Turning Archive

*** HOT TOPICS: Taking suggestions...

Ellis Walentine
One of the great advantages of the messageboard format is the diversity of opinion and experience that emerges on almost any given topic. Here on the WoodCentral turning forum, we have visited just about every conceivable turning question at one time or another. We've also showcased a staggering variety of tools, methods and finished work.

It occurs to me that times change, methods and tools improve, and styles of work go in and out of fashion or favor. We will always be discussing the latest innovations in the field, and the movers and shakers who are pioneering the latest techniques, but I'd like to stir the pot a bit by revisiting some of the perennial topics of interest to turners.

Here's a f'rinstance:

My work is almost exclusively in the "round and brown" category, yet from the shows and symposia I've attended, and the turning magazines I've read, it seems to me that many, if not most, woodturners nowadays are creating works that go far beyond the original turning -- with a remarkable array of techniques and effects, some labored, many inspired. To me, many of these objects are demonstrably works of art, where the actual turning is incidental. This raises some questions that I think are worth discussing: Where does turning end and sculpture begin? Are turnings art in their own right, sans decorative work? Is this part of the art vs craft debate? Aesthetics? Functional vs decorative?

I would like to welcome you all to submit a topic -- or a wish list of topics -- that you'd like to see aired out here on the forum. If enough people think it's a good idea, we'll see about instituting a regular feature, and possibly archive the discussions in s knowledge base.

What think?

Ellis Walentine, Host

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