The Proportioner gives you the means to harmonize your own creations with what Pythagoras called the secret of the universe—better known today as the divine proportion or golden ratio.
An elegant instrument empowering you to discover the golden ratio in the world and harmonize your creations with the divine proportion.
The whole is to the larger segment in exactly the same “golden ratio” as the larger segment is to the smaller. The golden ratio is a gateway to the study of sacred geometry.
The Proportioner’s range is from slightly more than 1 foot to less than 1 inch (320 – 24mm).
Innovative magnetic hinging enables the middle arms to be easily detached and reattached at any time without tools.
In traditional caliper mode the Proportioner can be used to transfer measurements from outside or inside surfaces. You can tighten the screw hinge with your fingernail to freeze the calipers in any position.
The optional magnetic stand is shipped flat-packed with the Proportioner. The stand is assembled without tools, simply by pressing the finger joint together at a right angle. Micro bevels laser-cut into the finger joint ensure a snug fit. For the best results I recommend using a few drops of any general purpose glue (not supplied) to make the finger joint permanent.
The stand is highly recommended not only because it provides you with a convenient place to store the Proportioner, but it converts the instrument into an attractive small sculpture when not in use.
I have made many electronic and physical prototypes, which allowed me to significantly refine the Proportioner’s design, its material selection and hardware.
I found that thin plywood is not dimensionally stable enough as it warps badly in the required thickness and it does not result in laser-cut holes that are consistently the same size. MDF (medium density fiberboard) is a dimensionally stable substrate, but is too brittle and easily shears at 3-4mm thickness. I settled on premium walnut veneer laminated on both sides of MDF because I found that it provides the best qualities—attractive appearance, resistance to shear and dimensional stability. The dark MDF and dark, thin slice of walnut hardwood veneer nearly match in color so the device seems like it is made out of a single solid material.
I started by tapping threads in the wood and using a tiny threaded metal shaft as the pivot, but later found that a two-piece threaded metal screw post was a better solution for the pivot. This is brass in my latest prototype but will have a silver finish in the final product to better match the color of the rare-earth magnets.
Six tiny neodymium magnets are permanently press-fit in laser drilled holes in the arms. The laser gives a tolerance in the range of 0.2 mm so a friction fit can be snug and repeatable. The magnets cannot be removed without using a punch but if one were to forcibly destroy the device (by cracking the wood at the magnets), the liberated magnets would pose a risk to toddlers—magnets must never be ingested. The device also has sharp wooden points at the ends of three arms. For these reasons it is imperative to note:
The Proportioner is not a toy and must be kept out of the reach of children.
The Proportioner shows that credit cards are nearly perfect golden rectangles, said to be the most aesthetically pleasing rectangles of all. The shape of credit cards is no accident!
Many old masters structured their compositions using the golden ratio, a fact that still goes largely unrecognized. Michelangelo located the divine spark using the divine proportion.
I published the following golden ratio correlation—and many others—in my book on Leonardo da Vinci.
The golden ratio has been employed in many unexpected places. Will you discover more?
The black and white keys on the piano are proportioned with the golden ratio.
Here are a few quotes about what the Proportioner can help you rediscover:
- “Geometry has two great treasures. One is the theorem of Pythagoras, the other, the division of a line into extreme and mean ratio. The first we may compare to a measure of gold; the second we may name a precious jewel.” -Johannes Kepler, a key figure in the 17th century scientific revolution, best known for his laws of planetary motion
- “The golden ratio is the key to universal physics.” -Sir Edward Victor Appleton, Nobel Laureate in physics (1947)
- “Plato considered the golden section proportion the most binding of all mathematical relations, making it the key to the physics of the cosmos.” -Peter Tompkins, author of Secrets of the Great Pyramid (1971)
- “The golden section is the pattern of life.” -John Michell (1933-2009), father of the earth mysteries movement
- “The golden ratio is a reminder of the relatedness of the created world to the perfection of its source and of its potential future evolution.” -Robert Lawlor, author of Sacred Geometry: Philosophy & Practice (1982)
- “Phi (1.618) is the most beautiful number in the universe.” -Robert Langdon, from Dan Brown’s bestselling fiction The Da Vinci Code (2003)
Proportioners make great gifts.
- Proportioners are not toys. Keep them out of reach of children 12 and under.
- As the importer of record, you are responsible for duties, customs, and any other charges that your country chooses to impose for the import.
The Large Proportioner, whose arms open in the range of 3″ to 3′-3″ (7 cm to 1 m), is perfect for the studio or workshop where makers can quickly proportion the objects they create according to the golden ratio. Cabinet makers, quilters, furniture makers, painters or anyone making larger objects will rejoice!
The Large Proportioner is 2X as thick and 3X the size of its smaller cousin.