Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A wonderful gift for my wife.
This is just a small reminder sign you can hang in your car. You might even want to make it a little larger and place it on the dinning table for dinner. 

 Thank you and a lesson in craftsmanship:

My wife and I had a wonderful surprise today.  This beautiful "Gone with the Wind" portrait was delivered by FedEx. We had no idea it was coming. Let me explain. 

My wife has collected GWTW memorabilia for years. She has a large collection. While I was in Atlanta for the woodworking show I was hosted by the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association. They were fantastic hosts and were incredibly welcoming to both my wife and me.

While I was there it came up that my wife collects GWTW in casual conversation. Being the great group of people they are that set off this wonderful project. Hans Meier, Larrie Wampler and Rob Austin pooled their talent, skill and resources together to make this beautiful piece of art for my wife Patty.

Patty and I want to give our heartfelt thanks to all the people of the GWA and especially the guys that  created this masterpiece of scroll saw work. It will hang in her collection with pride and love.

Let me also take a little of your time to talk about craftsmanship.  

There is a fuzzy line between art and craft. For me there is a floating line where the craftsmanship and skill reach a tipping point where a piece of craft becomes art. It can easily be argued that all creative works are art but the way I use the word, art requires a higher standard. It's one of those cases where I can't define it but I know it when I see it.
This work rises to my vision of art because the craftsmanship and materials used are impeccable.  Rob Austin provided a beautifully figured piece of solid one inch thick maple for the fret work. It was re-sawn to about 1/2" thick.  Hans took the two blanks and stack cut two of these pieces. Hans is a professional scroll sawyer so I'm not surprised that the cutting is nearly perfect. There are no nibs showing were are cut was ended. The cuts are perfectly square. No burns from sharp turns and the I could go on about the cut quality but I don't want to think about how much I need to improve my own craftsmanship. 
It's important that the art work be of the highest caliber but equally important is the presentation. You don't put a Monet in a $5 Walmart frame. That's where Larrie came in. Larrie custom made the frame to fit the art work. I think it is made from mahogany and trimmed in maple. The workmanship of the frame equally matches the art work in quality and craftsmanship. The miter joins are not just close they are perfect. If you have ever made frames you know that they are not as easy as they look. Getting perfect miters takes skill. 

The finish on the project is a satin finish, It was applied smoothly and not over done. No drips, runs or rough areas. Every step was completed with quality craftsmanship in mind.

The back of the frame is signed using a laser engraver. It has the GWA logo, Hans Wooden Puzzles logo and Larrie's wooden medallion inlaid in the frame.  

When we go into our shops we have choices. Not every project needs to be built with meticulous craftsmanship. It's okay to go in the shop and just enjoy the project. If you want to take a project to the next level then attention to craftsmanship and creativity are a must. 

This project could hang in a gallery along side all the other pieces of art. It not only made happy because of the thought involved in the gift but it challenged me to improve my own work.  

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