From the time she was around six years old, my daughter was obsessed with drawing hearts. A first she struggled to get one that looked, to her satisfaction, like a Valentine heart. She fretted that they weren’t perfect. She would bring her drawings of hearts to me and say, “How’s this one?” I’d reply that her hearts were really improving and encourage her to keep drawing them, saying, “Eventually, after you draw a thousand hearts, you will become really, really expert at them.” For a year, or more, she drew hearts every time she took pencil or pen in hand. Here’s a “Tree of Hearts” she drew during this time.
Thousands of hearts later, she sat down one evening after Christmas in 2009 to write a thank you note to her grandmother. As she began to decorate the envelope. Very quickly, without hesitation, she drew this heart:
When I saw it, I yelled, “Stop! I frightened her with my loud voice and excitement. “Don’t add anything else—it’s a wonderful, interesting heart.” We scanned it, and and after my partner, Andrea, had sent the heart image off for a copyright registration we decided it would be fun to print this heart onto some T-shirts and baseball caps.
We decided the colors for the shirts and hats would be hot pink on brown and red on black.
However, just before we had the chance to send in our order for shirts and caps, we learned of the awful earthquake that hit Haiti, Tuesday, January 12, 2010. There was much talk on the TV and among everyone at our children’s school about how we could help the Haitians. So, Helen had the idea to sell her heart shirts and caps to somehow help with the Haiti relief effort. [For this purpose we ordered many more shirts and caps than we originally intended to buy. Of course, the more you buy, the cheaper they are per piece.] The shirts and caps arrived just before Valentine’s Day. Each day for several days, we parked our car in the parking lot, closest to the exit from our school, and sold shirts and hats to the passersby. We also advertised them on Facebook, and sold to other friends and relatives for this cause. When all was said and done, $850.00 was raised and contributed to Doctor’s Without Borders, earmarked for Haiti relief.
Fast forward to this month—Andrea had a “milestone” birthday this year on the 9th. Helen and I decided to send the “Helen’s Heart” image to Shapeways and have it 3-D printed in sterling silver for her other mother’s birthday gift. And here is how it turned out:
Andrea loved this gift, and now we need to select a sterling silver chain upon which to hang it.
Just for fun, we also had a few hearts printed in bright red plastic!
I would make a few changes to the design, were we to print it again. Overall, though, I think it turned out nicely.
More 3-D printing projects are in the pipeline, but it will be early June before I can report on them. ;)