Woodturning (rec.crafts.woodturning) To discuss tools, techniques, styles, materials, shows and competitions, education and educational materials related to woodturning. All skill levels are welcome, from art turners to production turners, beginners to masters.

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Old January 21st 08, 05:26 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

Being a Krenovian ( James Krenov being a prominent furniture maker who
espouses Do a few things, but do them exceptionaly well - keep it simple
/
less is more - and It's The Wood Stupid ), I tended towards turnings
that
were as close to the natural wood as possible - little if anything
between
you the viewer / holder and the wood. And all the surfaces should be as
smooth as possible and, preferably, sensuous. The finished piece should
be Off The Lathe - completely done on the lathe - in one, maybe two
set ups - but all on a single axis.

Then things changed.

It started with Barbara Dill's article in the Fall 07 American
Woodturner
magazine on multi-axis turning. Single axis symetry started to feel
a little constraining. Then I watched Cindy Drozda do a beautiful,
elegant little three sided lidded box. Both kept it Off The Lathe -
pure
wood - but . . . a crack was opening in my Purist Approach.

I've just gone through 105 hi res photos of a demonstration Neil and
Liz Scobie did for our woodturning club, after going through hundreds of
photos from demonstrations by Binh Pho, Bonnie Klein and Malcom
Tibbet (there are advantages to volunteering to be a club webmaster).
My Purist Approach - pure wood, pure symetry - has, as a result, been
shaken further.

A turning may be only an intermediate step towards the ultimate
end point. By piercing and carving and texturing and painting/
staining / burning(pyrography) / charring / sand blasting/ patina-ing
- new dimensions of interest / expression may be added - for
better OR worse. The option of "enhancing" can be a double edged
sword - most enahancements are irreversible. And somewhere
on that path the piece may cease to be a turning. Worse yet,
THE BUZZ may be lost.

I really really like turning - the immediacy of results - in an hour
or so it's done. Good, bad or in between - in an hour or so I've
made a piece. A chunk of wood, two or three tools - and maybe
some sandpaper - and an hour or so - start to finish - almost
instant gratification, or disappointment. All decisions are made
On The Fly - little if any Should I Do This OR Should I Do That -
it just happens. No Post Lathe stuff to do. It comes off the
lathe and it's done.

The various Post Lathe processes all take more tools, more materials
- and a lot more time. Do I really need to learn yet more techniques,
more materials/mediums? There's already so much to learn with pure
single axis turning. Why head down another yet another path when I
haven't really explored the immediate vicinity of where I am now?

So I asked those of you who have ventured Over The Next HIll
- is there still THE BUZZ? Are there Zen Moments - Out There?

charlie b

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Old January 21st 08, 06:09 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

On Mon, 21 Jan 2008 09:26:39 -0800, charlieb wrote:

I see many evolutions to my turning, Charlie, but the one that relates to your
topic (I think) in that as I try more "artsy" stuff, I'm suddenly doing hand
work on and off the lathe..
On ironwood, especially, you have a choice of very round and smooth, or rugged
and jagged... If you want it rugged, there's only so much that can be done on
the lathe and a lot of power sanding, wire brushing and hand sanding/polishing
that just can't be done while it's turning..

What sort of bothers me is that I'm starting to do a few pieces that look a
little like the stuff in turning magazines that I shunned in the past as more
carving than turning...
It's kind of like the first time that you yell at your kids and think "Oh ****,
I'm becoming my dad"....

Being a Krenovian ( James Krenov being a prominent furniture maker who
espouses Do a few things, but do them exceptionaly well - keep it simple
/
less is more - and It's The Wood Stupid ), I tended towards turnings
that
were as close to the natural wood as possible - little if anything
between
you the viewer / holder and the wood. And all the surfaces should be as
smooth as possible and, preferably, sensuous. The finished piece should
be Off The Lathe - completely done on the lathe - in one, maybe two
set ups - but all on a single axis.

Then things changed.

It started with Barbara Dill's article in the Fall 07 American
Woodturner
magazine on multi-axis turning. Single axis symetry started to feel
a little constraining. Then I watched Cindy Drozda do a beautiful,
elegant little three sided lidded box. Both kept it Off The Lathe -
pure
wood - but . . . a crack was opening in my Purist Approach.

