What do you find challenging

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Fadi Zeidan, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    I am always amazed by the level of knowledge and experience you guys have. I see you on YouTube, I see pictures of the art forms you create, you understand the ins and outs of just about every topic discussed and it is simply amazing.

    Everyone will say the learning never stops so I want to ask it different way to understand what drives you. Do you still find challenges? if so what do you still find challenging and/or plan on exploring in the future?
     
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Woodturning is a bottomless well and I'm always intrigued to learn new things. It's interesting that the more I learn, the more I realize how much more there is yet to learn. You can drill down as far as you want in any aspect of turning and come to realize that there is so much more yet to learn in any given facet.

    I've wondered whether this may scare off some who become interested in turning, but I think that for those with an insatiable curiosity it becomes something of a fatal attraction.

    When I first started turning wood, I thought that learning how to use tools in a manner that the wood wouldn't jump off the lathe and hide from me was just about all there was to know. There's no need to learn everything ... that would be impossible anyway ... so each person's journey takes them on their own course. My journey? I want to sail off into uncharted waters, but I'm still using a map to find those uncharted waters. :D
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I agree with Bill the challenges are endless.

    I like the elusive challenge of making a perfect curve. I keep getting close!
    I also find a challenges in creating a new form or expanding a technique.

    It is just a special feeling to see the curve I imagined come to be on a form.
    Even when I just miss it is satisfying.
     
  4. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    If there is no challenge, or something new to explore and try, it becomes mechanical repetitive work Which for me is boring. I am never happy if the end result is not what I had in mind even if the result is good. I guess, I’m not happy with accidental good. Right now proper use of the tools limit me from getting the form I have in mind. Then again, It could be that I still cannot visualize the form in the block of wood to know if I am cutting an area more than I should and end up with different form.

    I find it interesting to see what others deal with, what drives them to get better or new form, what they find challenging. I understand for some, they turn to sell. But my guess they still like to turn for fun and explore new areas.
     
  5. odie

    odie

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    I believe the learning seems limitless, because each piece of wood reacts to tools differently. This obviously applies to different species and wood grain orientation......but even from the same species and seemingly similar grain. What works this time doesn't necessarily mean it will work the next time. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find what does work the best way it can work....and, not allow yourself to accept mediocre results. We can ALWAYS get mediocre results, and power sand to an acceptable result.......finding what tool, and use of that tool that will yield the best results is ALWAYS a challenge.

    If I start my sanding at 240gt, or finer......then I feel I'm acceptably meeting the challenge......but, by goals are at a higher standard than that. It is a constant reaching for the impossible! If you are never quite satisfied, then the learning never stops! o_O

    You have to want it this badly:
    [​IMG]
    "I really, really, really, want!" :D

    -----odie-----
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
  6. Curtis Fuller

    Curtis Fuller

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    I've read comments over the years from many of the best woodturners out there. And I've also had the opportunity to watch some of these same turners demonstrate live and unedited (unlike a youtube video). From this I've learned that no matter how good you are at talking the talk, when you're at the lathe with a tool in your hand, it's always a challenge. I've seen them get catches, go through the bottom of bowls, and screw up just like I do. Maybe not quite as often but they still face the same challenges. Every piece of wood presents its own challenges and every little "oops" creates a new design challenge. I think what illustrates this more than anything is the number of times I've heard the remarks about how difficult it is to make two identical, matching pieces. A big part of what challenges me and drives me is the unknown outcome. Fadi, for me I am seldom disappointed if the results aren't what I was hoping for and I especially enjoy a surprise accidental good. Those are both a huge part of the learning process.
     
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  7. odie

    odie

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    Fadi.......I believe this personal "philosophy" of yours is destined to make you an unhappy turner. You just HAVE to allow yourself some level of satisfaction in your efforts. Seldom (if ever) do any of my turnings turn out to be exactly as I had envisioned. There always seems to be necessary adjustments allowing for what the wood reveals, as well as other changes due to how the wood is responding to your efforts. The more you work a surface, the more it changes from what you thought it would be. The secret is to get to a final shape quickly, if it will end up being what you thought it should be.......but, that is almost never the case. Find what does work, and whether it comes quick, or worked tirelessly to an acceptable result, the end game will always be better for it. Visual satisfaction is more important than personal satisfaction.......and, if you can get the former, the latter comes naturally. :D

    -----odie-----
     
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  8. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm guessing that professional artists must continually expand their horizons to avoid creative stagnation as well as holding the interest of their collectors.

    About "happy" accidents, I've had a few and I appreciate every one of them. Some have led me to new ways to embellish a turning. Of course, I never start out intending to have an accident because most aren't something that I would want to replicate.
     
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  9. Fred Belknap

    Fred Belknap

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    Challenge : How to use the tools we have effectively. How to make something that is pleasing to ourselves and to other people. How to get a nice finish. How to sell our product or give it away. How to get the most satisfaction from what we do. How to properly value what we make.
     
  10. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

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    When I used to turn multiple copies of spindles and architectural stuff, the first piece could be a challenge, then less so down the line, until it got to the point that the challenge became to keep the last spindles in a run to be identical to the first few. In other words, I basically got more competent with each piece, but still needed to keep them consistent in appearance.

    Bowl and vessel turning present new challenges for me all the time. Maybe that is because I am not as experienced as the masters, but different woods, different tree species, and different moisture content can make for a new experience with each bowl. That is a big part of what I love about it.

    Somebody earlier in this thread talked about seeing working pros demo in person. That is a highly valuable experience, as well as taking a class or a workshop.
     
  11. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I find every project challenging. it may be something I've done many times before but I try to get cleaner cuts or learn better tool control. Sometimes it's just playing with texturing and discovering new techniques or a better way to do something. It's just a very exciting hobby.
     
  12. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I am still fascinated by the basic utilitarian bowl shapes. Never gets boring...

    robo hippy
     
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