Back in early September when I was designing the Oscillating Owlets, I decided to take some photos throughout the design process. It turned out that the Owlets changed quite a bit from my original design, so I thought it would be fun to show some of my photos here so that you can see how the Owlets came to Oscillate.
Like with all of my designs, I started with a sketch—or more like 20 small sketches. I often draw something over and over again while I’m turning the idea over in my head, until I feel ready to start making it.
I am not much of an illustrator! But I don’t let that stop me from visualizing an idea in two dimensions before I tackle it in 3-D.
As you can maybe see, I started out thinking that the owls would be stackable, just like the Stackable Cats and Pile-able Pups. The more I thought about it, though, stacking owls, while cute, didn’t seem to me different enough from the Stackable Cats to be very interesting. So then I thought the owls could be vertically aligned in a tree: a Tower of Owls!
I designed some little round owls, then I got right to work on a tree with holes for three of them to fit in…
When I had finished two holes, I popped two owls in to see how they would fit.
Pretty cute! I liked the owls I made, and they remained unchanged for the final design.
But the tree wasn’t really working for me. It would either have to be completely hollow and flimsy, with the owls sitting right on top of each other, or it would have to have separate pieces for the inside of the holes, which would hold the owlets in place and allow for the tree to be stuffed. And with two owls inside, the tree was already getting really tall—if I were to add room for another owl, the tree would be way too tall and would surely fall over.
It was time to take a break from the tree, so I decided to try my hand at a nest. I had wanted to design something involving a swing for a long time, so I added some I-cords to the sides of the nest, while wondering how I could combine a tree and a nest…
After thinking about it for a while, I finally decided to scrap the tree altogether, and I instead started working on a fat branch for the swing to hang from.
Instead of being a freestanding toy, it would now be a wall decoration. I was still thinking that the design would include three owls on three swings, but once I saw how long and fat the branch would have to be for that, I decided to go with a pair of owls and a slimmer branch.
The final touches were a twig and leaf accent for the branch, a fun twist to the (now green) I-cord swings, and new autumnal colors for the owls. John helped me come up with a name for them, and the Oscillating Owlets were born!
I hope this uncharacteristically long post was interesting to some people. If you have any questions about how I design, my process, or anything else, feel free to ask away!