I've just gone through 105 hi res photos of a demonstration Neil and
Liz Scobie did for our woodturning club, after going through hundreds of
photos from demonstrations by Binh Pho, Bonnie Klein and Malcom
Tibbet (there are advantages to volunteering to be a club webmaster).
My Purist Approach - pure wood, pure symetry - has, as a result, been
shaken further.

A turning may be only an intermediate step towards the ultimate
end point. By piercing and carving and texturing and painting/
staining / burning(pyrography) / charring / sand blasting/ patina-ing
- new dimensions of interest / expression may be added - for
better OR worse. The option of "enhancing" can be a double edged
sword - most enahancements are irreversible. And somewhere
on that path the piece may cease to be a turning. Worse yet,
THE BUZZ may be lost.

I really really like turning - the immediacy of results - in an hour
or so it's done. Good, bad or in between - in an hour or so I've
made a piece. A chunk of wood, two or three tools - and maybe
some sandpaper - and an hour or so - start to finish - almost
instant gratification, or disappointment. All decisions are made
On The Fly - little if any Should I Do This OR Should I Do That -
it just happens. No Post Lathe stuff to do. It comes off the
lathe and it's done.

The various Post Lathe processes all take more tools, more materials
- and a lot more time. Do I really need to learn yet more techniques,
more materials/mediums? There's already so much to learn with pure
single axis turning. Why head down another yet another path when I
haven't really explored the immediate vicinity of where I am now?

So I asked those of you who have ventured Over The Next HIll
- is there still THE BUZZ? Are there Zen Moments - Out There?

charlie b



mac

Please remove splinters before emailing
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Old January 21st 08, 06:15 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

Charlie, this whole question has been done over so many times and on
so many different forums it is difficult to add anything new.
Personally when a Raffan bowl is held up against a Bin Pho piece I
know which one I prefer. It has been said many times that if the form
is good then decoration of any sort only adds. If that is the extra
Buzz then it doesn't work for me. I find it very hard to look past the
decorations and find the Buzz in the form or the wood. I tried to
address the modern concept of surface embellishment at our Guild show
and tell one week. I showed and antique 14" butter bowl that I have
owned for about 30 years, purchased prior to my turning addiction. My
question to the members was that this bowl has tool marks both inside
and outside. They are in the form of very fine beads about 1/16" in
size and appear to be the finish cut from a tool either hand held or
post mounted. Today it would probably be unacceptable because it
wasn't smooth and lustrous. Back then it was an every day kitchen
user. The amount of crud that collected in those minute grooves is
still evident. So what brought about the new order of finish?
Aesthetics? Cleanliness? Tactile BUZZ? Why do we now go back and do
surface treatments on bowls that are just to be looked at and serve no
practical use. Beats me! The members I showed this to were also unable
to give any reasons either. So I have to say that all this comes down
to is fashion and what is considered "up-market" and can hopefully
fetch a higher price. The only BUZZ from most of it is a green one. Is
it art or artistic? Don't even want to go there. My $.02 worth.
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Old January 22nd 08, 07:35 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

On Jan 21, 12:09*pm, mac davis wrote:

When I am bored with turning, I go to one of my other hobbies. I cook
a lot... I mean a lot. Everything from fancy foods to good Texas
barbecue. I do a lot of flat (wood) work and finishing/refinishing in
my business. All of those things take a lot of practice and work.
The buzz does indeed go away for me when I start hearing "The Wood On
The Lathe Goes Round and Round" to the tune of "The Wheels on The
Bus".

My next endeavor may be chip carving, as I have a truly gifted artist
that I know that needs some help with some casework assembly and
finish. He does a lot of custom carving for churches, assembly halls,
etc. and his work is fantastic. I will try to trade out some of my
time for lessons as he gets a pretty penny for his instruction time
(if he has any). Guaranteed that the lathe will sit idle if he will
teach me his methods. After all, I only have so much free time... and
gotta stretch those skills.

I turn all manner of things, and love to try new things. But in the
end, all projects that come off the lathe are at least partly round if
not coencentric. I have a low threshold of boredom, and I usually
turn like a maniac for a few months a year, then I do other things. I
"rediscover" woodturning, and off I go again.


What sort of bothers me is that I'm starting to do a few pieces that look a
little like the stuff in turning magazines that I shunned in the past as more
carving than turning...
It's kind of like the first time that you yell at your kids and think "Oh ****,
I'm becoming my dad"....


