Turning Archive 2007

Masculine or feminine...

Mike Stafford
>As a follow up to the thread about who is your best customer I have to ask whether you think of your work as masculine or feminine?

My wife has a friend who was a design major and over the years she has helped me with my design sense regarding my woodworking and woodturning. She would always look at something I made and say, "That one is very feminine" or "That one is definitely masculine." Usually when I asked her why it was as a result of a number of factors including the shape, the finish and the woods used in the project.

As long as I don't use all dark woods she has categorized most of my boxes as feminine and indeed the vast majority of my box sales are to women. However, the more angular boxes, straight sided, squat and stout boxes in dark woods are always pronounced by her as "definitely masculine."

It does seem that the women buy the curvy, rounded forms and the men buy the heavier dark straight sided stuff.

It is also interesting to watch the difference between the ways a woman examines a piece and the way a man examines it. Women, invariably always touch every surface on the box, inside and out. Men generally make sure the lid is functional and never make statements about how smooth the object is. Women almost always comment on the smoothness and if they find a rough spot they usually tell you...

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