March 10, 2006

In Praise of Templates

Somewhere in the great database of inappropriately shared personal information, I've been targeted as a person to whom to send tool catalogs. Yesterday, I got a personal invitation from the Handyman Club of America to be a "tool tester" (drills and stuff) in some sort of "tool of the month" scam. Humor (considering my competence or lack there-of in the home repair and renovation department). However, in the envelope was a small plastic drill gauge - and that got me thinking about templates.

I was introduced to templates as a kid - my father was a computer geek in the days of UNIVAC and IBM and DEC, when computers were ensconced in special rooms attended to by high priests and acolytes. We'd go in to work with Dad on weekends. Entertainment would be provided by (a) making punch cards, (b) playing with large rubber bands, or (c) drawing stuff with data-processing symbol templates.

As a geekette myself these days, I have some templates. Not that I use them all that much - I do sketches and quick schematics on the computer - not sure when the last time I drew something out by hand was (unless it some brilliant idea or brainstorm on a napkin, in a restaurant or bar, in which case neatness is not graded).

Anyway, I just like templates. There are all sorts of types - plumbing, math, music, architecture. Lots of computer / electronics. I need to get some more. Here's some ideas:

Lot's of standard choices
Design Your Own - Oh, I am having wicked thoughts....
More choices

It would be kind of fun to do an "art for non-artists" event with lots of templates so people without actual talent (i.e. - me) could create with 'em. It would also be kind of fun to create this huge faux art project based on templates - I am mentally writing up the artist's statemen in my head even as I consider this. Heh.

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