What other turners aren't telling you, and how that relates to "innovative spirit"!

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by odie, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
  2. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I turn wood, bone, plastic, resin, Antler, stone, Paper, and anything else that fits on my lathe. I just took up metal spinning which is also done on the wood lathe. So I can't define wood turning as simply wood. What about all those acryic and cast resin pens. All those things show up in the instant gallery and look turned. However there are many things nowdays that don't look turned. malcolm Tibbets latest tables don't appear to be turned but they are.
     
  3. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!
     
  4. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    All those things are "turned" along with most every machine part in existence. After all, everything that is made on a type of lathe, whether wood, metal, or rose engine, is a turning. I would question including all of it under "woodturning." While my "definition" was and is pretty broad, its not so inclusive as to eliminate wood in the criteria. I'm not, however, advocating kicking the pen turners out of the Instant Gallery, but turned stone and spun metal probably need their own club. ;)

    On the contrary, Mr. Tibbets' segmented chess table was clearly turned. Are there others?
     
  5. Edward Weber

    Edward Weber

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    First of all lets tackle segmented.
    1. It's called Segmented. The definition is in the name, which also describes the construction method (which I was told was a bad thing.)
    2. Segmented already has it's own category and an AAW chapter
    3. Time does not apply to Segmented turnings because it already has it's own category, refer to 1 & 2

    I would have to say for me 51% would have to include time.
    If you turn for 15min and carve for 2hrs, yes it's a woodturning, but it would be better described as a carved turning This process works for segmented turning why not carved or painted or...
    As with segmenting, putting one style or another into their own category isn't such a horrible thing. No one was hurt, the world still goes around, all is well.

    "15 categories for the woodturning competition.
    One of which is "other than wood"
    Then the term woodturning looses all meaning. "woodturning used to be more descriptive than it is now. Now it is becoming a generalized term for any art form, apparently even for thing other than wood.:rolleyes:
     
  6. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Edward,

    Are you trying to define "woodturning" as a whole or just create a bunch of semantic pigeon-holed categories, and if so, for what purpose?

    Following your 51% time criteria, would you "exclude" Andi Wolfe from the AAW because she spent 1 hour turning the bowl and 150 hours carving it into her leaf piece I linked to above?

    I get a sense that we're traveling done a path to a Dire Straits song.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  7. Edward Weber

    Edward Weber

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    I was simply asking (again) how people define "woodturning"
    For me "wood turning is a main category with many sub categories,
    You asked my definition, I answered with my 51 %. For me, if it take more than halt time time to segment, it a segmented turning. If it takes more than half the time to carve it's a carved turning. It's easy once you get the hang of it.:)

    I don't know why you and others think or imply that I am somehow trying to "exclude" anyone or anything.
    I certainly wouldn't exclude Andi Wolfe's work, but maybe have a category for carved turnings. Placing like things in their own category does not diminish the work or the artist in any way. Maybe, just ,aybe, those who carve or sculpt or whatever, might like to have their own category instead of being lumped in with a bowl is a bowl is a bowl. Why people think this is a negative or that I'm trying to do something evil, I just don't know.
     
  8. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Not Evil

    Just trying to understand your goal of categories here.

    For instance, would you want the Instant Gallery at a symposium split into a bunch of sub-sections (bowls on table 1, carved stuff on table 15, etc)? Do you envision separate divisions of the AAW for the categories?

    We can discuss such separation criteria ad absurdum, but then what? After all, I can walk into a symposium show and easily tell a straight turned bowl from a carved piece from a segmented item from a multi-axis spindle-turned form from a jar. I instantly recognize all of those differences (categories, if you like) without needing to make brightline semantic demarcations between them. As a maker putting my stuff in the show, I really don't care whose work you put mine next to, and, in fact, I like the mixed format done at the shows. For me, walking down a 40' line of just bowls would tend to get visually boring.

    Harking back to my post above that you thought was "great", I acknowledged that some people I've spoken with seem a bit lost (and maybe even somehow misled) as the result of the multiple directions that the activity of turning wood on a lathe has taken in the last dozen years. Their concept of making stuff on a wood lathe was clearly limited to bowls, candle holders and table legs, and maybe those hollow-form jars with nice lids and finials. So, do you think that defining a bunch of categories will give those folks some comfort that the bowls and such that they like to turn are still defined as "woodturnings"? Do we need to do some boosting of bruised egos by somehow concluding that a straight bowl is more of a "woodturning" than something that was glued up from pieces or carved into something else?
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  9. Edward Weber

    Edward Weber

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    My “goal†as you put it is to dominate the world from safely inside my hollowed out volcano. Wait, that’s not you meant was it.

    My position is this, there are already categories of wood turnings whether you like to admit it or not. There are spindles, hollowforms, etc. Very simple one or two word terms that describes a piece. If I simply added categories like “carved turnings†or “sculpted turnings†to the woodturning vocabulary, what harm is there.
    The funny thing is that you asked me if I would exclude someone for their particular work, while I’m trying to include more people by adding categories (not literally)

    I was not, am not, nor never have been, intentionally or unintentionally, trying to exclude or segregate the art or artist. You seem to be confusing my opinion with some sort of negative motive; I don’t want to see a 40’ long table of only bowls either.

