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My tech advisor who passed away continues to mentor me.

My best friend, OSA photographer David Baker passed away 3 years ago. He continues to mentor me from the other side. Here’s the story of how this came about recently.

I am represented by an online gallery. They received and inquiry for a commission that would be in cast glass and in a different color glass and a smaller size than what I have in my inventory.

I received the new dimensions from the gallery and contacted my studio in the Czech Republic where I cast my finest glass castings. They would review my request and give me the quotation from my model. The studio acts like a bronze foundry where I design and create the model, ship it to them, or build it there, and they take it from there and produce the casting and crate and ship it to me. This is a lengthy process usually 2-3 months, and they ask many questions before they can give me an actual quotation.

I gave them the specifications and I got a request for the volume of the casting in liters. Well, I didn’t know, how I would calculate this volume. I was stumped and wrote to an engineer friend with hopes that he would help me with at least the formula for figuring this out. I didn’t get a response and so I felt a tap on my shoulder from David. Well it wasn’t a literal tap, it was a reminder of what he often said to me and many others that wanted his technical advice.

Ask Dr. Google, he would say! So that is what I did? But what is the geometric form of this sculpture and how to do I ask the right question. Well, the first search led to another, and then the geometric shape was revealed in the search answers. It’s an Ellipsoid geometry, a 3D oval shape, and as I know the dimensions, I find a ellipsoid calculator, and enter the dimensions. So, it gives me the cubic inches, and I need to now subtract the volume of the center tube that runs top to bottom which will be a hollow core.

So now I have to figure out the reduced diameter of the hollow core so I can calculate the volume. I calculate that and subtract it from the cubic inches of the ellipsoid form. Now I’ve got the cubic inches volume, and I need one more calculator to convert it into metric and then into liters.

I go through this process two more times converting inches to centimeters to see if the results are the same. It comes out the same. Yipee! I now have the volume in liters.

My engineer friend gets my email with my calculations, and he tells me that he will double check it by creating the design in CAD and have his software give the volume. We matched. I thanked him and I thanked David for continuing to mentor me. I then went onto Facebook, and it asked if I wanted to see any memories for August 8th, and it brought up a video of a number of friends singing Happy Birthday to David Baker.

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