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Creative Freedom

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  • Creative Freedom

    Although I asked this in another forum, which some of you are members of, I feel it is also a question for the demographics of SSW forum so please bere with me.

    Today, while in my shop I came across a design I had done sometime back, titled "Sweat". The piece never really took shape I wanted, how I had seen in my mind. I cut the pattern several times, but each time, I was still dissappointed in what I knew this design could be.

    After looking at "Sweat" and considering my options - "oh what the hell" came to mind. After school the kids came in the shop - everyone had something to say about "Sweat", and her new look as she lay there drying. Although she is still not what I had anticipated her being, maybe she is more this way.

    Sometimes it is not about what is right or wrong, it's simply about creative freedom. I am sure we all have worked on projects that just didn't turn out like we hoped. When that happens - what do you do with the piece? Do you restrict your creativity to what the pattern says the work should look like? If the piece doesn't turn out just like the photo, do you consider it a failure?

  • #2

    Creative freedom is a relative term. My relatives seem to encourage me
    I understand what you mean, sometimes the pieces we visualize cannot become reality for some obscure reason I don't think that any attempt we make is a failure. Sometimes we learn from them.
    I wonder if every sketch that Leonardo Da Vinci did was just as he visualized.
    Perhaps we need to have a scrapbook, or a wall where we keep this pieces. We could use them for further inspiration.

    I once took a piece of clip art , Jesus with a crown of thorns, I cut it out of purple heart and mounted it in an old picture frame. I gave it to my parents, who were both pastors. What I didn't do was remove the old hanger off the frame.
    It hung on their wall side ways for 6 months until I visited and pointed out the way it should go. They still loved it as a piece but we didnt visualize it the same way.
    Be creative! Never stop. Maybe this is what separates the art from the craft.
    "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
    Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


    • #3
      Hi Toni

      If I'd produced a piece that hadn't turned out as I'd envisioned, my first reaction would be to make sure that I hadn't made a mistake somewhere. That's always been the reason why my pieces haven't lived up to scratch.

      I don't think I've ever doctored a piece after completion. There are some pieces that I like other people to see more than others, but I never regard any as 'failures', just 'lessons'. They tend to get hung somewhere obscure enough to be hidden from visitors but somewhere that I'll see them often enough to remind myself of the lesson. I think the important point about your Sweat project is to identify why it's disappointed you and make sure you don't forget it. Never disown it; just accept it as something you produced and which will mean something to you, even if you don't want it to mean something to anyone else. Then move on and cut more of your wonderful woodwork.

      There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
      (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


      • #4
        I think most of us "interpret" patterns in some way when we use them. My interpretation of Neal's tiger segmentation pattern is not exact by any stretch of the imagination, but I do not consider it a "failure"--whatever that is. When you are doing your own originals and they do not turn out like you wanted (or expected) they are not necessarily failures. They are just another interpretation of your intended design. Besides, who, besides yourself, knows you did not intend the piece just as it turned out? I'm sure Leonardo (someone mentioned) turned out "other than intended" projects, but we will never know. I'm sure that if his finished product was too far off base, he just called it trash, chalked it up to experience, and pressed on. One final point--we, most of us, are our own worst critics and are seldom "satisfied" with our "art." We must be careful that we do not just tinker it to death.

        Old Mooner


        • #5

          I like to think my portraits are inspired by photographs rather than dictated by them. I really don't want them to look exactly like the photo else I'm simply transforming someone elses work into my medium. Even after I've drawn the pattern and started cutting I do a lot of free forming. Like Moon said, his tiger doesn't look exactly like mine and I don't think he would want it to. I hope folks will take my patterns and have a ball with them!! Change some lines, experiment with colors and shading and change the way they're displayed. If any of you buy my book I hope you won't be bound by striving for duplication of the finished projects. When you're done, I'd like you to think of it as " your work" inspired by my pattern.......if that makes sense.
          If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!


          • #6
            After the peice is completed and the tools are put away have a few ale's and everything looks just fine.

            Honestly though, I have ordered patterns that I thought would be lots of fun to cut and look awesome only to find myself scratching my head afterward. For me I take these and I hang them on my shop wall until a creative bug bites later and helps me do the little finish on them that makes them exciting. Not honking my horn here but the Eagle in a Maple Leaf was a project just like that and the finishing touch made the difference between a dud and something different.

            If all else fails Toni be a good Northerner and start a nice warm fire with those things that just don't turn out...the best woodstove fires come from "failed projects".

            Hawk G4, Dremel 1800

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