    My only “goal†was to get a feel for today’s interpretation of what constitutes a “woodturningâ€, since we actually agreed that it has changed over time. I understand that you can identify the different types of turnings at a glance, and that’s great, but everybody isn’t you are they? I fail to see how describing something by a more descriptive term is somehow considered negative. I would think the artist would want their pieces to be accurately described rather than an all encompassing or generalized term like “woodturningâ€.
    As you wrote, some people feel lost or misled. Would additional categories give them comfort, I certainly don’t know if it would or wouldn’t. I don’t think it would give them discomfort.

    We clearly have different definitions but that’s the point we don’t have to agree, although being admonished for my point of view is not necessary. This is, after all a purely subjective discussion, opinions can’t be wrong.
    Good discussion as always
     
  10. Mark Mandell

    Mark Mandell

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    Ed,

    I'm not painting you in some pejorative light, just trying to find an end result purpose here, although I will confess that I'm always leery of categorizing people as, from experience, I think it tends to foster exclusionary attitudes in one group or another (them Star-bellies being not included of course).

    If we can agree that it's all wood turning of some sort (can we?), then the labels on all those sub-categories become obvious. A straight bowl is a bowl. Something that's carved, whether 51%, 99.9%, or 1%, is . . . "carved". Let's make things simple shall we? We don't need percentages and such, nor do we have to stand in the gallery or stare at a photograph and head-scratch on how to make such a determination. I for one, simply looking at a piece, would not be in a position to make a judgment about how much time was involved in any one phase of making it. For example, I've done pieces where getting the finish I wanted took significantly more time and effort than actually turning the wood.
    ,
    PS:"World domination" "volcano". . Ah HA! We have unmasked you Herr Doctor! Vell, it won't work as 86 is on the job. You shall not spread CHAOS though your cleverly coded word games. Fore-warned is forearmed and we're packin'.:D
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  11. Edward Weber

    Edward Weber

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    Let's just leave the Sneeches out of this shall we.
    My result purpose was purely an academic exercise or question to get the "feel" of the woodturning as it is today. I only suggested different categories to delineate (for myself) the different types of turnings so that "I" could understand it better. If "I" didn't know where something fit in "I" placed it into it's own additional category. It seems you think categories are a negative slippery slope, I think they "can" make things more inclusive and orderly.
    World domination aside I currently have no working manifesto regarding the AAW or woodturners as a whole.
    Trust me ;):D
     
  12. Owen Lowe

    Owen Lowe

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    I tend to think it’s impossible to categorize woodturning; it’s a continuum of techniques and manipulations on a web of the craft where some step along the way a lathe is used. The big question for attempting to categorize a turning is: What degree of work, where the chisel is not contacting the wood, moves a piece from one category to another? Trying to answer that is the slippery-slope that will lead to argument and division among creators because at some time in the future a turning will be excluded from display or discussion because of some arbitrary rule.

    I would also like to point out that woodturning is woodcarving; it’s just a different method than the stationary piece and moving cutting edge.


    P.S. - just one name says it all:
    Sylvester McMonkey McBean
    One of the best names ever!
    Too Many Daves has some
    great ones as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  13. odie

    odie

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    Hello everyone........:D

    I've been out of the loop for a few days, and I see this thread is still active!

    Here's another thing to consider: When I, or anyone else thinks of woodturning......what comes to mind? For me, woodturning instantly brings up thoughts of applying a sharp tool to wood as it's spinning on the lathe. It doesn't bring up thoughts of gluing blocks of wood together, applying hand powered, or other carving tools to wood, burning designs into the wood, or dying, or sandblasting, or bleaching, or painting, piercing, or using acrylics, or stone, metal, etc. These other things can be in addition to woodturning, or in the case of alternate materials, in place of woodturning..........but, there is only one thing that is truly woodturning.

    Ed continues to make valid points about how categorizing the many alternative pursuits of woodturning isn't, and is not intended to reduce the influence of other things that can add to woodturning........but, that should never be viewed as not appreciating them. It can, in my opinion, be viewed as making the basic woodturning skills become less of a focal point in their relation to all the sub-categories. I believe excellence in basic turning skills is something that is losing ground to the embellishments that can hide the fact that these basic turning skills are secondary, or not as high level of mastery than the total combined object might command without the embellishments.

    Categorizing only highlights that which makes categorizing necessary to conceptualize it in the total sphere, while it allows simple mastery of what woodturning means to me, and others, stand out on it's own merit without being clouded in other things that aren't woodturning if thought of in the exclusive sense.

    ooc
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Woodturning: a process that rotates wood as it is shaped.
    Rotating is usually done by a lathe and the
    shaping is often done by hand held tools but fly cutters, angle grinders, wires, chainsaws...... can do the shaping too.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  15. Edward Weber

    Edward Weber

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    Odie, your post and Owens before yours is what I had been trying to get at all along.
    Individuals own definitions of what they consider to be woodturning. I'm sure there is a very wide range of answers. I know there is no single carved in stone definition.
    I know this has skewed a bit from your OT but maybe one of the things "other turners aren't telling you" is that it's all but impossible to define woodturning due to it's nature of constant evolution.
     
  16. Sergio Villa

    Sergio Villa

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    The lathe is just a tool

    The lathe is just a tool to rotate a piece of material, usually wood, which is spaped while rotating with another tool. This process is called turning. A spindle or a bowl, for example can be made by a lathe but also by other tools and the same thing can be make by different tools.
    As soon a piece stop rotating the process changes from turning to something else.
    So, in my opinion, what counts, esthetically is the final product, technically the process gets more complicated and a definition probably useless.
     

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