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Reply to: Is Anything Done by Hand?
<blockquote><strong class="quote">Gail Grycel wrote:</strong> <P>I’ll jump in on this topic since I always like to push up against terminology and perspective. The author makes a good case for “tools” being what they are, regardless of power source (hand energy vs. electrical, donkey, or otherwise). I think that the “risk” is apparent regardless, since components of a piece of work show the vision of the “creator”, the “craftsperson” since there is risk in design. How a craftsperson gets to the end result of a vision is the “craft”, is it not? </P> <P>So, maybe the argument is really not about <EM>man-mad</EM>e vs <EM>machined</EM>, but about how a person goes about manifesting a design, and perhaps new terminology is needed as we progress in resources and technology. Changing the perspectives carried on from the past might be the next step. With the advancement of AI potentials, the human mind, with all of it’s aesthetic for individual designs, some based on the emotional value of how a piece of work makes someone “feel”, maybe should become the new norm. </P> <P>So, taking this to Greg’s conundrum about the CNC use to fabricate, without as much risk, parts for the stool design, why not minimize the risk of the fabrication? His design is the risk, his prototype is the “hand-made’ risk taking. What he inputs into the CNC is not from the CNC itself as a designer, but from his emotional decisions about form and structure. Is that not what makes a true “craftsperson”?</P> <P>And towards the question of how ethically to charge for a piece of work, partly powered with a hand tool, and partially executed with fabricated parts (whether a table saw or CNC or power sander, etc.), our overhead is what it is. If we work from a place of integrity, we know what time went into our design process, our prototype process, and ultimately the making of the work via whatever resources we use for that project. Based on all of that overhead, the cost to a customer would reflect the worth of the design and the human element of emotion resulting. </P> <P>I have a potter friend from whom I’ve received many mugs, for instance. He does them in production on a wheel, yet each one had some amount of handwork associated as well. Each is a mug of his design, yet each one feels different, and the emotional reward of drinking my morning tea out of one or another is the result of his“craft” design and intention. If Greg were to make a limited production run of the stools, for instance, with the CNC producing certain parts, he still has to spend the time structurally putting the parts together with skill and attention to structural integrity, as well as any personal finishing design touches he feels his way through in those moments. Each stool will feel different, maybe even look a bit different depending on how he felt when working on them. That is the world of craft, and I vote for letting go of being arrogantly stuck on “hand-made”, and instead, lean into the idea of what “craft” is all about. </P> </blockquote><br>
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