Re: [Marbling] critique
- Del speaking here, I have been quietly following this in the
background. Laura, your comments last week on the subject of critique
were eloquently spoken! Before I respond to that..... a bit of
Mary has been a woodturner for 28 years, beginning in 1974. I began
turning the same year and worked at it until 1990. I was introduced to
marbling while teaching woodturning at Arrowmont in the mid 80's, it
blew my mind, I wanted to leave my students and go be a marbling
Eventually, in 1994, I took the opportunity to take 6 months and dive
headfirst into teaching myself paper marbling- with the intent of
applying it to woodturnings, and of using it to learn about color. I
worked with 4 books and no instruction and found instead that I was
more fascinated with paper marbling per se, suminigashi in particular,
and was getting away from woodturning anyway ...... Mary, as intrigued
as I, started marbling her turned earrings, and evolved it up to bowls,
vases and stylized birds. Soon I hope to have some of her work up on a
web site so folk can see the work she's been doing.
We have shared wood-marbling with other wood artists at several
collaborative conferences, the interest is wonderful! It sure has great
potential. This is one area where our interest with critique/standards
comes in. Amidst the exuberant interest, came an instance that gave us
pause. We met a woodworker who had decided to marble his work.
However, it seemed as though he had no intention of first learning
anything of paper marbling...I said "Please, don't try marbling a
valuable woodturned piece until you become at least a little familiar
with the craft first. Paper marbling itself is a complex ancient craft,
not one to be learned in an afternoon, and 3d marbling is that much more
complex. Try marbling at least a hundred sheets of paper first . And
once you start actually marbling valuable pieces - always be willing to
strip it off and start over as often as is necessary to achieve
Fellow marblers, was this a fair/reasonable statement?
What do you think would be a sound beginning/foundation for a
non-marbler to be ready to marble valuable 3D objects?
We feel there is a delicate balance between encouraging creative
exploration - and encouraging the development of a skill base and
respect for an ancient craft.
Because of our involvement with the woodturning community, and it's
increasing interest in wood marbling - we would like to encourage folks
to consider the value of gaining some modicum of competance and
understanding of this fine craft first....which hopefully would result
in setting a high standard for completed work.
We want to show repect for this craft ourselves as well as encouraging
the exuberant interest that is out there for expanding it to carvings
and turnings and beyond.
So Laura, your comments regarding, line quality, clarity, balance,
compatability, stopping one's heart!, and magic --we find to be a good
guide to go through one at a time when evaluating our own work, as well
as to pass on to others. Thankyou!, Del Stubbs
Laura Sims wrote:
> Dear Del and Mary,ADVERTISEMENT
> I was interested in you question about critiquing your
> own work. There seem to be 2 main components to
> consider: technical skill and the relationship of
> image to application.
> Some of the things I look for in the technical
> category (in addition to what you mentioned) are high
> line quality, balanced concentrations of paint,
> manipulation of a pattern or design (ex. is it clear
> or muddy) and use of color(ex. compatibility,
> effective contrast). Another aspect of technical skill
> is being able to choose between "following the rules"
> or "breaking the rules". Sometimes I compress veins
> of color until they break into beads. That would not
> be desireable for a fine combed pattern, but works for
> me when I don't manipulate it. The fabric will appear
> to have seed beads sewn on in places.
> That example leads to the second consideration. As a
> rule the relationship between the object and the
> choosen image will be compatible...The design will
> enhance the object and visa versa. With Del working
> in wood you are already moving toward a heightened
> awareness of pattern, form, composition. That
> continues to evolve. Even if you can't verbalize why
> something works sometimes you'll find that your heart
> beats faster, maybe you can't stop looking at it, or
> someone will see it and it'll stop them in their
> tracks. The marbled pieces that I have most liked have
> tangible relationship to one another, as if they need
> one another to show off their best qualities.
> My favorite definition for art is "technical skill
> often as though aided by magic", Websters New
> International 3rd edition.
> When I hear people talk about their work (from self
> taught to MFA backgrounds) I ask myself if the words
> match the work. If the words do not fit I ask if the
> person is able to adequately talk about it or if their
> words are better than the actual piece.
> You have a desire to do good work and you're not
> afraid to ask questions...I'd say you're on the right
> track. Inspiration will come in its own time. I hope
> this is useful.
> Best, Laura
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