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A Question for ALL carvers

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  • Dileon
    replied
    I think you are asking what is art.....which is massive discussion. When I look at every ones work I see art. I do not see a craft. I say this because they are taking an object which is wood and making something out of it. Each person has their own style and love of what they make. My mentor was a very well know oil painter in Europe, he believed anyone could learn to do art .....it was a matter of training and learning curves. He had his PhD in fine art education. He believed in depth that..... You do not have to do master works to make art.

    Almost all wood carver that, I know will not call themselves artist, they believe they do not have the right brain focus for such creative work. For example in college you could tell the difference in law students....from artist in how they dressed, things they discussed and manners. Engineers from computer people dress, act and mannerism are often major different. You could tell most peoples major by just looking at them......is it a culture? Yes and no. Is it the right brain thinking which is a science of our brains. I had a very good friend geophysical scientist for NASA ....he was genius. He was very uncomfortable around people, but took great joy in being around artist who function off the right side of brain. He was completely left brain and enjoy conversation from the extreme right side people. I think although there are differences with the so called artist vs the wood carver.....does he consider him a maker of sculpture....often that is a no. When I walk into bunch of wood people.......we are all wearing a t shirt, jeans, and tennis shoes or work shoes. We talk about tools and wood. But those people can not believe I can oil paint large murals for church, they say it is beyond there scope of what they understand. I believe that is the depth of usage of the right brain thinking.

    As far as artist being crazy.....I just say that,.... ...as people do not understand when you think different then they do ....so your noted as not being normal. being insane, nuts, wacko.... I find when people are using the left brain society thinking and when you function outside the box....you can really make people uncomfortable. As far as talking about eating dead people it comes from the depth of your religious beliefs, cultural beliefs, beliefs about food, what is evil and what is good and etc.....the fact we had some priest sitting among ten artist in this discussion it was very interesting talk....but there was one man who was sitting outside the conversation and was listening. He started screaming at us....."You are sick, you have lost your minds!" This discussion was taboo to him and he was living in the logical normal world as he saw himself. We can question Goya cutting off his ear.....was he insane....or was he trying to get attention in order to sell more of his work? It did work some what he is noted in history.

    Yet ....there is also this thought....that
    The craftsman knows what he wants to make before he makes it.…The making of a work of art…is a strange and risky business in which the maker never knows quite what he is making until he makes it.

    R.G. Collingwood (1889–1943), English philosopher, The Principles of Art (1938)
    Last edited by Dileon; 06-26-2017, 07:32 PM.

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  • Spiritwolfe
    replied
    Since starting this thread I've recently been told that if I think I have a lot of patience then I must be delusional. LOL! Well I guess there's that also.
    Sure enough he's absolutely right. I have zero patience with HIM..... ( an edit ) lol technology . Modern technology is fabulous but I do find it frustrating indeed.
    Another thing I have no patience for is child proof stuff. It trips me up all the time. I guess that says a lot about me.

    I do paint; both watercolouring and acrylics. When I'm painting I consider myself a painter. When I'm turning I consider myself a turner, when I'm carving I consider myself a carver.
    In the bigger picture I suppose I consider myself an artist.

    Hank wrapped it up nicely and came to the same conclusion that I did in that we tend to have MORE patience with the things we LOVE. Sure we might get frustrated while carving but since we are holding sharp objects, hopefully we've learned to respect those tools and perhaps walk away till next time.

    It IS an interesting topic.

    Oh and I LOVE being retired also. It's everything and then some.
    A piddler. I like it. I think I'm gonna scoop the name.
    Last edited by Spiritwolfe; 06-26-2017, 03:08 PM.

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  • jimp
    replied
    I find that for me, patience is dependent on the subject.
    With some people, I have none...with others (like my grandson) it is endless.
    As far as carving goes, if I am in the zone, the patience is there. If not...nope. Might as well move on to something else.

    As far as carvers, I think that as a whole, they are pretty good folks. Even though I was ticked off with my bad experience a couple weeks ago in Michigan, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was a fluke, and hopefully a learning experience for all of us. My other class experiences have been very positive! I have met and talked with some of the big name carvers that I was almost star struck with. They were all (except for the MI experience) very helpful and friendly.

    I wish I had more of an attention span! If I would stick to one type of carving, maybe I would get good at it. Instead, I try some caricature, some chip, some relief, fan carving, flat plane, birds and ducks. I took a realistic bust carving class...way out of my league! I learned a lot, though and enjoyed the class and Mr. Hood was a great teacher! I will have to try again!

