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Turning and embellishing (Read 755 times)
 
Dale Bonertz
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Turning and embellishing
Jun 16th, 2010 at 7:19pm
 
Two or three years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Andy Wolfe and sat next to her at a dinner. I asked her a question that I want to pose to all of you. When you are going to carve, burn or dramatically change the turning, does it need to be perfect before the embellishment? Her response was yes because the shape still has to be pleasing. I understand what she is saying about the shape but what about the turning itself. What I am getting at is when I look at a bowl or hollow form I first look to see if the shape is pleasing. I then start looking for things like a flat spot, sanding marks, tool marks or does the foot/rim fit and so on. It seems to me that if you are going to carve, burn or etc. that a flat spot will not show when completed so one could conceivable let that go. Or in her case she carves so much in her new series that even the edge that is left may not even need to be sanded. Now I am not suggesting that Andy and those that do this type of work aren't good turners, just curious on your thoughts.

This just comes to mind with the AAW symposium this weekend and all this recent talk about artist versus craftsman.

Dale
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Frank Van Atta
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Re: Turning and embellishing
Reply #1 - Jun 16th, 2010 at 7:37pm
 
Personally, it's when I find a flat spot, crack, blemish, whatever that I decide to embellish - to hide the darned thing.

Seriously, I have found that embellishing natural defects produces the most pleasing turnings.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Turning and embellishing
Reply #2 - Jun 16th, 2010 at 10:31pm
 
Form is everything, it doesn't matter if it is segmented, carved or embellished, if the shape can't stand on it's own, nothing we can do will make it look better.

Yes, some people are great in gluing up 100s of pieces of wood together with pleasing contrasting woods, or maybe they are a true artist when it comes to pyrography. But if the form looks off, so will anything else to we do.

When we look at a form, of any kind, we instinctively make dozens of judgments in the first glance. We do it every day. We may not realize it consciously but we will know when something is not right, out of balance so to speak. Many times we may not be able to put a finger on what we don't like, but we will know it.

You've heard people say "I don't know a thing about art, but I know what I like!"

Good form will make any segmented, carved or embellished work look better.

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Dale Gillaspy
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Re: Turning and embellishing
Reply #3 - Jun 17th, 2010 at 8:52am
 
I agree. I think that covering up a flat spot will show in the long run. Maybe not to everyone, but it will show. I personally would have a hard time selling or giving away a turning that I used embellishment to hide a bad spot.
especially with coloring, the "flaw" will actually stand out more.

I say do your best with the turning, then embellish. Don't settle for good enough.

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Robert Harper
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Re: Turning and embellishing
Reply #4 - Jun 17th, 2010 at 9:38am
 
As others have said. Form is everything. The piece should stand alone before the embellishment. If you don't want to fix the piece so that the form is perfect, then remove the flat spot with a relief first so that it looks like a window or something. Burning a line around to hide a tool mark, if it completely removes it would be OK too. Bill Beck has a lot of examples of taking a piece destined for the scrap pile and re working the flaw into an embellishment itself.

But then if the owner loves it, does it really matter. I turn mostly for myself so it has to please me first. That being said, some of what I've made that I think is just OK is what others love. Go figure. I may be looking too closely.
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Brian Warner
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Re: Turning and embellishing
Reply #5 - Jun 17th, 2010 at 7:14pm
 
That's a tough question if you really think about it. Take a natural edged bowl, a walking stick that's basically sanded with a handle turned in the end or any other number of items. What makes it great is the heart and soul of the ARTIST.
My personal goal is to make every call or peice BETTER THAN THE LAST in SOME way, no matter how small. Sometimes it means burning, checkering, chattering....etc. Other times it can be the sound of the call or the finish or lack of on a peice.
I had an old friend, long since passed, tell me that the difference between master and the apprentice is the willingness to learn. Both have talant, the master's more refined than the apprentice. The apprentice sometimes needs to be pushed to learn a new way to apply that talant, the master never stops looking for ways to enhance his talant and make his work better even after years and years.
Follow your instincts and let the peice "tell" you what is best for that peice.
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Dale Bonertz
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Re: Turning and embellishing
Reply #6 - Jun 17th, 2010 at 7:45pm
 
All interesting perspectives.

Dale
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Ron Sardo
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Re: Turning and embellishing
Reply #7 - Jun 17th, 2010 at 7:51pm
 
Brian Warner wrote on Jun 17th, 2010 at 7:14pm:
I had an old friend, long since passed, tell me that the difference between master and the apprentice is the willingness to learn. Both have talant, the master's more refined than the apprentice. The apprentice sometimes needs to be pushed to learn a new way to apply that talant, the master never stops looking for ways to enhance his talant and make his work better even after years and years.


Sounds similar

Pablo Picasso Quote:
I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

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Brian Warner
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Re: Turning and embellishing
Reply #8 - Jun 17th, 2010 at 10:47pm
 
Picasso was better with the words than an old man tryng to talk to a youngman...But then again, he never had to deal with one like me....LOL smiley=slap.gif
I think one of the things I love about turning is how many different things can come ut of a peice of wood. I'm willing to bet that if you gave 100 different craftsmen all a 3x3 peice of pine, you would get 100 different things or variations of the same thing. The mind is the only limitation. smiley=thumbsup.gif
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Vaughn McMillan
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Re: Turning and embellishing
Reply #9 - Jun 17th, 2010 at 11:02pm
 
Ron Sardo wrote on Jun 17th, 2010 at 7:51pm:
...
Sounds similar

Pablo Picasso Quote:
I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.



Although he kept doing it over and over, he never did quite get that whole "drawing portraits" thing down, did he?  Grin

Seriously though, it's a great quote.  smiley=thumbsup.gif
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