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percent of embellishment that works for you (Read 2,903 times)
 
Breck Whitworth
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percent of embellishment that works for you
Jan 16th, 2016 at 10:56am
 
This is my personal belief on embellishing a piece.
To me an embellishment is added for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to enhance a piece you have made. I understand that the trend is too showcase the embellishment more than the piece. And that is fine some are truly stunning works of art and then some are almost silly looking to me. Don't get me wrong I recognized the exceptional amount of skill and work that has gone into these kind of pieces and doubt if I could ever duplicate what some have created. I am not wanting to get into an art vs utility thing, or what is art, not at all I guess what I am saying is too much embellishment IMHO can take away from your piece. Finding that perfect amount of embellishment that enhances but doesn't take away from your work is what I shoot for. Have I missed it before, OH YES more than I probably ever hit it right. I guess that is why I try to do series of pieces with a common denominator because as I finish one piece, I see how to improve on the next one and practice does help. I will shut up now and am curious as to your thoughts on the subject of % of embellishment you prefer and why.
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Ed Weber
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #1 - Jan 16th, 2016 at 11:55am
 
Breck, I agree with your statement 100%
I have seen and experienced the same things with regard to segmented work as well.
There is always a sweet spot or goldilocks zone, for each individual piece.
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
Having the ability to take a step back and know when you've found that perfect balance is another important part of creating your best work. IMO it's as important, if not more so, than the actual physical act of creating your work.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #2 - Jan 16th, 2016 at 12:25pm
 
This reminds me of two great guitarists that I admire, Django Reinhardt and BB King.

Django believed in filling each moment of a musical score with as many notes as possible where BB sometimes felt that only 3 or maybe 4 notes is all that is needed.

The trick to art is knowing when to stop.
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Ed Weber
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #3 - Jan 16th, 2016 at 12:42pm
 
Ron Sardo wrote on Jan 16th, 2016 at 12:25pm:
The trick to art is knowing when to stop.


or to start at all, sometimes things are better left untouched.
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Ron Sardo
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #4 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 8:48am
 
But how can you finish something if you don't start?
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Breck Whitworth
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #5 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 9:45am
 
I have to agree with both of you that knowing when to stop and to realize when enough is enough are extremely important aspects even on a normal turning, let alone an embellishment on a turning.  Thumbs Up
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Eric Armstrong
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #6 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 9:53am
 
The architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, said it all in his famous quote:

"Less is more".
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Ron Sardo
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #7 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 10:55am
 
Eric Armstrong wrote on Jan 17th, 2016 at 9:53am:
The architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, said it all in his famous quote:

"Less is more".



How true.
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Al Wasser
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #8 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 4:30pm
 
This begs the question of what is the definition of embellishment?  I commonly cut 2-3 lines/grooves in the bottom of bowls.  Other times I have cut beads in the side of bowls.  If these are examples of embellishment then I suspect we all do it a great deal.  Another example would be adding a nice finial to a box.
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Ed Weber
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #9 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 5:03pm
 
If "it" serves no other purpose than to make a piece attractive in some way, then it would be an embellishment.
Some of your examples are no different.
Sometimes an embellishment can also have a utility component to, like texturing but mainly it's about aesthetics.
As for "adding a nice finial to a box" this may have a dual purpose. If we assume the box needs a knob or pull to remove the lid, the the finial is functional as well as visually pleasing.
Utility and aesthetics don't have to be mutually exclusive.
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« Last Edit: Jan 18th, 2016 at 8:31am by Ed Weber »  
 
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Larry Matchett
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #10 - Jan 17th, 2016 at 8:09pm
 
Sometimes typos are hilarious, as is yours ED.
Form before function, or function before form?  The question has been discussed in ART classes for eons.  The mark of an accomplished artist is knowing when to say "It's done".  That said don't be afraid to go beyond once in awhile,  the next time you will know when to stop.
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Ed Weber
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #11 - Jan 18th, 2016 at 8:32am
 
Larry Matchett wrote on Jan 17th, 2016 at 8:09pm:
Sometimes typos are hilarious, as is yours ED.


Well that's not too embarrassing Roll Eyes
Fictional, functional, you be the judge  Cheesy  Embarrassed
Thanks Larry
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Tom Coghill
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #12 - Jan 18th, 2016 at 1:03pm
 
I would not add embellishments to a piece where the wood grain has already done the work for you. Let mother nature stand in her own glory. That said, the common wood where I live is White Birch. This wood (if not spalted) is ... bland, very bland... like "white wonder bread" BLAND. (I think you get the idea...)

I have found that doing SOMETHING (even small) can add significantly to the final piece. As mentioned a few times here already - when does one stop?

Lol example below ...
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Breck Whitworth
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #13 - Jan 19th, 2016 at 10:26pm
 
Tom the blood dripping aspect of your piece is an important component of the shield and combat representation. As to how much is needed, eye of the beholder or artist. Great example Thumbs Up
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Steve Doerr
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Re: percent of embellishment that works for you
Reply #14 - Jan 19th, 2016 at 11:39pm
 
Sometimes when I look at some of the work that is displayed in American Woodturner I wonder what portion was actually done on a lathe.  I question why they are even called turnings.  The embellishments are the focus and are not what I consider enchancements.

To me, it's kind of like how the politicians define pornography.  "I'll know if a turning has too much embellishment when I see it."  That's about as good as I can do. Cheesy
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