I lose interest in turning from time to time as there has become an
accepted "norm" for appearance. Anyone that frequents WoodCentral can
attest to that. "Make that foot smaller" or "curve that bottom more"
or "that would have looked better buffed" are all frequent comments.
Along with the commentary of "you should pick up soandso's book as he
explains how to do just that" and "look what I did, it isn't as good
as Cindy, but I am still trying".

They WANT all of their different pieces to conform to the norm of that
group. They turn out some really nice pieces and some excellent
work. But it all kind of looks the same to me with just a few
exceptions.

Seems like everyone wants to turn thin. Everyone wants to have a
finish so colored and polished that the piece looks like it belongs in
a car show, not a wood turning venue. Most turn Ming dynasty shaped
vases, shaker style bowls, (natural edge seems to have fallen out of
favor), Egyptian or Navajo shapes. Most oil and buff, all using the
exact same oil, the exact same method, and they are proud to write
that they conformed to the letter.

Worse, so many strive to make a piece that looks exactly like the
work of others so that they can get approval for their work.
Personally, I like interesting shapes and don't care about them
looking like anyone else's work. Same with finishing. I have to
build to plans enough that I don't want to unless I have to.

I have done some limited teaching in the past. As feared, you don't
want to become your Father! I tell my pupils to look at pottery or
basket weaving books for the shapes they like, and try to remember the
general shape and proportion. Then fire up the lathe and get after
turning something THEY like. No need to conform to any style at all
if it something that they like.

But then... I know I am in the minority.

Robert

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Old January 22nd 08, 06:16 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

On Mon, 21 Jan 2008 23:35:41 -0800 (PST), "
wrote:

Ok, Robert.. The doctor is in... I can help!

Stop listening and reading on what is in and have fun...

I turn at least 10 or 15 pieces a week... not because I have to, but I love
turning..
I sort of pride myself on NOT having a style or specialty... I just play and
experiment and sometimes the stuff sells..

I've been saying for a lot of years that if turning ever stops being fun, I'll
quit... Hasn't happened yet and I still wake up every morning thinking about
turning...

I've sold quite a few pieces and no one has ever measured wall thickness or any
of the 100's of things that folks say make "quality" turnings..
My bottom line is that turners are NOT my market so I don't try to make them
happy..
Folks buy my stuff because it makes them feel good or they think it's "pretty"..
they could care less about how it's made, whether it fits some groups
specifications, etc..


On Jan 21, 12:09*pm, mac davis wrote:

When I am bored with turning, I go to one of my other hobbies. I cook
a lot... I mean a lot. Everything from fancy foods to good Texas
barbecue. I do a lot of flat (wood) work and finishing/refinishing in
my business. All of those things take a lot of practice and work.
The buzz does indeed go away for me when I start hearing "The Wood On
The Lathe Goes Round and Round" to the tune of "The Wheels on The
Bus".

My next endeavor may be chip carving, as I have a truly gifted artist
that I know that needs some help with some casework assembly and
finish. He does a lot of custom carving for churches, assembly halls,
etc. and his work is fantastic. I will try to trade out some of my
time for lessons as he gets a pretty penny for his instruction time
(if he has any). Guaranteed that the lathe will sit idle if he will
teach me his methods. After all, I only have so much free time... and
gotta stretch those skills.

I turn all manner of things, and love to try new things. But in the
end, all projects that come off the lathe are at least partly round if
not coencentric. I have a low threshold of boredom, and I usually
turn like a maniac for a few months a year, then I do other things. I
"rediscover" woodturning, and off I go again.


What sort of bothers me is that I'm starting to do a few pieces that look a
little like the stuff in turning magazines that I shunned in the past as more
carving than turning...
It's kind of like the first time that you yell at your kids and think "Oh ****,
I'm becoming my dad"....


I lose interest in turning from time to time as there has become an
accepted "norm" for appearance. Anyone that frequents WoodCentral can
attest to that. "Make that foot smaller" or "curve that bottom more"
or "that would have looked better buffed" are all frequent comments.
Along with the commentary of "you should pick up soandso's book as he
explains how to do just that" and "look what I did, it isn't as good
as Cindy, but I am still trying".

They WANT all of their different pieces to conform to the norm of that
group. They turn out some really nice pieces and some excellent
work. But it all kind of looks the same to me with just a few
exceptions.

Seems like everyone wants to turn thin. Everyone wants to have a
finish so colored and polished that the piece looks like it belongs in
a car show, not a wood turning venue. Most turn Ming dynasty shaped
vases, shaker style bowls, (natural edge seems to have fallen out of
favor), Egyptian or Navajo shapes. Most oil and buff, all using the
exact same oil, the exact same method, and they are proud to write
that they conformed to the letter.

