Turning Archive 2005

Subject:
Louisville, Part 2

Keith Tompkins
>In response to Jim Shaver's comments on the last thread, I started a new thread. I'll paraphrase Jim's questions: If you attended a national symposium, what subjects would you like to see. Why?

Here's my take.....as noted, the demonstrations usually involve surface treatments, segmenting, carving, or other topics not neccessarily related to turning. I think part of this is due to the fact that prominent turners will draw a big crowd. The audience wants the demonstrator to show the techniques that brought them to the "top tier" in the first place.

My problem with this is: 1. Learning lots of techniques is always a good way to expand one's horizons, but they do NOT deal with a turner's underlying problems. As a result, we see lots of poorly executed forms that are scorched, textured, pierced, etc. A closer look may reveal torn grain, sanding marks, and little regard to form.(this does not apply to anyone on this site, just a personal observation)

2. I feel that applying many of these techniques to your work could be considered "derivative", stemming from someone else's ideas. Not a big deal, unless you are attempting to develop your own style. I have been asked why my forms are not pierced, for example. Simple...Why should I pierce a particular piece? Just because it's a popular thing to do? Just because turner "X" does? I see lots of pierced pieces, and in many cases, it detracts rather than adds to the overall effect. Kinda like being in a Beatles "cover" band; no matter how good you are, it doesn't really matter.....it's already been done.

This is why I started doing the form and design demos in the first place....as a way of developing design skills AND technical skill together. If a turner has a good foundation in both, they will progress at a much faster rate. On the other hand, if one set of skills is weak, its often a long, slow progression.

That is why I like "pure" forms, even though I tend to make elaborate pieces. Stripped of all of the fancy techniques, the form remains. A piece should succeed or fail based on the form.

What demos would I like to attend? Threading....lots of fun. Photography....you've seen my photos. ... Promoting your work...maybe I should GIVE that one. LOL!

Last,Jim asked: should AAW members have a say in who gives the demos, and the topics covered ? Ultimately, we probably do....a bad evaluation pretty much takes care of that....Your thoughts?

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.

WOODCENTRAL, P.O. BOX 493, SPRINGTOWN, PA 18081