Turning Archive 2006

Artist or Craftsman-is one inferior?

Greg H. from Wisconsin
>I have been turning for a little over one year and I have come across a few questions, mainly one. Artist or Craftsman is one inferior, or just not as popular? When I started to notice others I was probably the same as others, those who had videos or books are the "big names." That was it, one thing to seperate the masses. But then I met people like Don Derry and Bob Rosand, no videos (at least within the decade) or books, but man they knew their stuff. Being that I live in WI, a little more than an hour from the Lacer's, I have been to Alan Lacer's house, more than once, he has become more of a mentor or a "friend" figure than a woodturning god. Now after meeting more people personally, I'm noticing a slight difference in people perception of them. Is it more respected to turn a 4,000 dollar hollow form or to be able to turn 50 matched table legs or 100's of ornaments?? Is the natural progression in turning craftsman then artist? Or are they equals in their own standards, one maybe more mainstream and hyped through galleries than craftshows? Do you have to be one or the other? Is it more advanced to turn a massive bowl or hollow form compared to turning tiny finials or ornaments? Is a oneway 2436 the master's lathe instead of a 1224?

I have full respect for all turners in all walks of life. People that I would consider my friends are some of the "biggest, well-known artists" in the industry, but some of my friends are the craftsmans of the industry also and I notice a huge difference in the public perception of them.

Just was wondering about it as a discussion, nothing to get anybody's feathers flying.


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