Turning Archive 2006

Artist v craftsman

Keith Tompkins
>Some thoughts on the previous thread....As Russ stated, the successful turner should be both artist and craftsman. WHY?

The craftsman who only focuses on the technical aspects of their craft while ignoring the artisic side will reach a certain level of proficiency and then fail to progress past it. This a trap many flat workers fall into...as long as they are working from a set of plans, they can produce a decent product. The problems begin when they attempt to venture into new territory, their lack of design skills becomes very evident. Without a set of plans, they are lost, they don't have the design experience to fall back on. They realize their designs don't work, but cannot figure out why. They are resigned to producing unattractive pieces or copying the work of others.

the "artist" who does not take the time to master his craft usually suffers a similar fate. He may visualize glorious masterpieces, yet cannot bring his vision to life. His lack of skill is obvious; tool marks from improperly sharpened tools, poor sanding, poorly fitting pieces, etc. Like the craftman with poor design skills, he is stuck...he cannot overcome his lack of technical skill.

The person who is able to combine the qualities of the craftsman with the vision of the artist has a far greater chance of creating successful work. They aren't limited by their technical skills or their design skills. They can rely on both.

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