Quick Poll

Woodworking is many things to many people.

For some, it’s a fun and easy way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  For others, it’s the continuation of a family legacy, carrying on the work of a parent or grandparent.  Some may even consider it a form of therapy, getting them out of their daily routine.

While it may seem clear cut to some, for others, it’s a debate.  Is woodworking an art, or is it a craft?

Sure, this is typically discussed among the high-minded folks at some fancy gallery opening, but it’s an interesting question. Since most woodworking projects have a function, they are considered craft.  But, come on.  A George Nakashima table, with its use of live edges of boards and tastefully placed butterfly keys certainly isn’t the same as a plain old coffee table.

So, this week’s poll is trying to get to the heart of the matter – do you believe woodworking is art, craft or something else?


 

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4 replies on “Quick Poll”

  1. Peter says:

    It’s just that kind of attitude that keeps it in the ‘high-minded people at gallery openings’ areas ;-).

    Art is a method of communication, simple as that. Woodworking is a craft until you use it to make a statement, then it’s art. Whether or not it is ‘good’ or, more pertinently, ‘successful’ art is a separate question.

    And for that matter, successful art is when the message you receive is the same as (or at least similar to) the message the artist intended. Whether or not the artist can clearly articulate what they were intending (before you tell them what you thought,) is usually the first clue to whether you should prepend ‘con’ or ‘bull—-‘ to the word artist or not… (Important things I learned on the way to my fine arts degree…)

    (Btw, ‘Artistic’ is the word you use when you’re not sure if there is a meaning intended there or not…)

  2. peter says:

    which is sort of a long way of pointing out that the terms ‘art’ and ‘craft’ are not mutually exclusive. all art requires craft to some extent, and not all beautiful craft is ‘art’. but it shouldn’t be thought the less of it for that.

  3. John Wolfe says:

    Very well said, Peter!

  4. Chris James says:

    Id say its a hearty slab of craft garnished with art and topped off with a pinch of zen.

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