woodcarving, wood sculpting an art, a craft, or is is it folk art? This is
another age-old question that bounces back and forth among wood reduction techicians.
My sense is that it depends upon the perspective
of the person making the determination. Over the years, I have observed the following:
Sculpting large figures is considered an art.
Whittling small figures is considered craft or folk art.
Then there is the question of what is fine
art vs. folk art. I will leave this one to you for resolution.
In 2000 a commercial photographer made
the conversion to photographic artist. He took a picture of a hairy arm pit and submitted
it to an international art competition. His picture was judged best of show. He won
international acclaim and $60,000.
His work is art. My work is folk art or
craft. Go figure!
The following article addresses this
The Art of Being Different
by: Stephen H. Prescott
Recently, I have read several
articles discussing whether woodcarving is a craft or an art from. While I prefer to think
of it as an art from, one thing struck me at the last carving show I attended. I saw a
table after table, of very similar carvings; the same patterns, the same posses, the same
subjects. Must of it was not what I consider art. While copying a basic project or pattern
is very necessary for all of us as novices, we should try to develop new ideas in carving
as our skills group. I guess what I'm trying to say is that woodcarvers, as a whole, lack
originality and creativity which are basic to any type of art. If you need some help
developing new ideas, re-read Stewart E. Bakkon's article in the March '87 Mallet. It
contains some excellent suggestion to help you with new subjects. Don't be afraid to
experiment! The only thing you have to lose is some time and wood. You can learn
from each failure as well as successes. When you use another's pattern, modify it
slightly. Put your own unique touch on each carving you make. Those small changes will
give you confidence to try more new things to develop your own style. I hear many of my
fellow carvers complain that they have little artistic talent or that the can't carve like
other carvers. Thank God for that! We are not dupli-carvers. Each of us is different and
unique. We all bring a lifetime of experience into carving. Draw from that experience to
create something from your own point of view. It should be different because we are all
different. Yes, woodcarving is an art. Not all woodcarvers are artists just as all
artists, painters, and sculptors are not artists. The medium used has little to do with
judging it whether an art or craft.
Mallet was the magazine of the National Carvers Museum headquartered in Monument,
Colorado. The NCM went under in 1987--another idea before its time.
question for discussion...
or Carving ?