Worse, so many strive to make a piece that looks exactly like the
work of others so that they can get approval for their work.
Personally, I like interesting shapes and don't care about them
looking like anyone else's work. Same with finishing. I have to
build to plans enough that I don't want to unless I have to.

I have done some limited teaching in the past. As feared, you don't
want to become your Father! I tell my pupils to look at pottery or
basket weaving books for the shapes they like, and try to remember the
general shape and proportion. Then fire up the lathe and get after
turning something THEY like. No need to conform to any style at all
if it something that they like.

But then... I know I am in the minority.

Robert



mac

Please remove splinters before emailing


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Old January 22nd 08, 11:51 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

Hi charlie, Thanks for explaining what a "Krenovian" is. I dislike
eponyms and never use them. They send me to Webster!


That turned wood is becoming popular among turners to use as a mere
'canvas' or 'case' to make beautiful objects on or out of is not to
worry. In woodturning what was outrageous last year is old hat this
year. Piercing a vase, painting a plate, plaiting a platter or burning
a bowl was once either awful or avant garde according to the moment. Now
these techniques are common place and are becoming a mere ground or wash
to prepare the canvas (wood) for the real embellishment to come.

I ask you, "Where will it all end"? I suspect that "this too will pass"
and the day will come when much of what's again considered our best work
will cllimb down from the gallery shelf and go back home. Wood bowls
will once again hold lettuce, wood candle sticks will hold candles and
wood pepper mills will again produce the wonderful aroma of freshly
ground pepper corns on that lettuce. Past really is prologue, just you
wait and see, Mr. & Ms. current famous artist.


I hope that happy day doesn't happen too soon. I enjoy seeing the
envelope pushed as far as it can go and I can't wait to see what's
beyond the present popularity of piercing, cutting up, reassembling and
general mayhem. For now and for me whatever becomes this year's leading
edge beats looking at another pic of a maple bowl, no matter how much
knee- kick keening and praise it engenders. Of course my opinions re
woodturning and my actual turnings might resemble a chameleon.

Handsome exposed grain, symmetrical forms, shiny surfaces and skinny
walls will rise again, but I hope not just yet.


Why not enjoy going to the otherside of the the hill Charlie? IMHO the
buzz will be there when you get back and you will have had the fun of
turning to a different drummer. Since you asked, the buzz is always
there waiting for me as is the buzz of mixing metaphors and the
occasional martini. I just hope Robert doesn't drizzle pretty sauces
and curled radishes all over the food and plates when he cooks fancy.


Turn to Safety, Arch
Fortiter


http://community.webtv.net/almcc/MacsMusings



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Old January 23rd 08, 07:05 AM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

On Jan 22, 12:16*pm, mac davis wrote:

Ok, Robert.. The doctor is in... I can help!

Stop listening and reading on what is in and have fun...


Hi, mac. Not sure how you got the impression that I am worried about
conforming to today's current style. Maybe you skimmed a bit fast?

Personally, I like interesting shapes and don't care about them
looking like anyone else's work. Same with finishing. I have to

build to plans enough that I don't want to unless I have to.

and

Then fire up the lathe and get after
turning something THEY like. No need to conform to any style at all

if it something that they like.

I was trying to make the point that as long the turner is happy, it
doesn't matter what they turn. And as for me, I only turn what I
want, and don't care one whit about the accepted norm. I sell enough
turned projects to buy new gouges, finshing material, sandpaper, and
an occasional exotic piece of wood.

This is a hobby, and I have no one to impress. If others like my
work, of course I am pleased. But if they don't, it doesn't matter to
me unless they are a paying client. I have made my money with my
hands long enough to know you simply won't please everyone no matter
what you do.

And I have been turning long enough to see how turning styles and
shapes change over a period of time.

Being bored with turning isn't a statement that I have learned all
there is to learn on the lathe. Not at all; I could always learn new
techniques, the use of new tools and certainly how to perform certain
operations better. But I have found that if I give any of my hobbies
a rest from time to time, I enjoy them more when I come back to them.

For me there is so much to learn and enjoy, and so little time to do
it all...

Robert





I've been saying for a lot of years that if turning ever stops being fun, I'll
quit... Hasn't happened yet and I still wake up every morning thinking about
turning...

