Turning Archive 2007

Subject:
Sources of Inspiration *PIC*

keith tompkins
>With all the talk of copying and plagiarism, I can't help but wonder why turners don't find sources of inspiration other than each other's turnings. Personally, I avoid enhancements such as piercing and other embellishments because they have become commonplace and are no longer unique, and are usually perceived as derivative of other's work. Here are some tips that may be useful:

1. Look at your previous work, study the best features of each piece. Try to improve upon those features in your new pieces.

The enclosed pic shows my interpretation of the dress I mentioned. I took a classic feature in carving, the linenfold, and applied it to a turning, giving it my own take on the subject. The result is a turning all dressed up for a night out...."Steppin Out".

I now have several variations based on this piece to begin.

2. What other things interest you? Could they be included in your turnings? For example, one turner told me he was a farmer his whole life, so there was no inspiration for his turnings there. We spent some time discussing that...how about farm animals, such as cows as a decoration? Even the color and texture of old barn siding could be inspirational. We were able to make quite a list.

3. Develop your powers of observations. There is beauty in ordinary, commonplace items that we see every day yet overlook as inspiration for our work. Things we see in nature, such as while on a walk, are a great example. My latest series is a result of a trip with my wife to the mall for a clothes shopping spree. Who would have thought a dress on a manikin would inspire a turning? BANG! there it was....and all I had to do was LOOK!

4. Keep a sketch pad handy....write down sketches, notes, and ideas.

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