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Creative woodworking - making for need vs. pleasure

by live4ever
posted 07-22-2011 07:16 PM


14 replies so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

15431 posts in 1292 days


#1 posted 07-22-2011 07:44 PM

that’s an interesting question. I typically have a home before I start, but have on occasion made thing “just because”. Most of it went to somebody, but I do remember making one of those workmate type benches that I just didn’t like and never used. One day the parts got scavenged and the wood recycled. I’m sure that’s not the only time, but its the one I remember at this point.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1883 days


#2 posted 07-23-2011 03:19 AM

CR has this right.

This is a real pet peeve of mine. My wife thinks everything in the entire house needs to be exactly the same style and color. Worse than that, it’s really difficult to communicate it with her…if I tell her i want to make something in a mahogany craftsman style, she’ll say, “No! All our furniture is mission and i hate mahogany”. The irony is that, yes, our furniture is largely, you guessed it, mahogany!

Then, she’ll say, “That won’t go with our house.” Never mind that our house was built in 1989, and the only stylistic influences are some colonial elements, which, by the way, she hates. Go figure, a Greene and Greene Piece wouldn’t go with our house, but our mission furniture does?!?

So, like many people here, if I want to build something, I’ll have to fight to get it into the house. Some people just don’t understand that “art” isn’t the pictures you hang on the walls, it’s the frame that it’s in. At least that’s true as long as all we can only afford to hang up are pictures and prints…and as long as my frames are worthy of the “art” label.

Of course, when we have visitors, the first thing they notice is the woodworking…which she speaks of with such pride! Doh!

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View live4ever's profile

live4ever

983 posts in 1734 days


#3 posted 07-23-2011 03:37 AM

Folks, just wanted to let everyone know I have a split personality and occasionally post under the name Comicsniper. ;)

Jay, sounds like we married the same woman…

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15714 posts in 2942 days


#4 posted 07-23-2011 03:40 PM

I make what I really want to make, and worry about where it’s going to end up later. I think if you get too caught up in the practicality aspect, you will limit your woodworking pleasure significantly.

Jay: I feel your pain. That sounds exactly like my wife. I thought all women were supposed to be great interior decorators. The funny thing is, she can go to someone else’s house that may be decorated with a pleasing mixture of styles, and she thinks it looks great. But in our own home, I always get the “that doesn’t match our stuff” response.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1707 days


#5 posted 07-23-2011 08:18 PM

In the past I’ve made things to fit the needs of others that I have wanted to make with very little consideration of making for myself with the exception for the shop. Now that my wife and I are empty nesters and my new shop is here at the house I have projects I want to make for the house and for myself. As a hobbyist myself making projects now will be for need and for pleasure. As to the decor most of the things in the house is a mismatch of items so the decor issue isn’t a problem at this time.

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

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

5232 posts in 1522 days


#6 posted 07-24-2011 02:41 AM

I made most of the pieces in our house and I agree that a lot of the “arty” outside the box stuff that I really enjoy making now doesn’t fit in.

To the end of finding a home for it, I will have several of my pieces in a gallery in August. It will be my first attempt at infiltrating the “art community”. We’ll see how that goes.

If it doesn’t move I’ll try something else, but I’ll continue to make what I enjoy because it is, when all is said and done, it is a hobby….. for fun.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View ShopTinker's profile

ShopTinker

881 posts in 1492 days


#7 posted 07-26-2011 02:53 PM

I enjoy making things I’m asked for as long as the request isn’t overly specific. I really like making something that makes something else easier, better, or saves time. It might take two days to make, but it will save five minutes each time it’s used again, and again, and again. It’s appreciated each and every time it’s used.

I’ve seen some unusual pieces that made me think “I’d like to try making one of those, but what would I do with it.” I haven’t done it yet, but I think charity auctions is the answer. Make it to see if I can and, if it turns out nice, donate it to charity.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View agallant's profile

agallant

436 posts in 1611 days


#8 posted 07-26-2011 05:32 PM

I make what I like. Sometimes I make something because I think it will be fun then give it to a friend. Most of the things I make are things I need. I am going through the house and replacing all of the Ikea crap with stuff I make. My wife does not care about having one style in the house so I get to do what I want. She has never told me that something does not go with the house, in fact I know she hates the matched set look.

As for what fits with the house I am in luck there the house was built in 1925 but the inside was gutted and looks like a downtown condo (it was done before I bought the place) so if I make something modern it works or if I make something classic it works but we all know that the only thing that matters is what the wife says…..

View Beeguy's profile

Beeguy

178 posts in 2360 days


#9 posted 07-28-2011 06:43 PM

Maybe I am frugal, but I think I get much more enjoyment when I make something rather than buying it. So there is usually a purpose to my woodworking. There are a few things I make just for the fun of making it but I always seem to want to have a practical use for whatever I build. So (other than boxes and birdhouses) I rarely would make the same piece twice. I often thought I should because I think the second one would probably be much better than the first.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

View SSMDad's profile

SSMDad

395 posts in 1321 days


#10 posted 07-29-2011 01:11 PM

Jay and Charlie, I’m with you on the wife issue though we don’t have much so it’s a bit easier to challenge her. haha

Ron, until recently I was the same; make what I need (which is also enjoyable because I need lots of pieces and can’t stand particle board furniture). Of course this philosophy went flying out the door when I got my lathe. I still mostly make what I need furniture wise but I turn for the pure enjoyment of doing it.

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15983 posts in 1591 days


#11 posted 07-29-2011 02:54 PM

I think that hobby woodworkers should make what they want to make whenever they want to make it. If they want to make things that are artistic then so be it; however, if they want to make things that are practical and serve a practical need then so be it as well. Different strokes for different folks.

-- 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 jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

233 posts in 1294 days


#12 posted 07-29-2011 06:53 PM

I’ve had really good luck selling stuff on craigslist. If you make something & price it low enough that you’re just covering your costs, you might have good luck. That would give you the ability to do the work without being “out” financially..

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12300 posts in 2821 days


#13 posted 07-30-2011 04:41 AM

Chris Schwarz has some very interesting thoughts in this area in his latest book. Basiclly he is evangelizing the idea of building quality items that will last a life time. You build them specifically to meet your needs. This is in contrast to buying mass produced goods, that do not necessarly meet your needs and are desgned to become obsolete/require replacement in a relatively short period of time. He applies the same principles to his selection of tools. The book is a very interesting read even if your not a hand tools person.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View S2artDesigns's profile

S2artDesigns

112 posts in 1212 days


#14 posted 08-09-2011 01:24 AM

I mostly make rustic jewelry and walking sticks. I make things that I think look nice. Things I enjoy to wear and use myself. I have started selling some but I rarely make anything to specs or a design. People just have to buy what I make if they want. I don’t sell a lot but I don’t really care. I like to create unique things. I just have to hope there are others out there that share my taste.

-- Visit my Etsy site to see my burl wood jewelry at http://www.etsy.com/shop/S2ArtDesigns?ref=si_shop

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