    I also really enjoy our carving club. I am retired from UPS. I saw people all day and I really liked my job. I LOVE being retired, and my carving club is the only thing that even remotely HAS to be attended on a regular basis. The social aspect of it is great for me.

    I consider myself a piddler. I am surely not an artist! I piddle around a little with this and then piddle around a little with that.

    Interesting posts...Thanks!

    Jim

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  • Just Carving
    replied
    I consider myself a craftsman. Simply because I come up with an idea, develop a pattern, choose my materials and then use my tools to carve or whittle my idea into a piece of wood--very much like a cabinetmaker would a cabinet, a luthier would a violin, a furnituremaker would a chair, etc.

    If I were to paint my carvings much like Teri Embrey does (http://www.teriembrey.com), then I would call myself an artist. If I were to carve a relief carving much like an artist would paint a canvas, then I would call myself an artist.

    I could easily say my Whittlebears are pieces of art, but I much rather call them carvings. Actually I would like to refer to them as whittlings for a lack of a better term but I haven't found a word that reflects the fact that I carve primarily with a knife and make the finishing touches with a v-tool and a couple of small gouges. So, it's just easier to call them Whittlebears to get around the whole issue.

    Bob L

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  • Spiritwolfe
    replied
    Dileon brings up an interesting topic which takes this conversation a bit deeper and that's whether you classify yourself as an artist , crafter, or woodworker . Dileon categorizes woodcarving under the arts, which would make woodcarvers , artists.
    Some woodcarvers don't consider themselves artists whereas others do, so WHY?

    It's also interesting that these two are almost polar opposites in personality types and why is this? I find this area of topic fascinating . Most of us will agree that genius is often mixed with a touch of insanity and we also know that those who possess a large amount of creativity are often cursed with some form of mental disorder. After all, the arts are a perfect venue to use as a creative outlet. It's not surprising that those with mental disorders would use art as an outlet. Scientists have linked artistic expression for those suffering with depression, anger or frustration and it has proved beneficial. Art offers the individual a medium for personal expression.
    We are all born with an innate desire to express ourselves and we do it through all the various mediums of art. Creating art offers our brains a pleasant distraction, giving it a break from its habitual thoughts. When we get totally absorbed in our creative endeavour it puts us in a meditative state known as the 'zone' where we have the ability to focus and push aside our daily worries, so woodcarving is indeed good for our mental sanity. But we don't need scientific evidence to prove this.
    Art has been used to gently transition veterans suffering from P.T.S.D. It helps in neuron regeneration and enhances problem solving skills. There is no one correct answer with art so it frees our mind.

    For myself, I don't really care whether woodcarvers refer to themselves as artists or woodworkers. That's their individual choice and I don't think it makes any difference.

    It's also a known fact that many creative people are somewhat reclusive in their lifestyle and personality but that doesn't necessarily mean they're psychopaths; ( lol ) meaning they are incapable of human empathy and compassion. Many great artists suffer from being too empathetic. Their 6th sense is so strong that they can't help but pick up feelings from others. Creativity offers an outlet to turn this off temporarily. It offers freedom from mental everyday stress.

    I'm not even sure what to say about artists who discuss eating dead people. That's out of my scope of reasoning. Thank goodness.
    Maybe another topic. LOL!


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  • Arthur C.
    replied
    Originally posted by Spiritwolfe View Post


    ^^^^ THIS is how I feel when I carve and it's this feeling that makes me feel like all carvers are feeling the same. Yes I'm no doubt stereotyping but it's such a nice stereotyping. Kind of like puppies and balloons

    SNIP
    Love it!

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  • Spiritwolfe
    replied
    Originally posted by Just Carving View Post
    Here's your rainbow! I caught it hanging around my neighborhood on Monday evening.

    Bob L
    Awweeeeeee! That my friend is beautiful and THANK YOU so MUCH. You truly are a kind gentleman. That just made my WEEK.

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  • Just Carving
    replied
    Here's your rainbow! I caught it hanging around my neighborhood on Monday evening.

    Bob L
    You do not have permission to view this gallery.
    This gallery has 3 photos.

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  • Spiritwolfe
    replied
    Originally posted by Arthur C. View Post

    I find that the act of carving allows me to periodically zone out to a degree, allowing for meditation while I carve...maybe this is a common occurrence among carvers that gives them the traits mentioned.

