The designing of the next problem, the paper-knife, is similar to that of the watch-fob, and gives further practice in the rules and principles of design already familiar. The added feature of raising the center to give stiffness and strength to the knife gives further emphasis to the rule that construction and utility should dominate.
The next problem, the hat-pin, gives us further limitations and an opportunity to demonstrate the principles of radiation and four part symmetry which may be presented in this way: explain that a hat-pin design is best which has no up or down, and has the point of interest in the center with the design radiating from that center. Radiation also tends to make a design more united. The principle of radiation may be illustrated to the students by the use of two mirrors used in this manner: Draw a one-fourth section of the design, and on the quarter lines place the two mirrors meeting at the center, and the design will be mirrored entire. There is a special advantage in the use of the mirrors as they obviate the necessity of drawing the entire design to see whether the design is pleasing or not. If the design is pleasing the paper can be folded on the section lines and rubbed over on to the other sides, saving time and labor and giving the students more inducement to draw more and varied designs.
Passing over the other problems, the tie-pin, belt-pin, cuff-links, and desk-pad corners, which give further practice in the rules and principles involved in the fob and paper-knife, also the blotter, which gives more practice in radiation and in two- and four-part symmetry, we come to the problem of designing the book-ends. Here we can show the points of force and growth of the design, and the need of stability in the design at the bottom to avoid the appearance of top heaviness.
In the candlestick is brought out the general rule that the height should seldom be more than three times the diameter of the base. To give practice in good proportion draw on the blackboard a candle socket and pillar; then draw a base that is plainly too wide, and one that is too small, gradually working out two limits of size, one that is large, but would not do if it were larger, another that is small, but would not do if it were smaller. Then you have a choice anywhere between these two limits. In this way is brought out the innate sense of good proportion that nearly every person has if he can be brought to realize it, also the absolute necessity for considering the method of construction, and the advantage obtained by using any of the characteristic forms of construction as a feature of the design.
Passing over the problem of the lantern, which gives further practice in the principles involved in the candlestick, we now have a problem in line and form in the designing and making of a small simple bowl. One method in teaching the proportion of curves is to draw on the board a few curves and show that the curve that starts with a long sweep and changes near the end to a sharp curve is the best. Lines which are too even in their curvature never have character or strength. Those that start nearly straight and end in a sharp curve show life and spirit. There should also be beauty of proportion between the long and the short curve; as a general rule the sharp curve should take the smallest part of the line and the long curve should be from three to seven times as long. In the bowl form, it is usually best when the proportion of the short curve to the long curve is one to three; that is, the short one-third and the long curve two-thirds of the entire line. We also have to consider, and are limited by, the tools used in this first problem in "beating up" or "raising" a form. All broken interrupted lines are to be avoided and we must strive for a smooth, graceful bowl form of good proportion. This problem may be made more interesting by designing a border to be etched near the top edge of the bowl.
The next problem is that of the round plate, from 6" to 10" in diameter. To obtain the proportion of the border, draw on the blackboard a circle representing the diameter of the plate, then draw a border that is evidently too narrow, then one that is too wide, and gradually establish limits in the same way that we did in the candlestick base. It will be found, however, that the best proportion will be obtained when the border is from one-fifth to one-seventh of the diameter of the plate.
Now we may design a decorative pattern to be etched on the border. There are five possible ways in which this may be designed : First, the design units radiating from the center outward; Second, radiating from the rim towards the center; Third, moving around the border, but with the attention centered at the outer edge; Fourth, moving around the border, but with attention centered at the inner edge; Fifth, moving around the border with the center of attention equally divided between the inner and the outer edge. In designs which move around the border it is best to have them move or grow to the right. The mirrors are of great help to the student on this problem, as it is necessary to draw only one section, by placing the mirrors on the section lines meeting in the center the entire design will be reflected in the mirrors.
The next problem is that of the nut-bowl, which gives further practice in line and form, as in the small bowl, with additional design problem of making pleasing vertical divisions. These will be carried out by "crimping," "fluting," or "paneling." Draw on the board a circle representing the diameter of the bowl and divide it into a pleasing number of sections; five, six, or seven divisions will be found the most satisfactory.
In this necessarily brief statement it is impossible to give even a general review of the numerous definite rules and principles of design applied to metalwork. It is simply an effort to show in a general way a method whereby design may be correlated with metalwork in eighth grade and first and second year high school classes, working under regular school conditions where a definite method of procedure must be pointed out to the student to secure the desired result.