Turning Archive 2005

Artists and giving credit to others

Ron in Drums PA
>When an art student goes to school to better learn the art of painting, one of the first tasks that is set to them is to copy the masters. In large cities that have museums who display well-known artists, you will see students with easels copying masterpieces. This is accepted in the art world and in museums. Only after these students learn "the proper technique" then they can start using the skills they have acquired to create their own style. One’s own style does not come from thin air, it is something that is learned over the course of years by borrowing ideas from other artists.

Throughout the years there have been many movements in art, cubism, pointalism, romantic, renaissance and art nevo just to name a few. In each of these disciplines, you will find many artists categorized as having similar work. Many of these artists knew each other and copied from each other, some were good friends, others were heated enemies and others had something in-between.

Another example would be in the music world, if no one copied Halley And The Comets’ style, they would have been the first and only rock and roll band.

The same thing is happening in wood turning, there are many styles out there that can be categorized as the same movement and from hundreds, if not thousands of turners there will emerge a few well-known names that will make it big. One hundred years from now no one will be asking if they were the first, but they will be acknowledged as the best.

In both the art and the music world, the well-known names have always expressed who has influenced them the most. Woodturners should do the same thing. I see nothing wrong borrowing ideas from the great, but one should always acknowledge how they where influenced. On the same token, if someone teaches their technique, they shouldn’t be surprised if the ones they influenced are using their acquired skills.

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