If this is not your first visit and you look very carefully, you may be able to see that this blog has morphed slightly.
Dimensional Art Org is now running in the newest version of Joomla which is a content management system (CMS) for creating web sites. Previously it was hosted in WordPress, another CMS. There are many reasons for the change that are off-topic for here.
An improvement is every post will have the opportunity for comment. It will require registration and a few security hoops to hop through, but that is the way it is these days. I would like to see some genuine feedback.
I used the same format as the old system and all the previous content was moved here. The original creation dates were lost but that is not critical for my purposes. I hope you like the change, I do…
I have discovered there is no easy answer to that question. I have seen it asked in many creative environments and the answer is never a single universal consensus. Just do a search on the internet and you will see and read what I say is true.
The issue begins and the answer changes with using a tool to aid the use of ones hands in making something. A sharp rock (flint) is considered a tool when it is used for human controlled cutting. So has that somehow diminished the definition of handmade primitive arrows? Another rock (a tool) was used to bash the sharp edges on the arrowhead. But the tools were actually handmade from available “raw” materials.
So… perhaps handmade must include the use tools? Handmade tools? No commercial made steel edge tools? I could expand on this line of thought but I proclaim that “pure” handmade is a very extreme limitation to be a part of modern interpretation of the handmade definition.
But there is another expansion into the use of machines. Does the use of a sewing machine prevent a man’s dress suit from being handmade? Probably. How was the cloth made? The term of preference is hand tailored to avoid the conflict with handmade.
One generally accepted definition is that handmade includes any tool or machine that is directed solely by the human hand. So this conveniently includes purchased or non-handmade tools and machines. It doesn't mention a powered machine... Hmmm.
I am actually not proposing any fix for the purest meaning of hand made. I am making my point that it is not a well-defined concept to the casual user of the term. What is handmade depends on whom you ask. Jewelry has a precise trade definition as found in this Wikipedia search. Does the definition infer the use of automated (automatic directed) machinery used to produce “finding” like clasps and chains and factory beads or even automated wire drawing (sizing), that should preclude the use of the term “handmade” in the jewelry business? So be it. The Wikipedia link may be defective as I certainly consider lost wax silver casting from hand carved wax as “handmade”. So even this example demonstrates the ambiguity of creating a one size fits all definition.
Perhaps it’s like defining pornography, “You know it when you see it.”
I understand the intent and tradition of the archaic term “handmade”. I personally make handmade items I believe to be within the definition. I may also add non handmade items like the necklace chain to finish the project. So there can be a mix.
I also make many items using my mind and hands on a computer input devise to store personally created directions that guide automated machines to do things my hands and limited muscle control cannot manage. These items are just as personally created (note the change in definition) as my handmade items. I can easily NOT refer to these items as handmade.
However, the machines are strictly limited to doing what I direct by the hand programing. So I can argue that I directly control what the machine produces, but breaking “hand” tradition is not worth the fight. I am happy with traditional handmade and love to work within the perceived definition, just because it is traditional.
I also do not feel less of a creative person using my modern definition of personally produced items using computer numeric control (CNC) machines.
Personal CNC makes precision dimensioned components from my human directed inputs. As far as single person art, it is still as pure and traditional as it can be, because I control all the steps. I have total design control. The final machine execution is automatic but there is total human effort in creating the machine movement.
Including automation in handmade is more a concept of creativity control verses human muscle control. I can honor the difference.
So I will leave the term handmade as a sacrament to muscle control in the creative process. My choice of the words “personally created” will include any creative process under total control of myself.
I made this for a close personal friend whose hobby interest is playing and somewhat collecting guitars, Gibsons preferably. I free-lanced this design but it is Gibson-like. I call it "no strings attached " for obvious reasons.
This ring is 100% hand carved from a block of wax. Total effort, working a few hours at each session, was about a week, start to finish.
There is a bit more information on this project at: Ramblin' Dan's Workshop.
I am now confident with the lost wax casting process. My intention is to work on more detailed designs, since I have less fear of losing my work in a bad cast. It's become a lot more relaxing and fun to do. Actually, it always has been fun ;)
I have taken the big step and retired from my construction and energy management career. Now begins the time when I get serious about further developing and exploiting my artistic desires. The key word in the previous sentence is time.
Time is a very valuable resource that is already receiving lots of external pressure. I have mentally set some priorities and limits on my time. Now fully into retirement (all 6 weeks of it at this writing) I see time has to be managed as much as ever. It can easily be squandered.
I place time management at a high priority, but I will admit not as critical as when working within a large corporation. I like being my own boss again. I am going to enjoy my retirement and not create high pressure critical path time goals. I just need to manage my time and not let it manage me.
An old adage is still true. Practice makes perfect. My new abundance of time allows me to practice my artistic desires. I am far from perfect and consistent practice is the key of improvement, same as an audition at Julliard. A different kind of art, but the path to acceptance is the same.
My goal is to be an accepted artist. I can claim it all I want but it is really something that has to be earned. Practice will get me there. I am getting serious… ;)