Turning Archive 2005

turned vs. unturned

Keith Tompkins
>I read with great interest the thread on what constitutes a turning or not. I'll share a few of my thoughts. The field of "wood art" developed as a direct result of people pushing the limits of the lathe, and ultimately their own limits. Wood art is not going away, in fact may be a large driving force behind the tremendous growth in woodturning.

Personally, I have been a turner for years, lots of furniture parts, some art stuff. I was unaware of the AAW and the trends in turning. I happened to see a few books books at Barnes and Noble on contemporary wood turning........BANG!! I showed the books to my wife "Look what these people are turning!" Some pieces bore an eerie resemblance to things I had produced years ago...I wasn't intimidated by the work at all; in fact, I could see myself fitting right in. I joined the AAW instantly. Not just for turning, the artistic element is what excited me. THIS IS WHAT I WANTED TO DO!

I knew how to carve...I knew how to turn...I could apply a good finish. What would happen if i combined all of these things? It seemed that the possibilities were endless. I know I am not the only one who thinks this way..thousands upon thousands of others do also.

The big question is....can both turning and art exist under one roof? I think the AAW is aware of their roots, but on the other hand, is not about to toss out the fastest growing segment in the art field. I think turning should be put into categories:pure turning, embellished turning, and open (wood art) turning. All three categories should receive equal respect and representation. The AAW needs all of us in order to succeed.

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