Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Struggling for Perfection and Failing

I've taken a bit of a break from making things over the last two weeks as I've been busy with the arrival of our third son Levi. Things are starting to calm down a bit though so I decided to do a bit of turning. I really like the idea of the things I make being used and not just being ornamental pieces. I use wooden bowls and spoons every day. For me, they enhance my eating experience and I think that they look even better after being used for some time. So, with this in mind I decided to turn my first set of bowls.

I contemplated making a template for the outside profile that I could use to get all of the bowls the same, but decided against this approach. I think that to have them all exactly the same would take something away from the handmade feel and so I decided that I would copy them purely from comparing them to an original.

For the most part I think that it worked well. I especially liked the fact that I did the three copies together in a sort of mini production run, preparing all three blanks, then turning the outside and finally hollowing them all out. That helped me to get them the same and also sped up the operation.
They're not clones and you can even work out which pairs came from the same side of the log, but I like that. After finishing them last night looked at the Lost Art Press blog and came across this quote from furniture maker David Savage, which kind of sums up my feelings: I am hanging on for this, as it fits my need to put clear blue water between my furniture and the robot-driven, manufactured surface. That routine, intimidating perfection of industry that surrounds us. I wanted a human, imperfect surface, a surface that reminded us of the skilled hand struggling for perfection and failing. I wanted failure.


  1. Sorry to disappoint you, but these look pretty good to me.
    Congratulations to all on your recent arrival, with three children I always think they can now look after themselves, so that's more time for you do your greenwood crafting!

  2. They are gorgeous - the photos make you want to have the tactile experience