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Solstice Wall – Circles

January 07, 2024

By: Lee LeFever

I write books and run a company called Common Craft. I recently moved from Seattle to a rural island. Here, I write about online business, book publishing, modern home construction, and occasionally, dumb jokes.

This article was published as an issue of my newsletter Ready for Rain

One design idea has stood the test of time. I always liked the idea of using circles that balance the linear lines and also symbolize the sun. Late in the process we agreed on the final design and I continue to feel it’s right. Here’s a sketch I made while planning.

Adding circles increased the difficulty factor. We now needed to map perfect circles within the radiating lines of the rays. This includes cutting each ray to match the curve of the circle’s line.

To make it work, I needed to think about the size of the circles and then draw them on the panels on the floor. The easiest way to create the circles is using a string and chalk. I tied the string to a thumbtack and placed it in the center of the circle. Then I stretched the string out the edge of the circle and drew the circumference of the circle.

When I was a kid, my brother David taught me this method for making skateboard ramps. The curve created by the string creates a nice transition between horizontal and vertical. Here’s a photo of David and friends building a ramp in the 70s.

Here’s a short time lapse video of the process:

I’m sharing this process on social media. Follow along!

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On most Tuesdays, I share a story from my life on Orcas Island and a recommendation for something I love. I'm interested in how to design work and home for lifestyle, livability, and fluffy dogs. Learn more.

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