Fayre
18-19 Broad St, Ross-on-Wye HR9 7EA

 

The town has started having a craft market on Saturdays; Field Fayre has some homemade items and I thought we might sell some of the MixPly models.  That did happen but the day was slow regarding sales.  But it was most enjoyable sitting in the Spring sunshine. I made some posters and a banner for the stall.

Four boats (more soon) and one helicopter, lots of fun assembling these toys, lots of fun playing with them.  Available here, etsy and ebay for just £12 each kit including postage, they are ideal presents for girls and boys.