New to carving. These books would help.
Props to you, Asa, for digging a bit deeper into this. I was surprised at how upset Steve and others at 'mere mortals' were. I understand and can see the sense of what Steve said, but, other than your use of the 'storm of stupidity' - for which you've apologized - I see what you mean too.
Aside from the new reality of the influence of social media and the Internet on woodworking, I think that there is something else at the root of the controversy, namely, objections to class distinctions within the community. Although I don't think he actually used the word, it was clear that Steve believes that your podcast argument was for woodworking 'snobs', i.e., some kind of woodworking elite. Steve's site isn't called 'mere mortals' by accident. It's _fundamental_ to his philosophy, and implicitly, that makes his site all about this class distinction I describe.
An artist once said to me that art is made by the intellect whereas craft is made by the hands. I disagree with that artist, who happens to be my daughter unfortunately, because I think it oversimplifies things, not to mention how it creates an objectionable dichotomy. All art requires craft and vice versa. How we mix the two in different proportions in our woodworking projects allows for a huge field of play that can accommodate _everyone_. Importantly, particularly for those critical of any other art/craft mix than their own, the proportion of each can be fluid for any woodworker. Sometimes it will verge more toward art, and at other times for other projects, more toward craft.
This very issue of art versus craft has been a constant issue in the life of FWW magazine itself. I've read every issue since the beginning, and I have seen the tug of war among the readership over what's so 'fine' about FWW. The debate flares up from time to time even today, and I have my own opinions. (Personally, I don't find much 'fine' in tool reviews. They're useful information to have of course, but do they belong in FWW? I can get that stuff elsewhere, and FWW shouldn't try to be all things to all woodworkers. Fix that, will you?)
The bottom line is, like I argued previously, the combination of art and craft in any woodworker's projects, can wander anywhere he or she wants to go. Class distinctions be damned! I'll continue to learn from FWW, and Steve, and Mark, and Shannon, and...
Pick me! Pick me!
I've been a good boy all year long, Santa! Yes please.
Can't play very well myself, but chess sets are nice gifts. The book would sure help.
I've enjoyed the articles on Esherick over many years of reading FWW magazine. The book looks like a good, comprehensive coverage of his work.
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