    ^^^^ THIS is how I feel when I carve and it's this feeling that makes me feel like all carvers are feeling the same. Yes I'm no doubt stereotyping but it's such a nice stereotyping. Kind of like puppies and balloons

    When I use to drive a motorcycle whenever you passed another biker they'd wave in acknowledgement. It's an unspoken ritual that motorcyclist shared.

    Its like woodvarvers share some common sacred traits
    Last edited by Spiritwolfe; 06-25-2017, 08:16 AM.

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  • Spiritwolfe
    replied
    Originally posted by Just Carving View Post
    Nikki,

    "I like to think woodcarvers and just about all people are nice--until I'm proven wrong. And unfortunately, I'm usually proven wrong."

    I guess my wording was poor. I meant I'm usually proven wrong about people being nice.

    Being an EMT for 23 years has afforded me the opportunity to cross paths with a lot of different people and their diverse personalities. That is where my philosophy of people usually being nice comes from. But then there were the people who wouldn't be nice to God himself.

    Great discussion Nikki. And I learned a few things about woodcarvers.

    Bob L
    I 'like' to think all people are nice but I'd also like to walk across a rainbow. lol.
    Being in your line of work that doesn't surprise me. Luckily there's always a polar opposite to the evil in the world . There are a lot of incredibly good people and they far outweigh the others. This I 'have' to believe.





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  • Dileon
    replied
    Out of all the arts, most woodcarving takes major patience, study, and often can take major amounts of time. The top of the list would be stone carving......now that is a bear I will not chew on. The wood carvers I met....almost all of them would stop in a moment and answer questions, give you help and extremely good, kind people... Of coarse there are a few that would not fit that bill. But most are great people. Compare them to professional fine art painters they are worlds apart in personality.....which are normally extreme to the point of being weird and they often like to be alone. An their forums are often wild discussions about things that people do not talk about, like if....
    you where starving to death and there is no food, would you eat a dead person. . I have both personalities...so it seems to work out.

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  • Arthur C.
    replied
    One of the reasons I took up carving was that I could start and stop at will to assist my handicapped son, unlike one of my other hobbies which was making wheel thrown and handbuilt pottery, which requires considerable prep time and continuous attention during the creative process. The switch to carving had zero to do with patience one way or the other, but I find that a collateral benefit of the start/stop at will ability is that it allows me (for a lack of patience) to stop carving in general or on a particular piece if I get frustrated...you just can't do that with pottery! The wood will wait (patiently!) for me in the box until I am ready for it again.

    I find that the act of carving allows me to periodically zone out to a degree, allowing for meditation while I carve...maybe this is a common occurrence among carvers that gives them the traits mentioned.

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  • Just Carving
    replied
    Nikki,

    "I like to think woodcarvers and just about all people are nice--until I'm proven wrong. And unfortunately, I'm usually proven wrong."

    I guess my wording was poor. I meant I'm usually proven wrong about people being nice.

    Being an EMT for 23 years has afforded me the opportunity to cross paths with a lot of different people and their diverse personalities. That is where my philosophy of people usually being nice comes from. But then there were the people who wouldn't be nice to God himself.

    Great discussion Nikki. And I learned a few things about woodcarvers.

    Bob L

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  • fiddlesticks
    replied
    I think patience is necessary at least with your carving. When I pursue something I have a lot of focus and patience. Others in my carving class are not patient in general, but have patience with their carving. I won't say you can't be a good carver if your not patient when carving, but I think you'll go farther if you are patient especially with your progress and the amount of work and repetition it takes to make progress. If you are impatient with lack of progress you will tend to give up too soon.

    The flip side is being too patient and not pushing hard enough, not putting in enough hours to progress.

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  • honketyhank
    replied
    I am not sure I would list patience as part of my personality. For example, I do not suffer fools for very long. But I do enjoy doing stuff I enjoy, if you get that. And I do not enjoy doing things I used to enjoy if I am no longer having fun. The key is 'am I still learning'. If it is fun and I perceive that I am learning how to do whatever it is better than I used to or that I am doing things that I haven't done before, that allows me have what might pass for patience. Or, it could be perceived as obsession.

    While I don't think people would say I have more than average amount of patience, I know people have accused me of being obsessed with this or that. That's ok with me as long as I am having fun being patient or obsessed.

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