I am not a professional cabinetmaker like many of the guys in this
newsgroup (but I wish I were!), so my opinion is closer the the
aesthetics side I would think.
I do not normally look at sites such as the one the original poster
plunked out here but in light of the threads you posted, mp, I just
had to go out and look at it.
I have to agree with the men that know what's going on: beauty is in
the eye of the beholder. I actually see nothing the matter with what
this guy is making and selling. You may not like it but I can think
of many people off the top of my head that would think about some of
the items he shows on his site.
Aesthetics itself is in the eye of the beholder. If the eye of the
beholder is tainted, well, then there is nothing we can do about that
now, is there?
I would have to agree that you come across as myopic and snobbish as
well as a few other adjectives. What you are saying is as long as you
think the item looks good (to you!), that's all that matters. What a
crock of bull. I have seen things that look pretty good from a
distance but when you really look at the piece of garbage, it isn't
worth the space it takes up.
My bet is that your photographs don't hold a candle to, say, Ansel
Adams. Should we say yours are butt-ugly and you need to do something
about it? Geesh.
The only hting I see wrong with what the original poster did was
trying to peddle his ware here on the REC--not what he was selling.
I understand and agree with what your saying in principle. However, for
many of us the glue,clamps,sawblades,and the work involved are priceless
when compared to the end product. One exception to this is if end
product is a gift or a customers piece, then making THEM happy is number
Speaking of aesthetics, which finish gives walnut its best appearance?
Oil finish, shellac, varnish, poly, or latex paint? Is it ok to stain
Your comments remind me a lot of Bob Flexnor's Book "Understanding
Wood Finishes". THere are a couple of serious errors--his instructions
for using lye are dangerous (Never dissolve lye in hot water or
in a glass container) and he omits discussion of the dangers of
using potassium dichromate, (a strong oxidiser and powerful human
carcinogen) but it IS otherwise an excellent book.
He includes numerous photos of wood finished two different ways.
Invariably, the way he PREFERS looks inferior to me, sometimes
to the point of being butt ugly.
As you noted, there is no accounting for taste. We are as unable
to account for yours, as you are to ours.
BTW, I have noted that the same mistake is often made in guides
to photography. Rather than just pointing out how certain
techniques affect the image, technically or esthetically the
authors often go on to declare one to be 'better' than the
Disclaimer - I can vouch that we're not related, nor do we own shares in
There aren't too many good books like his. Jeff Jewitt's new book (Taunton's
Complete Illustrated Guide to Finishing) is also reported to be excellent,
but I haven't seen it yet.
One thing that's a challenge in photography is to reproduce a three
dimensional image on an offset press. Not only accurately reproducing the
colours, but also the
special depth and luminance of a good wood finish. A lot of the subtlety and
nuance is lost in the process, and what you see in the book is only a hint
of what the actual finish would look like, butt ugly or otherwise.
I'm afraid that a lot of visual arts instruction these days is just that, a
teacher espousing their personal biases as dogma and grading students on how
well they imitate the teacher, rather than opening up a students eyes and
teaching them to think and feel for themselves.
Oh great, first we had a self proclaimed master woodworker now a self
proclaimed aesthetics cop.
There's hacks in any profession. Maybe you are one maybe not, but your
professional bedside manner is butt ugly which leads me to believe the
Thank you for the self-proclamations. That was very sweet of you.
But seriously, many woodworkers on this group are fully capable of building
strong, solid, nicely built and nicely finished items. In fact, just as good
and in some cases better than what you can buy commercially. What separates
the two groups, more than any other factor, is aesthics and design.
This is an area that is largely overlooked by most woodworkers, who instead
tend to focus more on construction techniques and materials, whereas most
commercial furniture's primary focus is on aesthics and design. To me a
master woodworker is someone who does both well. The appeal of a Maloof
chair isn't the species of wood used or his joinery methods. He can command
$25k per item and his customers will pay that for a chair that's screwed
together simply because it's beautiful.
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