Contrary to what you learned in 7th grade geometry, a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points. A flowing curve pulls your eye along sweetly, whereas a straight line often halts the eye.
I just finished proofing an article on curvature for the February issue of Popular Woodworking Magazine, and another article for the annual SAPFM journal on how to lay out a Swan Neck Pediment. Both articles share some simple and quick layout methods that will help you visualize curves. This weekend, stop by the SAPFM booth at the Midwest WIA where I’ll be demonstrating how to lay out a Swan’s neck or Scrolled pediment. Even if you have absolutely no interest in this traditional form, it’s a marvelous exercise to help improve your vision and boost your confidence working with curves. Prepare to get dazzled! I’ll be about all day Saturday, so if you miss the demo or have a design question, don’t hesitate to pull me aside. I’d love to see what you are up to.
George R. Walker