I've sold quite a few pieces and no one has ever measured wall thickness or any
of the 100's of things that folks say make "quality" turnings..
My bottom line is that turners are NOT my market so I don't try to make them
happy..
Folks buy my stuff because it makes them feel good or they think it's "pretty"..
they could care less about how it's made, whether it fits some groups
specifications, etc..





On Jan 21, 12:09*pm, mac davis wrote:


When I am bored with turning, I go to one of my other hobbies. *I cook
a lot... I mean a lot. *Everything from fancy foods to good Texas
barbecue. *I do a lot of flat (wood) work and finishing/refinishing in
my business. *All of those things take a lot of practice and work.
The buzz does indeed go away for me when I start hearing "The Wood On
The Lathe Goes Round and Round" to the tune of "The Wheels on The
Bus".


My next endeavor may be chip carving, as I have a truly gifted artist
that I know that needs some help with some casework assembly and
finish. *He does a lot of custom carving for churches, assembly halls,
etc. and his work is fantastic. *I will try to trade out some of my
time for lessons as he gets a pretty penny for his instruction time
(if he has any). *Guaranteed that the lathe will sit idle if he will
teach me his methods. *After all, I only have so much free time... and
gotta stretch those skills.


I turn all manner of things, and love to try new things. *But in the
end, all projects that come off the lathe are at least partly round if
not coencentric. * I have a low threshold of boredom, and I usually
turn like a maniac for a few months a year, then I do other things. *I
"rediscover" woodturning, and off I go again.


What sort of bothers me is that I'm starting to do a few pieces that look a
little like the stuff in turning magazines that I shunned in the past as more
carving than turning...
It's kind of like the first time that you yell at your kids and think "Oh ****,
I'm becoming my dad"....


I lose interest in turning from time to time as there has become an
accepted "norm" for appearance. *Anyone that frequents WoodCentral can
attest to that. *"Make that foot smaller" or "curve that bottom more"
or "that would have looked better buffed" are all frequent comments.
Along with the commentary of "you should pick up soandso's book as he
explains how to do just that" and "look what I did, it isn't as good
as Cindy, but I am still trying".


They WANT all of their different pieces to conform to the norm of that
group. *They turn out some really nice pieces and some excellent
work. *But it all kind of looks the same to me with just a few
exceptions.


Seems like everyone wants to turn thin. *Everyone wants to have a
finish so colored and polished that the piece looks like it belongs in
a car show, not a wood turning venue. *Most turn Ming dynasty shaped
vases, shaker style bowls, (natural edge seems to have fallen out of
favor), Egyptian or Navajo shapes. *Most oil and buff, all using the
exact same oil, the exact same method, and they are proud to write
that they conformed to the letter.


Worse, so many strive to make a piece that looks exactly like the
work of others so that they can get approval for their work.
Personally, I like interesting shapes and don't care about them
looking like anyone else's work. *Same with finishing. *I have to
build to plans enough that I don't want to unless I have to.


I have done some limited teaching in the past. *As feared, you don't
want to become your Father! *I tell my pupils to look at pottery or
basket weaving books for the shapes they like, and try to remember the
general shape and proportion. *Then fire up the lathe and get after
turning something THEY like. * No need to conform to any style at all
if it something that they like.


But then... I know I am in the minority.


Robert


mac

Please remove splinters before emailing- Hide quoted text -

- Show quoted text -


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Old January 23rd 08, 04:47 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

On Tue, 22 Jan 2008 23:05:50 -0800 (PST), "
wrote:

I was trying to make the point that as long the turner is happy, it
doesn't matter what they turn. And as for me, I only turn what I
want, and don't care one whit about the accepted norm. I sell enough
turned projects to buy new gouges, finshing material, sandpaper, and
an occasional exotic piece of wood.


Ok.. I misunderstood, for sure..

On 1st reading, it seemed to me that you were tired of trying to conform.. I'm
very glad that I was wrong about you! ;-]



mac

Please remove splinters before emailing
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Old January 23rd 08, 05:16 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

On Jan 22, 5:51*pm, (Arch) wrote:

SNIP

I ask you, "Where will it all end"? *I suspect that "this too will pass"
and the day will come when much of what's again considered our best work
will cllimb down from the gallery shelf and go back home. Wood bowls
will once again hold lettuce, wood candle sticks will hold candles and
wood pepper mills will again produce the wonderful aroma of freshly
ground pepper corns on that lettuce. Past really is prologue, just you
wait and see, Mr. & Ms. current famous artist.


