LumberJocks

Ponderings #7: Boundaries

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Blog entry by Tomcat1066 posted 01-23-2008 04:30 AM 990 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: A Romanticized View of Hand Tools? Part 7 of Ponderings series Part 8: Woodworking for Women? »

For some time, I have been setting boundaries for myself. What kind of furniture I would do, and what I wouldn’t do. What materials I would work with, which ones I wouldn’t. Even what kind of tools I would use (although tiny shop space sort of made me have to set this boundary). Even though there are no set rules on most of this stuff, I still seemed to want boundaries. Why?

Honestly, I don’t know. However, as of tonight, I throw off all boundaries that are NOT involved in the laws of physics or other such things. If I want to build a Chippendale Highboy, so be it. I’ll build one. I’m sure I can sell it off later, so what does it matter if Jennifer doesn’t want something like that in the house? If I want to build a piece of wood art, with no useful purpose whatsoever, who cares? OK, who other than Jennifer cares? No one, that’s who.

You see, I was raised by an artist. My mother taught me at an early age to push boundaries. I didn’t have a coloring book until I was 8 years old, because my mother wanted me to be creative, not be taught to operate “inside the lines”. With an art background like this, why would I set boundaries for myself? Wood can be an artistic medium, and fine furniture can be a medium as well. Mission style furniture is art. Chippendale is art. Funky yet functional stuff can be art as well.

Why not embrace the art? I know I am. Let’s just see what happens ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!



13 comments so far

View gizmodyne's profile

gizmodyne

1770 posts in 3553 days


#1 posted 01-23-2008 04:51 AM

Booooorn Freeeeee! Go for it Tom (Just don’t pee into the wind).

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke." www.flickr.com/photos/gizmodyne

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3863 days


#2 posted 01-23-2008 05:23 AM

Great Tom. I’ve followed a few plans and designed my own. Most items have been requested items. So nothing made for Art’s sake.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3562 days


#3 posted 01-23-2008 05:28 AM

I saw your first line “I have been setting boundaries” and I thought “WHY?”

The only boundaries I follow are as you stated, the laws of physics. My other boundaries are the given space a piece goes in and style parameters by the clients. These are enough boundaries.

I encourage you to be free. Join me in the field of creativity with no boundaries, no barbed fences to contain and stifle the imagination!

WAHOOO!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View kshipp's profile

kshipp

179 posts in 3241 days


#4 posted 01-23-2008 06:02 AM

I suppose we are currently obligated to follow the “laws” of physics but I’m still trying to find a way around them. Who wouldn’t want a floating coffee table or a piece of wood that was impossibly thin and strong? I’ll let you guys know if I get around any of these “laws” and how I did it.
I wouldn’t hold your breath though.

-- Kyle Shipp, http://battleshipp.blogspot.com

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4012 posts in 3527 days


#5 posted 01-23-2008 06:52 AM

Go, Cat. Go!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3259 days


#6 posted 01-23-2008 12:13 PM

Thanks folks! I guess part of the reason I was setting boundaries was because it seems like people do it all the time. For example, someone just builds mission furniture. It seems like they’ve set a boundary that they’re not willing to cross.

What I have to keep in mind is that a) just because they set a boundary, doesn’t make it obligatory. B) Perhaps they just LIKE that style of furniture, or C) Perhaps they don’t have it in them to branch out!

I guess I like seeing rules and order in things. Perhaps “like” is the wrong word. Instead, I’m probably just comfortable seeing them there. However, I want to create. Nothing ventured is nothing gained, so why venture into shallow waters?

Thanks folks! Good to know folks here got my back ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Russel's profile

Russel

2199 posts in 3402 days


#7 posted 01-23-2008 12:50 PM

Boundaries! We don’t need no stinkin’ boundaries. Make whatever strikes your fancy. Whatever style I use is not the result of a definition as much as it is a limit of my current skill set, and that will change. If I don’t have a place for it, then I follow my father’s advice and give it to somebody who does. Fortunately, this is not my livelihood.

-- Working at Woodworking http://www.VillageLaneFurniture.com

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3259 days


#8 posted 01-23-2008 12:55 PM

Russel,

That is EXACTLY what I’m planning on doing. I figured I could donate some to local charity auctions, church groups, friends, family, the list goes on and on. Maybe one day, I might see about selling a piece, just to test the waters.

The funny thing is, I don’t think I could take commissions. WAY to many boundaries!!! ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View mrtrim's profile

mrtrim

1696 posts in 3343 days


#9 posted 01-23-2008 02:00 PM

sounds to me like you just past through sort of lumberjock puberty ! lol go for it man , boundaries are for convicted felons !

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 3624 days


#10 posted 01-23-2008 02:06 PM

sometimes a boundary is the catalyst for change… knowing opens the doors to the unknown… the boundary gives you the place to put your feet as you stretch yourself and push yourself outside the box.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4445 posts in 3425 days


#11 posted 01-23-2008 02:27 PM

Great idea. don’t forget common sense and good design and don’t squat with yer spurs on!

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3562 days


#12 posted 01-24-2008 12:03 AM

I swim in some pretty deep waters with the high-end commissions. The risk factor is incredibly high on them.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3259 days


#13 posted 01-24-2008 01:38 AM

Honestly Todd, I had no idea there was a high risk factor on commissions like that. I’d have figured them as a much safer bet than building on spec like I’m talking about doing.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

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