Are you an artist or craftsman

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Blog entry by Arthouse posted 02-27-2011 04:30 PM 2884 reads 2 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

“If you work with your hands you are a laborer ”

” If you work with your hands and mind you are a Craftsman “

” If you work with your hands , mind and heart you are an Artist.”

This is why I always call myself a woodworker never an Artist. It is difficult to envoke feelings from furniture. I have love when I make my creations , but I can never show love in a piece of furniture like an artist that paints a two dimensional canvas say of Mother and child . The technical aspect and rules of joinery dictate the way we show our heart to the world . This is why I say I am not an artist but a Woodworker I know alot of artist but I am just a woodworker. It’s also a humbling feeling to be grounded to say I am a craftsman who works with things from Mother nature.

-- "The hand is the cutting edge of the mind but the wind and sun are the healing factors of the heart

40 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4013 days

#1 posted 02-27-2011 04:32 PM


-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3011 days

#2 posted 02-27-2011 04:32 PM

I’ve always considered myself a wood artist, but that’s mostly because I don’t really build furniture or other big things. In my context, I consider a craftsman the greater compliment.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4030 days

#3 posted 02-27-2011 05:09 PM

I see the craftsman as being proficient in the execution of designs in woodworking but not so much so in the creation of designs concepts from scratch. The artist is proficient in design concepts but not so much in the execution of those ideas into the three dimensional world of woodworking. Which leads to a third category of artisan, a combination of the two in a single person.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View john's profile


2370 posts in 4406 days

#4 posted 02-27-2011 05:16 PM

I get called a artist all the time so i,ll go by what everyone else says :-)

-- John in Belgrave (Website) ,

View poopiekat's profile


4356 posts in 3759 days

#5 posted 02-27-2011 05:41 PM

One of the most popular theories taught in Psych 101, and every Supervision text or Human Resources class is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. Once you’ve been exposed to this treatise, the hands, head, heart thing becomes kinda irrelevant. The concept more clearly illustrates why one person may be happy with his crude, hacked out wooden garden tote, while another person stresses over the smallest detail of his elaborate hand-carved museum-worthy Henry VIII chest of drawers. The crutch of labeling is of little real importance, in my opinion. Oh, wait, hmmm perhaps having that hands, head and heart thing is in itself somewhere in that hierarchy. Discuss among yourselves!

-- Einstein: "The intuitive mind is a sacred gift, and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." I'm Poopiekat!!

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2947 days

#6 posted 02-27-2011 05:52 PM

Craftsman with a little of designing…. Well I just love to do what I my mind and heart dictates to my hands… got it.

-- Bert

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3602 days

#7 posted 02-27-2011 05:57 PM

We can claim any name for what we do but we are all just woodworkers, a title won’t make me any better or any worse.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Roper's profile


1389 posts in 3738 days

#8 posted 02-27-2011 06:03 PM

I am an artist who works in the medium of wood, but everyone just calls me that “Woodworking Guy”.

-- Roper - Master of sawdust-

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3333 days

#9 posted 02-27-2011 06:07 PM

I personally have never put a label on what I might consider myself to be. I have always just done what I enjoy doing and am passionate about. I do not feel the need to put a title on who I think I am.

Many people have an ego that makes them feel the need to call themselves an artist, craftsman or whatever.. Don’t notice too many people labeling themselves as a laborer out of ego. We have all seen many humble people create fantastic creations and at the other end of the spectrum have seen those calling themselves master craftsmen artists, etc.. who produce poor work by the standards of others.

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2858 days

#10 posted 02-27-2011 06:30 PM

Being a mindless fraud, I get to work with my hands and heart. What do I qualify for? :p

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View wing79's profile


33 posts in 3479 days

#11 posted 02-27-2011 09:09 PM

Woodworking in my opinion is a form of art, in reality most of us don’t just follow plans we give our own spin on things that we’ve seen that inspires us. Like painting there are many different styles. Realism, Abstract, and so on. The way I look at it, if someone is a great realistic painter, what are they, a painter or an artist? I believe we are all artists/craftsman some heavier one way than the other.


View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3061 days

#12 posted 02-27-2011 09:11 PM

I make boxes

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View childress's profile


841 posts in 3567 days

#13 posted 02-27-2011 09:16 PM

Interesting point of view. Now I’m wondering why your business is called Art House Studio? If you don’t see yourself as an artist, then why portray that to customers?

I try not to classify myself as an artist, but I have been called one before. I can most definitely say that I put my hands, mind and heart into what I do, but still don’t find the need to call myself an artist.

-- Childress Woodworks

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2823 days

#14 posted 02-27-2011 09:35 PM

I’m an individual.
I’ve been called lots worse than an artist…..... but that too.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2965 days

#15 posted 02-27-2011 09:41 PM

George Nakashima defined a woodworker thus: “One who makes things in wood, adopting an approach that seeks to integrate both art and craft.” I will go with that!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

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