Turning Archive 2006

Masculine v. feminine

Keith Tompkins
>Let's face it...there is a difference in the way women and men are built. Adjectives that describe a female form would be graceful, beautiful, delicate. Words that may describe the male form would be utilitarian, strong, heavy-duty. Ferrari vs. diesel truck.

Could we use this same analogy to define our turned pieces? Furniture makers have been doing that for centuries. For example, a table with heavy, straight legs appears strong and durable. A table with tapered legs has a light, delicate appearance. A classic example would be the "Queen Anne" or cabriole leg.....a classic, graceful design.

To me, heavy, blocky bowls have the same masculine appearance, while lighter, flowing forms appear more feminine. WE, as turners, speak about how wall thickness, foot size, and form affect the way a turning appears; these same characteristics could be referred to as either masculine or feminine as well.

Appropriate? Any Opinions? A fair way of looking at our work?

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