Amazing CNC work of art.

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Forum topic by EPJartisan posted 03-22-2013 11:48 PM 3019 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1122 posts in 3331 days

03-22-2013 11:48 PM

So here is a piece of CNC made art.. i agree this is art given a recent debate here on LJ’s which still bugs me.
Designed and fabricated by italian designer Ferruccio Laviani.

This image is not distorted…the designer took an image of an existing cabinet.. modified the picture.. then printed it into 3D via CNC machine.

The thing that bugs me is this…. the comparison of CNC to hand crafted work… there is no comparison. This piece, in certain articles…. is being promoted as “intricately carved” and “hand crafted.” This bugs the hell out of me, even if I am blown away by the over all piece of work. Should it be glorified as much as if this was hand carved… NO absolutely not… the years of skill and dedication and talent of master carvers across the world are shamefully belittled.

I feel the same way about Giclee prints… cool concept.. great media… NOT PAINTING! NOT PRINTMAKING… it is a computer printing … great images.

Some people say it is not the path one takes to get to the art… as long as you get to the art…. I say ONLY if you are solely interested in the final image it produces… otherwise art is about the balance of artistic talent.. the labor and the dedication of the artist’s mind and hands… AND the final product that creates value. Anyone with an iPad can make a “water lilies” by Monet… but will they know why the heavily textured paint catches the light.. will they understand how to mix the colors rather than pick them from a menu…. there is a human element to art.. a connection from the artists hand into your life, knowing a real hand made this.

So this product.. as a CNC machined piece of Oak… that only took a few hours to carve and no ones hands touched it until the sanding part… it is cool.. and can now be hand made, just for you.. by a real life computer at your local Ikea store… (joking of course.)

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

30 replies so far

View madts's profile


1874 posts in 2546 days

#1 posted 03-23-2013 12:02 AM

CNC is only a tool. A guy has to design, program etc. No different than using a chisel.

-- Thor and Odin are still the greatest of Gods.

View Sodabowski's profile


2383 posts in 3039 days

#2 posted 03-23-2013 12:09 AM

Art is all about the journey, not the destination! I completely agree with you Eric. BTW the picture looks totally scrambled.

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

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2567 days

#3 posted 03-23-2013 12:24 AM

Is the mind and hand directing the mouse any less creative than that which wields the chisel? Do hours in the darkroom replaced by minutes at the keyboard diminish the image? Aside from the random (questionably possible) genesis, doesn’t all begin in the mind?

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View Druid's profile


1912 posts in 3001 days

#4 posted 03-23-2013 05:21 AM

Hi Eric,
I must agree with you that while CNC can produce “intricately carved” products, it can NOT produce anything that can be considered to be “hand crafted”. Someone near where I live has 2 CNC’s that will handle up to 4’ x 8’ sheets of raw material, and he produces some interesting pieces. BUT . . . hand him a set of carving tools and a block of basswood, and you wouldn’t get anything worth keeping.
Hand crafted means exactly that. The person making the item has honed their skills and used them to creatively produce their item by hand. This is vastly different from someone using a computer to select a group of algorithms which in turn control a machine to make as many identical items as they want.
While CNC is very interesting, and has it’s place in the production of certain products, there is no way that any CNC product can realistically be considered to be “hand crafted”.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18396 posts in 3882 days

#5 posted 03-23-2013 05:24 AM

I think the point is it is not hand made. Just as embossed leather is not hand tooled. It is made by a machine that is that has a die in it. It took great talent to make the die, but that does not make the leather hand tooled. Once the die is made or the program written, mass production easily out paces hand tooled or hand carved. There will always be a diffidence between hand work and identical mass produced specimens. I’m not saying either is necessarily superior, just that there is a vast difference, especially when it comes to volume production.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3364 days

#6 posted 03-23-2013 05:27 AM

Sigh. Once again, a journey without risk isn’t much of a journey. The ability to repeatedly edit and construct your creation without penalty, before pressing the “execute” button, isn’t art, in my opinion. The fascinating aspect to handcarving, for me, is the ability to make a stroke, without mistake, and correct mistakes that might be made. That’s not something CNC programmers have to experience.

-- jay,

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3364 days

#7 posted 03-23-2013 05:37 AM

Amen, James. The hand to eye coordination, the actual carving skill by hand, is what makes hand-carving amazing to me. That’s something I couldn’t do. CNC carving…I could do.

-- jay,

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 2455 days

#8 posted 03-23-2013 06:12 AM

I have a CNC and would never represent what I produce with it as hand made. Nor would I expect that someone that uses a dove tail jig with a router to make the claim that it’s hand crafted. Where do you draw the line in this debate? The guy that has only hand tools with no electricity in his shop or the guy that has the most tricked out shop. I really don’t care. We that spend our time making things and sawdust do it for the enjoyment and that’s why we are here.