Nailed it! Spot on!

I couldn't agree more. I can see a time when I will be watching the
guru of the day espousing just that.

**Imagine two men in a quiet studio/shop, sitting quietly talking
about woodturning. One is a bespectacled almost 40 something, in
comfortable clothes and needing a haircut - or at least a brush -
talking in a soft, patient voice. The other is a woodturner that has
a successful TV show on how to turn, making him an expert/critic**

"You see, you get a sense of the original intent of a vessel when
holding this piece".

"How so?"

"Well, (says the young man in the khaki pants and beard), I get an
almost organic feel in its simplicity. Without any decorations of
super polished finish, one is given the message that this bowl could
actually be used".

"Astonishing... innovative...."

"This piece is light years ahead of its time, and yet has the ability
to reach back over the centuries to the aritsans of the past,
channeling their intense desire for purity of form".

"Wow..." says the showman/critic. "I ALMOST mistook it for a bowl,
similar to the one I ate my salad from last night. Looks like we have
something else to sell!"

Then the herd will move towards more simple, utility shapes, and will
use natural oils to finish. They will call themselves
traditionalists.

And many of us will be quietly amused.

Robert


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Old January 23rd 08, 09:21 PM posted to rec.crafts.woodturning
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Default Turned Piece The End Point OR A Step To The End Point?

Having gone through this thread again I'm still in a quandry.

I guess my underlying question is "To What End?"
Fleshed out some - What am I trying to accomplish with
a specific turning?

If the answer is to make a functional piece - that is to
say - will actually be used - to hold something, then I
head in one direction. The function, to a large extent,
dictates the wood, the approximate size and shape and
maybe the finish. The rest is up to me - proportions,
details like beads and coves that may or may not serve
a purpose other than to hopefully add visual interest
to the object, etc. But there's always that question
in the back of my mind - "Why the hell don't I do this
(or these) things on a wheel - out of clay?"

Think about it. The only reason functional things were
turned out of wood was that's what WAS AVAILABLE.
If it had been just as easy to make the item in fired,
and maybe glazed, ceramic, or better yet, metal - well
wood would be for building - and burning.

If, on the other hand, the answer to WHY is to attempt
to express an idea or feeling - then the wood and the
process is merely the medium and method of doing so.
That may involve a nod to function but not a strict
adherance to ALL the functional constraints.

THAT may be where craft and art begin to diverge
- different intents.

Then there's what I find myself often doing - starting
with "I wonder if I can . . ." or "What if I . . ." Turning
stops being a means to an end, but rather just a means
- with no particular end in mind.

I think of turning like visiting an interesting city. I
could take a group tour and see all the Post Card
Sites/Sights - in Two Glorious, Fun Filled Days/Daze.
Or I might have a friend there and get a local's
perspective of the place - going to Off The Tour
Route places. Or, I could just find a hotel and start
wandering around the immediate vicinity, or maybe
hop on the metro, get off at a random stop and
explore that area. This last one takes a little bit
more time - maybe a week rather than two or three
days. But I've met some really interesting people
and seen some really interesting things that aren't
in any Tour Books or glossy magazine articles this
way.

I never actually got into the Louvre - but I found a
fascinating little street of shops with musical
instruments - and a little hole in the wall store that
specialized in just paper - all kinds of interesting paper.
And I got to know the Tobaccoist on the corner and
an artist from Sierra Leon whose father was a lawyer
and his mother was a doctor. He was finishing the clay
for a very large casting he was commissioned to do
- for someone's house - in The Hamptons. And I
learned a little about the skating subculture that
hang out and skate on the little street in front of
Notre Dame - after hours of course - starting around
9 or 10 pm and going 'til all hours.

As usual, I've wandered off - which, it turns out,
is how I approach turning - often beginning over
here and ending up way the hell over there,
sometimes lost, some times intrigued, sometimes
surprised and sometimes having wasted some time
and some wood. Along the way there seems to
always be an endorphin buzz and occassionaly a
moment or two when things go just so. Sometimes
before I turn off the lights I'm amazed that something
nice has resulted and that I was fortunate enough to
have had a role in its coming into being.

I'll probably head over the next hill and see what
happens. But' I'm drawing The Line at glitter and
DAY-GLO and decopauge! That way lies madness
- or boredom.

charlie b


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