Turning Archive 2005

Subject:
CNC vs hand work

john Lucas
>Bill brought up a good question that deserves a fun look from this group. CNC prices are coming way down. For not a whole lot of money you can by a Smithy metal lathe, mill,drill with CNC capability. This would let youdesign a piece on the computer and have the machine turn it, carve it etc. Would this be cheating?

We are still going through this in photography. Personally since going digital I can't imagine going back. Idid love the soliturde of the darkroom but I can do so much more digitally to enhance my vision. Many craft shows however will not allow digital work because it's not hands-on. It is still considered art but according to them you've taken the craft out of it.

We had a similar argument with a glass artist complaining that he was making all his stuff himself and he was having to compete against another artist who had 3 helpers making the work. Not mechanical like CNC but but you see how the progression to produce more work for more proffit could easily lead to more efficient production methods.

Fortunately in Wood most of us enjoy the process itself. If I'm making bowls by hand and some guy comes to the same show with hundreds of bowls made by a machine then my only option is to try to educate the public about how I use the grain and natural defects to make each piece a hand crafted piece of art. That sounds good on the surface and has worked for people like John Jordan and Jacques Vessery but most of us are not in that leaque.

It don't want this to get serious I'm just rampling and having fun with the possibilities. I think CNC will be in our future in some way. Hopefully to allow us to create more interesting pieces of art. Not just to see how many bowls I can produce.

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