Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Enjoyable Weekend

Well the weekend was spent in the company of Norwich Woodturners.

The day was very enjoyable and a big thank you to Roger and Gina for inviting me to stay with them for the evening before the demonstration on the Saturday. Wonderful food and hospitality.

The day started with me demonstrating one of my lidded forms, followed by a fill in/small project before lunch of an ornament/paper weight.

Lunch was local fish and chips which always go down well.

After this I showed the procedure to make a textured and scorched wide rim bowl. banter was thick and fast which made the day fun and very friendly. After the main project in the afternoon I finished off with a small textured and scorched pot and finally a small hollow form.

One thing that was very evident was the table display of the members work. All of which was of a very high standard and included a wide range of items from coloured and textured bowls, pierced items, boxes, ply vase, burr form and a massive wall plaque which I would estimate to be about 5 ft long. It was obvious that the members liked to experiment with colour, piercing, as well as natural work.

As I said all the work was of a very high standard with myself being asked initially by Roger to critique the work. I find it more and more difficult to critique others work unless I know what each individual was trying to achieve with the piece.

I do not subscribe to some of the traditional thoughts on items and how they are made. IE my personal feelings on boxes and a plop fit is that it is not necessary unless the item is to hold something small and is likely to fall over. I also do not feel that thin walled items are necessary unless the piece originates from green wood. As this for me is the only time I feel it totally necessary to go thin, as it were. So if someone intends make a chunky bowl with an unequal wall thickness, then the item is right for the maker.

This is not to say these methods are wrong if people so wish to adopt them, but I am not sure that imposing my thought process on another's work is necessarily helpful for that person to develop. After all my observations are only my opinions based on my personal preference and tastes, this does not make me or another in my view correct when critiquing work.

There are forms that I prefer and some that I think are just not right. But again this is based on my own observations and programming for the way I think, based on my own research and slant.

The best way I believe to progress work is for each individual to be ultra observant in relation to what is seen around them, add to this detailed self critique of the work and I believe this should be enough. If we are honest with our own work to help us develop the next piece the development with naturally develop. This partly goes back to a previous post which included "beginners mind" within the subject.

Above all I believe people should make what they enjoy and which gives satisfaction, as surely nothing else matters.

I am now back to the office, making more ply pieces for the galleries, lidded forms with various colouring and texturing with new techniques, which seem to change as I go along, mainly due to them not working as I had initially thought.

Still seeing what happens at the end of it is the most exciting part. But then if it does go wrong then there is always the chimnea. !!!

1 comment:

rogerg said...

Hi Mark
Many thanks for your kind comments re your day in Norwich. It was a great success, with members going home eager to try new methods which you demonstrated. As far as critiquing goes I tend to agree with you. The difference with in- club critques is that we know the turners and their abilities, and mainly hope that comments made would be taken on board for their own improvement, and not as a sign of bad workmanship. Anyway, once again, many thanks.
Roger Groom