It’s been a while since I’ve written, but I am back.
If you want to be a great woodworker, you need to learn to find outside influences. It is certain that we all start by developing tool skills and following plans, but somewhere along the way, we want to develop our own style. How can you do this?
The best answer to this question is to stop looking at other woodworkers and seek outside influences! It may sound counter-intuitive, but all great artisans have to develop their own voice by finding the things that interest them, and then combining these things together in a unique way to express their aesthetic.
As an example, I have always loved pottery forms, which got me into woodturning Pottery and woodturning are very different (build vs. cut), but share a lot of forms. I have also always loved the heavy glazes, which lead me to try to find a way to reproduce these on wooden forms.
Once you see things you like, you can start to expand your vocabulary. Some days, it’s just a shape. Other days, it may be a whole new set of skills you need to build just to prototype an idea. The point of the journey is the journey.
So what ideas can have I gotten from the outside:
Adding texture via glass
Adding texture via blacksmithing
Using nature to define form
Using mathematics to define form
The purpose of this entry is to get you thinking about where you can find influence instead of who. The best work is produced from the heart. A famous woodturner was credited with with being able to “pull ideas from his pockets”. When asked how he did it, he said “I’ve spent a lifetime filling my pockets”.
Go fill your pockets.