Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
David Pye's thoughts

Bill Houghton, Sebastopol, CA
David Pye (1914-1993), an English professor of design, argued that irregularities were inevitable when doing work guided by hand*, and that these irregularities were what made work attractive and human. He was writing in the late 60s, and was NOT a fan of extravagantly and deliberately irregular work - I believe his phrase was "lumpy pots and hairy shirts." In effect, he was arguing for doing work as well as possible while realizing that irregularities would be present.

I think adopting the practices of folks back when hand tools were how work got done is likely to be the best approach. Instead of cutting everything to a measure then putting it together, cutting everything to fit the next part over, for instance.

Myself, I like to see work with subtle signs that a hand, not a machine, made the piece, rather than something that screams, "Hand tool work!"
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*You may be familiar with his distinction between "workmanship of risk," work guided by the craftsman's hand and skill; and "workmanship of certainty," work guided by jigs and fences that allow for no deviations.

Messages In This Thread

What makes the "handtool" look?
David Pye's thoughts
ICBM gyros
Confusion
Re: Confusion
Pye
Re: David Pye's thoughts - Just not true though
Visual vs. measurement
Re: David Pye's thoughts
Further thoughts
Re: Further thoughts
What doesn't result in a hand tool look *PIC*
Re: What doesn't result in a hand tool look
Re: What doesn't result in a hand tool look
Sorry, didn't read your post very well
You said it well *NM*
Affectation Vs. Artifact
Re: Affectation Vs. Artifact
Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: What doesn't result in a hand tool look
Thanks gentleman
Where was "why bother"?
Caring WRT Handwork
Re: Caring WRT Handwork
Re: Caring WRT Handwork
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look? Mistakes?
Easy... the eye of the beholder
You guys are way too negative
Perhaps...
Re: Perhaps...
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Amish
Saw handles
Re: Saw handles
Easy question
A Riff on Derek's ideas
Thanks Todd. *NM*
Re: we do it for ourselves
Re: we do it for ourselves - Nietzsche nailed it
Wrong question
Re: Wrong question
Re: Wrong question
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: Tempted
Re: Tempted
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
comment
Re: comment
Re: comment *PIC*
Re: comment (touchy feely alert)
ditto for turning
Re: comment
Re: comment
Re: comment
Re: comment on comment *PIC*
Re: comment on comment *PIC*
Not what I see *PIC*
Re: comment
I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm wondering ...
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: comment
Re: comment
Re: comment
printing..
Re: comment
Disagree
This is a line of thought often
Where is Adam Cherubini ?
Re: Where is Adam Cherubini ?
Re: Where is Adam Cherubini ?
Adam's goal, as expressed to me
Chamfers on rails and styles
Edit: incomplete thought.
What is the objective
Re: I don't really know
If you can't design then copy
Re: If you can't design then copy
Re: That is a line...
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