A Star Chart is Born - and a Project Update
I thought I’d take a moment to share a “behind the scenes” look at the process that goes into making a star chart pendant and also give you all a status update as well. I’m trying to be judicious in my updates, because I don’t want to spam your inboxes, but I’m just so excited about this project that I can’t help but want to share with all of you lovelies!
The process for creating a star chart pendant is fairly straightforward, but it is time consuming! Each necklace, from start to finish, takes between an hour and hour and a half. The two most time-consuming aspects are creating the chart and then finishing the pendant. By far the most stressful part is the finishing…nothing like getting everything almost done and then making a mistake at the last moment!
Once I generate the star chart for a specific date, location, and time, I move the image file into Adobe Illustrator to create the drilling template. Then I analyze the star chart to figure out which stars will be included on the pendant. Since there are hundreds of stars overhead at any given moment, and I can only fit 25 or so on a pendant, I obviously have to make some choices as to which stars get included.
I first eliminate any stars that are too close to the edges of pendant area. I tried to include these in the testing phases of the project and the result was fragments of metal breaking off and flying at my head when I tried to finish the pendants…not good. Next I make sure to include all of the brightest stars (which become large holes on the pendants,) any stars that make up parts of constellations (usually a mix of large and small holes,) and then finally fill in the gaps with any other prominent or bright stars (usually small holes.)
The picture below illustrates the process:
One of my backers asked me if I could supply them with some type of description as to what astronomical elements the pendant represented, and I thought it was such a great idea that I decided to provide them to everyone! Since the software I use to generate the star chart only produces really low resolution images that are unsuitable for printing, I have come up with the following solution. A card like this will accompany each pendant with a description that is customized to the order!
So there you have it – a star chart pendant is born!
As far as the status update goes, I have officially ordered all of my supplies to complete everyone’s orders. I’ve also started talking with a web designer so my new company will soon have a home on the web! I’ve also completed generating star charts for everyone who has submitted their survey information to me, so I will be starting the template making process tonight!
One final note: If anyone that you know of decides that they want a pendant of their own, just have them contact me! I can still take orders through other venues. For those of you who have backed this project, don’t worry! I am using the same pricing scale I offered through Kickstarter, and any new orders will be completed after the Kickstarter orders. I so appreciate all of you that supported my project and I want to make sure all of you get your items as soon as possible!