Turning Archive 2006

Old vs. New is not a new arguement in woodturning

Russ Fairfield
>There are those who think that embellishments AFTER the fact should be separated from "traditional woodturning". But, what about those things done to the wood BEFORE the fact of it being put on a lathe??

There was a time when TD's same argument was leveled against segmented bowls. The first photo of a segmented bowl in the AAW Journal was controversial because most woodturners didn't think that this was "woodturning". I don't remember how many times I heard the comment, "This is nice work, but it isn't woodturning", from folks at club meetings, galleries, and the person doing the critique at an AAW Symposium (Yes, THE Symposium). I heard this same thing said by one of the elders of the AAW as recent as 2-years ago. And, it wasn't that long ago that my segmented entry into an AAW exhibit was rejected because it "doesn't represent any of the new and growing trends in woodturning art".

A major magazine editorial at the time said that "segmented" was something for beginners who didn't have access to real wood, and that they would abandon it as they became more profficient at woodturning and gathering wood.

Fortunately for those who make segmented bowls, times have changed. In spite of those who wanted it otherwise, segmented bowls are now an accepted form of our art; and neither the AAW nor woodturning have suffered. I am sure woodturning and the AAW will survive this new "Age of Enhancement" as well.

Mark mentioned my polychromatic platters. I am still being told that they are not "woodturning" by folks who occupy far higher positions in the woodturning world than I.

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