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Handcrafted vs. Technologically Created Objects
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WeekendMiniaturist

 

Recently, I was looking at additional learning opportunities for woodturning and I discovered the Marc Adams School of woodworking in Franklin, Indiana.  I thought this was a very interesting topic for miniaturists that are selling and collecting, and then wondered if there is a need to consider if an item is handcrafted when it was generated by 3D printer, or carved with a CNC router, or cut out with a laser.  While it is my opinion that using a band saw to create a piece of furniture is handcrafted,  If I were using a CNC router, I do not think of the resulting carving on an apron as handcrafted.  Certainly it is easy to see if something was lasered, but if something were cut with a waterjet I don't know if I would know the difference,  and I don't think an individual would know if a chair slat was carved with a digital CNC router, except that multiple items would be exactly the same. 

Craftsman Scott Grove gives a local Ted Talkx about artists responsibilities to disclose if it is handcrafted or not...

So where is your line in the sand?

 

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Bill Hudson

I think an expression that is being jumped all around would be hand assembled. If as suggested in the video, all the parts were spit out by a machine and then put together by hand, would it be considered hand made?  No, its would be hand assembled. Using hand tools, saws, drills, knives chisels, sticks or such to make something is still hand made. I believe it would be would be near impossible to make any thing with out some type of tool. If I added castings, photo etchings or any other automated method of producing parts then it would be hand crafted even if some of the parts were actually hand made.

 

Bill H.

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WeekendMiniaturist

For me if software is involved in making portions of the item I am creating, then it was created by technology.  

I had my hexagons lasered for my Hexagon quilt, but the entire miniature quilt was assembled and quilted by hand.  NO machines involved, while my hexagon's were lasered, I still would consider this handcrafted.  Current hexagons available in the stores were too large for my project.  

For purposes of this discussion, I am purposefully overthinking - 

If I use a pin router and a pattern to create my chair slat back, is this still handcrafted because it is guided by my hands ?  Certainly if I use a jewelers saw and cut it out by hand, and then carve it with hand carving tools, it was handcrafted, but I used our planer to dimension the wood to the correct thickness.  Is it still handcrafted?  A purists would have used a hand planer to thickness the wood, and would be challenging for me.  I keep thinking of Roy Underhill as my standard for handcrafted miniatures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ElgaKoster

A pin routed piece is only as good as the jig you made by hand, it just helps you to duplicate parts and there are often lots of hand work that one still needs to do, so I still consider it handmade.

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karincorbin
On 8/19/2016 at 9:37 AM, ElgaKoster said:

A pin routed piece is only as good as the jig you made by hand, it just helps you to duplicate parts and there are often lots of hand work that one still needs to do, so I still consider it handmade.

 Who looking at the piece of furniture you created with the aid of a pin router could possibly tell by looking at that piece if you used a pattern that you cut with a fret saw versus one you cut with a laser?

 

 

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karincorbin
On 8/17/2016 at 6:05 AM, WeekendMiniaturist said:

Uh Oh I am guilty from the start because I use software programs during the design phase of what I make ;) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WeekendMiniaturist

I don't think it is a matter of guilt, I think it is a matter of skill and outcome.    Today's craftsperson should take advantage of all tools available... if the test is one of purity for the highest standard of creating fine miniatures as the original was made in xxxx period of time,  then we couldn't use electricity to plug in our soldering irons,  table saw, or router.  While I think it would be good for me to hook my lathe up to a belt and pedal to turn to burn calories, I'm not going to do this, and will continue to plug my lathe in.  Software / CNC options improve efficiency for the creator, and if you are selling, this can improve your profit (after the cost of software and equipment).  

Having said this, my cabinetmaking husband can probably cut all the parts out  and be ready for assembly, long before I have something programmed and he lives in the life size world and has to contend with much larger pieces of wood... I will cheerfully work with him in the shop, but if we were both doing a chair, I suspect his chair will be cut out and ready for carving, and I will still be mulling over the grain options and milling my wood to the correct thickness at that same point that he is ready for assembly; the question is can I learn to program faster then he can cut it out... so it is a function of time; the amount of time learning curve to program, or time spent cutting out parts with different pieces of equipment.  If you do  not already own a lot of equipment a CNC may take up less space for similar outcomes.

 

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