QUESTION OF THE WEEK #2: Intention...

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Blog entry by MsDebbieP posted 07-12-2011 11:23 AM 1349 reads 0 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Type of Woodworker? Part 2 of QUESTION OF THE WEEK series Part 3: What do you get when..... »

With your woodworking, do you lean towards:

1) practicality?

2) artistry?

3) practical art?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

39 comments so far

View Bertha's profile


12981 posts in 1731 days

#1 posted 07-12-2011 01:39 PM

3 for sure.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Eric_S's profile


1538 posts in 2234 days

#2 posted 07-12-2011 01:39 PM

I’d lean towards practicality to practical art.

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

View helluvawreck's profile


18752 posts in 1905 days

#3 posted 07-12-2011 01:40 PM

Well, Ms Debbie, if those are my choices then I would say 3 – practical art. At 61 going on 80, with whatever time I have left I would like to make some things for my loved ones that are beautiful and useful at the same time. I would like to know that they will enjoy using whatever I make for them. I’m trying very hard to learn how to make some useful and beautiful things so I have to keep my mind on what I’m doing so that I don’t run out of time. Time has a way of sneaking up on you. ;-)

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Hacksaw007's profile


601 posts in 2227 days

#4 posted 07-12-2011 01:43 PM

With now working out of a smaller shop, and mostly on wood lathes, my work has gone form Pratical art to somewhere between that and just artistry: Pratiart, there’s a new woodworking word. My customers love to see something in the work that I do.


-- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

6906 posts in 2467 days

#5 posted 07-12-2011 02:10 PM

I like easy, well put together, pretty and functional.
Oh, wait, we’re talking about woodworking…................

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View MyChipCarving's profile


532 posts in 2163 days

#6 posted 07-12-2011 02:34 PM

Chip carving lends itself well to practical art.
Knowing that I can take a household object like a frame, candle holder, platter, or pencil box and make it into a work of art is what really makes chip carving so appealing and inspiring to me.

-- Marty,, 866-444-6996

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8548 posts in 1958 days

#7 posted 07-12-2011 02:56 PM

I would have to say practical art. Some things have purpose and functionality. I suppose it is justification for having them around in the first place. However, many things I make are simply for art’s sake alone. I like to think that looking at them and enjoying them is enough of a purpose to justify their creation and existence.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Verna's profile


202 posts in 1812 days

#8 posted 07-12-2011 03:23 PM

Practical art. Boxes and baskets that can be used to store items. Everyone needs them!!

-- Verna -- Indianapolis, IN

View JimArnoldChess's profile


196 posts in 2033 days

#9 posted 07-12-2011 03:43 PM

Number 3 for me. Art you can play with.


View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 3124 days

#10 posted 07-12-2011 03:44 PM

I agree with Autumn… something functional first, artistically done. I guess that’s practical art. There is a theory in the art world about creative design, that the more constraining the restrictions put on something to be made, the more creative it forces a person to be in producing it. If given total free reign, a craftsman is swamped by too many variables, and if constricted, the mind is forced to focus and produce something more original. I find it true. If working within strict parameters, designing something is often more challenging, and leads to a better product. One example is the wood contest challenging craftsmen to produce “something, anything” using only One eight-foot common 2×4. The results of these contests are stunning, and illustrate the breadth of the creative imagination. Sorry, just a sideline thought!


View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2347 days

#11 posted 07-12-2011 04:09 PM

Add me to the practical art list. I do not think there are too many woodworkers out there that would not want to be creative..

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 3199 days

#12 posted 07-12-2011 04:11 PM

I agree, Barb … and I say the same thing about why our youth are suffering from depression so often – to many options facing them. What to do with your life when you can do ANYTHING!

I, too, love the “constrained” challenges. I’ll never forget Gary’s bird cage and the umpteen studs Ryan took out of his basement wall as he tried to bend the 2×4 wood.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View lew's profile


10620 posts in 2794 days

#13 posted 07-12-2011 04:16 PM


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 2275 days

#14 posted 07-12-2011 04:16 PM

Everything I make is practical. Some of it might be nice enough to call it art. I can only hope someone thinks so.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2022 days

#15 posted 07-12-2011 04:33 PM

I would have to say that my woodworking has always been based on need, so its been practicality. As I get older though I am beginning to lean towards practical art.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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