Alex sketched several original designs and ideas for us to choose from. And when we chose, he made a larger image that William then scanned. Once the image is in the computer, William models the dragon as a 3D model, using MudBox, 3DSMax, and MeshMixer. The challenge is that every form, line, and curve that makes the drawing a whole, has to be broken down into shapes, then re-assembled in a way the computer, then the router can interpret three dimensionally. William went through the same process when he designed and rendered the Prancing Pony sign.
The dragon's head is bass wood, which is lovely to work with. It's not too grainy, no big knots, and comes out fairly smooth, even before sanding. The wood is affixed to a base, and then accurately centered on the router's table. The drill is relatively fast moving, and it's critical for the wood to be stable. When the carving was done, Geoff smoothed out some of the wood threads and bits, while the dragon was still on the base. A sandwich piece was cut on the router, and a we will make a second face for the dragon, so that the head will be seen from left and right. Painting the head will be the final step. Maker Faire San Diego is about one week away, and we still have lots to do to be ready. If necessary, painting a bass wood dragon head will be one of the Make exhibits we demonstrate at the Faire!