Tuesday, November 13, 2012

12 Six-Sided Snowflake Templates

Wilson Bentley and the children's book written about him called, "Snowflake Bentley"
      Bentley was born on February 9, 1865, in Jericho, Vermont. He first became interested in snow crystals as a teenager on his family farm. He tried to draw what he saw through an old microscope given to him by his mother when he was fifteen. The snowflakes were too complex to record before they melted, so he attached a bellows camera to a compound microscope and, after much experimentation, photographed his first snowflake on January 15, 1885.
       He would capture more than 5,000 images of crystals in his lifetime. Each crystal was caught on a blackboard and transferred rapidly to a microscope slide. Even at subzero temperatures, snowflakes are ephemeral because they sublime.
      Bentley poetically described snowflakes as "tiny miracles of beauty" and snow crystals as "ice flowers." Despite these poetic descriptions, Bentley brought a highly objective eye to his work, similar to the German photographer Karl Blossfeldt (1865–1932), who photographed seeds, seed pods, and foliage.
      Bentley's work gained attention in the last few years of the nineteenth century, after his work was first published in a magazine by Henry Crocker of Fairfax, Vermont; who consequently ended up with the largest private collection of Bentley's works. Harvard Mineralogical Museum acquired some of his photomicrographs. In collaboration with George Henry Perkins, professor of natural history at the University of Vermont, Bentley published an article in which he argued that no two snowflakes were alike. This concept caught the public imagination and he published other articles in magazines, including National Geographic, Nature, Popular Science, and Scientific American. His photographs have been requested by academic institutions worldwide.
      In 1931 Bentley worked with William J. Humphreys of the U.S. Weather Bureau to publish Snow Crystals, a monograph illustrated with 2,500 photographs. His other publications include the entry on "snow" in the fourteenth Edition of Encyclopædia Britannica.
      Bentley also photographed all forms of ice and natural water formations including clouds and fog. He was the first American to record raindrop sizes and was one of the first cloud physicists.
      He died of pneumonia at his farm on December 23, 1931, after walking home six miles in a blizzard. Bentley was memorialized in the naming of a science center in his memory at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vermont. Shortly before his death, his book Snow Crystals was published by McGraw/Hill and is still in print today.
      I designed a set of twelve, six-sided snowflake templates based upon the photographs of Wilson Bentley. Visitors may print these out and use them to design their own paper snowflakes, cookie cutter patterns or perhaps even some lovely fabric applique' designs. Remember to agree to the Terms of Use before using them; the templates are copyrighted. Not every design is exactly symmetrical; the jpgs. were created from handmade, snowflake paper cuttings.

      Below is a video by Kita Navo showing the detailed steps involved in cutting a six sided paper snowflake. You should use very sharp scissors to cut these. My scissors were not as sharp as they should have been when I cut my six pointed snowflakes out. You also might try to use finer paper as well. I used typing paper because that was what I had at the time.

More Snowflake Patterns:

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