Hand Tools

Subject:
Re: comment (touchy feely alert)
Response To:
Re: comment *PIC* ()

Wiley Horne--So. Calif.
"And you want something to look like it was just tossed off spontaneously, not labored over."

The truth of Warren’s words struck me, as it did Kees. I attempted once an adaptation of the Greene & Greene Gamble House chiffonier. I tried hard to emulate the carved pulls, which were done by European craftsmen, who had been brought over and were living in the Pasadena arroyo beside the Rose Bowl. The European carvers’ work had flair, that tossed off look that Warren speaks of. I found I could look right at detailed photos of what they had done, and no matter how much I focused, mine at their best looked machined and rounded over—not imperfect, too exactly alike. The harder I worked, the effect stayed the same.

There is a description of this enigma in the book ‘The Unknown Craftsman’ by Soetsu Yanagi. He discusses it at length in the chapter ‘Hakeme’, which refers to Korean tea bowls. An item in universal use by all families and made quickly with no thought of art. The artisans laid on a white slip with brushes made of whatever lay to hand—hair, hemp fibre, rice straw ends, grasses, cotton rags……;They laid this slip on fast, which resulted in brush strokes showing. ‘Hakeme’ means brushstroke.

Japanese aesthetes found ineffable beauty in this Korean folk craft. It’s now in museums. Their artists and zen masters tried to reproduce it. They couldn’t get it right. No amount of artifice or intellectual effort could reproduce what the Koreans laid on with no conscious thought of beauty at all.

Yang reaches a conclusion…that the beauty of this sort of folk craft arises from ‘seeking freedom in the work’. The very opposite of bearing down, gritting the teeth, trying ever more diligently to eliminate error. You can’t get there by successive approximation.

Yanagi concludes that the natural effect begins with freedom in the mind, which after much, much repetition achieves a meld with the tool and the material. He ends by saying that ‘the brush and clay do not allow of dilettantism’, but rather that this sort of ‘freedom comes from infinite repetition of a technique’.

I think of this when I think of those European carvers making the cut they’ve made thousands of times effortlessly. A stab cut which I find most difficult. Their result is a lightness, a flair, where each little lobe of the pulls is, on inspection, unique and ever so slightly different from the others. The carver wasn’t thinking, ‘I’ll make you this way, and I’ll make you that way…etc. Surely they just did the work for the pay they got, while thinking of other things far away.

Wiley

Messages In This Thread

What makes the "handtool" look?
What is the objective
Re: I don't really know
If you can't design then copy
Re: That is a line...
Re: If you can't design then copy
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Edit: incomplete thought.
Chamfers on rails and styles
comment
This is a line of thought often
Where is Adam Cherubini ?
Re: Where is Adam Cherubini ?
Adam's goal, as expressed to me
Re: Where is Adam Cherubini ?
Re: comment
Re: comment *PIC*
Re: comment
Re: comment
Disagree
Re: comment
Re: comment
Re: comment
printing..
Re: comment
I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: I'm wondering ...
Re: I'm back to what is the objective
Re: comment on comment *PIC*
Not what I see *PIC*
Re: comment on comment *PIC*
Re: comment
Re: comment
Re: comment (touchy feely alert)
ditto for turning
Re: Tempted
Re: Tempted
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Easy question
Wrong question
Re: Wrong question
Re: Wrong question
A Riff on Derek's ideas
Re: we do it for ourselves
Re: we do it for ourselves - Nietzsche nailed it
Thanks Todd. *NM*
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Amish
Saw handles
Re: Saw handles
Easy... the eye of the beholder
You guys are way too negative
Perhaps...
Re: Perhaps...
Re: What makes the "handtool" look? Mistakes?
Re: What makes the "handtool" look?
Thanks gentleman
Caring WRT Handwork
Re: Caring WRT Handwork
Re: Caring WRT Handwork
Where was "why bother"?
What doesn't result in a hand tool look *PIC*
Re: What doesn't result in a hand tool look
Re: What doesn't result in a hand tool look
Re: What doesn't result in a hand tool look
Affectation Vs. Artifact
Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Virtue?
Re: Affectation Vs. Artifact
You said it well *NM*
Sorry, didn't read your post very well
David Pye's thoughts
Re: David Pye's thoughts
Further thoughts
Re: Further 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