Regardless of what type of woodworking you do, you WILL create an OOPS! somewhere along the line. The fun part is Fixin' F**K Ups. The funnest part of that is turning an OOPS! - into a Feature.
You've heard the term The Starving Artist as well as The Rich and Famous Artist.
You probably haven't heard of The Starving Craftsman or The Starving Amateur Woodworker. But you also probably have never heard the term Rich and Famous Craftsman / Hobbyist / Amateur. O.K. so maybe there are a few Rich and Famous Artisans - a chairmaker named Sam Maloof, a wood turner named David Ellsworth, a cabinet maker named James Krenov. I haven't gotten into wood carving enough to the know the name of a famous wood carver.
Things are changing in the woodworking world - shops becoming Studios, things made from wood becoming Pieces - and given Titles. There's still a reluctance to go from craftsman to Artist - but Artisan is being used - occassionaly.
So here's an example of something that started out as an OOPS! and the process attempting to turn it into Art.
We start with a simple turning - actually two turnings - one of which developed a few small but obvious cracks - an occassional consequence of a piece turned green and drying too quickly, exacerbated by the fact that the pith in the wood was left in.
Fixing cracks in a turner's turning is one of the skills turners develop - epoxy, epoxy with pigments added, crushed colored stone - in epoxy, a wood inlay - AND Pyrography. Pyrography sounds more Artsy than Scortching and Burning right?
To hide the cracks I pyrographed some dots - of graduated sizes needed to hide the width of the cracks. Hmmm - now I've got dots that are part of a couple of spirals. More dots and I had some spirals.
As long as I had the Pyrography pen out, and because I had a flat sharp "shading" tip - why not play with it too? And why not put the "ball" tip back on - and do some more dots - lots and lots of dots - in a spiraling swirling pattern.
Hey - this is getting interesting - kind of Artsy even.
If this is going to be a Piece ("of artwork" - implied but not stated) it needs - a TITLE.
Hmmmm - those things with tails . . .
Those larger dots - the cell wall of - an egg?
All those little dots - implying a fluid?
And thus The Title was born!
So what about the stylized flame finial? We've got the Imminent Conception - the sparks of a potential flame - so ...
A provocative title is even better than Just A Title. An accompanying short description can add some more Artsy. Thus The Artist's Statement.
Too provocative? Too simplistic? Too transparent? Too contrived?
Hey - it's just a turned ring holder - with a few cracks - hidden by some scortching.
But if you didn't know that - you might think this thing is a Piece - that's sort of artsy?
The beauty of this Craft to Art thing is that you can start anywhere - begin with the description, or the title, or just a vague ide,a or just begin turning without any idea of where you're going - then start filling in the missing parts. The result may not be Good Art, or Great Art, but I bet it'd bring a higher price than just a little ring holder - that doesn't have a Title or Artist's Statement.