Tony Walton RPT Professional woodturner
I could put the usual diatribe here about how I first got into wood turning etc.etc.
But that's not important what is important is the direction woodturning has taken over the years.
In the past woodturning has always been regarded as a craft with many master craftsmen producing quality work for furniture and functional items, boxes, fruit bowls, salad bowls etc. but woodturning has moved forward significantly over the years. There is and always will be the craft turners but a number of turners have pushed the boundaries and turned (no pun intended) woodturning into an art form.
Our medium is wood, other artists use other mediums such as Clay, Glass, Metal, Canvas, Paint etc.
Regardless of the medium used an artist is a person who uses imagination and skill to create works that may be judged to have an aesthetic value generally these items have no functional use other than to be displayed and admired but in some cases it may also have a functional use.
Sculptors sculpt in stone, clay and other materials woodturner's do the same with wood turning a single item or parts that are assembled into an item. Artists paint on canvas, woodturner's sculpt the wood first by turning it then decorate the surface with paints, carving, texturing etc.
This is an ongoing debate but in my opinion some woodturner’s are artists not just craftsmen, some establishments, galleries and collectors are recognising this and portraying woodturning as an art in its own right.
Woodturning can be taught to a degree but it is only with the skill mastered over a number of years, imagination, artistic flare and a desire to get the best shape/form from the piece of wood that a work of art is created
It is hoped that the reader will also recognise that woodturning has evolved from its roots as a craft into making works of art.