View S4S's profile


2118 posts in 2887 days

#9 posted 03-23-2013 06:59 AM

I would agree with your concern about the etymology . It would best be described by me as” intricately designed ”’and carved ,as opposed to ” intricately carved ” if not inferring that it was carved personally by the designer ,or inferring absurdly that there were varying skills that a CNC could accomplish autonomously : ‘simple’ as opposed to ‘Intricate’ , implying degrees of skill where none exist . . If others promote it falsely as ’ hand carved ’ , that would seem blameworthy ….........the process and the object is not ; they are outside of “moral ” considerations , since we are talking about
a piece of furniture , and not Art with ’ intent ’ .

View Porchfish's profile


847 posts in 2738 days

#10 posted 03-23-2013 11:46 AM

Hello moment, grateful for the erudite insight, and madts , I could not agree with you less ! Druid, I could not agree with you more ! And E.P. , you didn’t go far enough down the “scale” in your assessment ! thanks for the post !

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2567 days

#11 posted 03-23-2013 12:25 PM

There’s an awful lot of shlock paraded as handcrafted that ain’t worth enough BLO to set it on fire. Whether the thing is hacked out with a stone axe or a CNC rig, it’s the mind that created the design that distinguishes the work.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View oldnovice's profile


7337 posts in 3574 days

#12 posted 03-23-2013 01:21 PM

I have to agree with Clint, it came out of the mindand the CNC was just another tool!

Without the mind, a tool is worthless and tools spring to life when the mind thinks about their use!

Based on the consensus on this forum I can never produce any art because I cannot cut/carve/plane/chisel by hand because of RA, rheumatic arthritis, and I my only recourse is power tools.

Cross cutting a 2”x4” is next to impossible, trueing an edge with a good sharp hand plane …forget that too, use a router for more than a few minutes … painful therefore I object to those who say I cannot produce art and there are probably other in the same situation.

Saying that some one cannot produce art by whatever means is narrow minded!

Eric, you must a grudge against CNC tools because all these anti CNC forums are either started by you or you are very opinionated in those forums. A CNC is just another tool!

Comicsniper, there is much more planning involved in a CNC project than just throwing a slab of wood on the tool and pushing start! A different perspective, appreciation for wood characteristics, and skills set is required for using a CNC machine than those when using hand tools!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View EPJartisan's profile


1122 posts in 3331 days

#13 posted 03-23-2013 06:04 PM

I feel sorry for your arthritis, oldnovice, but don’t be getting nasty here, this is a discussion not a personal attack, so don’t personally attack here.

This argument has been going on long before LumberJocks was imagined. Art is a culture to itself, and just because you do not like this argument does not mean you get to attack anyone personally. “What is art” has been going on since before you were born and will continue long after we have all perished. So please.. personally you need to get over it.

My intense point is the obfuscation of art from craft… the line that MUST be drawn else we plunge into the psychopathic interpretation that nothing has meaning…. I AM NOT a post modernist and I do believe that art is open to interpretation.. as a legitimate Profession.. art and the art world has been defined long ago and will NOT be altered by anyone on this site, just because “you want to make art too…” and so “I will call what ever I want art”... I’m so sorry… BUT NO!

My beef with this has never wavered.. it is the selling of CNC crap for hand made prices… it is the promotion that CNC is as good as … or is marketed as handcraft. and it is the idea that CNC is as good as art made my hand.. IT IS NOT! READ AGAIN.. above I stated that the piece is art.. and in other posts that CNC is valid tool, one which you only assume I have a grudge against …. just bugs me it is being touted as handcrafted!!!

Using a tool does not instantly make what you made art… using your mind to come up with an idea does not make it art. It is the blend of the two.. the mind sees.. the hand creates.. and it is the pushing of limits to make something that was not here before…. THAT is art.. the rest is craft.. computer skill, and imagination.. BUT NOT mind to hand.. not handcrafted.. it is NOT art unless it pushes the boundaries of craft. The piece above is art!

BUT NO the mind alone does not create the art… and oldnovice.. if I want to post 100 times about this topic.. I will, but I have only posted 2 .. this post and 1 project I HANDMADE.. but admit I do not think is art…and the rest you need to look around yourself.. so go bite someone else with your misunderstandings and misgivings, you are very opinionated yourself.. MR Pot… and who isn’t on this site.. good lord! LOL

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2567 days

#14 posted 03-23-2013 09:21 PM

EPJ, your comments are silly.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View woodbutcherbynight's profile (online now)


5736 posts in 2615 days

#15 posted 03-23-2013 09:35 PM

Having read this post I need a drink, and a good cigar. (laughing)

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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