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Thread: Project Critiques.

  1. #1
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    Project Critiques.

    One of the things that is taking off on one of the UKW forums is a "Critique" listing both of new starters and more accomplished turners work with a bent for helping others.

    Have a look and see what you think perhaps similar might be of use on FWW.
    http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/t...10-t15709.html

    The aim in setting it up was to try and avoid the hard line sniping you often see on 'professional' forums and to try and encorage new starters to join in and have access to the thoughts of the more accomplished in a place easily found rather than getting lost whenever a thread slides into the archives.

    Of course it does need a 'Volunteer' to keep and eye on the threads and maintain a listing.

    The link to Critique Etiquette basically sets out the aims.
    Chas. just a traveller on the road of time.

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  2. #2
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    great idea!!

    i think that your idea is a good one charles, it could be used for both the flat and spinny stuff. sometimes as we progress in our skill set its good to hear that your finish is alittle off because or the shape doesnt flow right because.. rather than its always great and nice job.. those are good to hear but sometimes they wont cause you to progress towards a better final outcome if you think what you have is already there. i also agree that they would need to put the word critigue in your main posting or have a seperate forum for it.. actually the word is the best method. that way the rest that look and read can see the real truths as well as the its great stuff replys thanks for the suggestion

    well i quess i am out in left field here,, i have done as some have suggested and sent a pm which is the best way,, once in a great while a turner will ask for the thoughts on the shape or heft of a piece and then i might answer them with my opinions.
    so how does one get the suggestions on making a change in procedure or final outcome. if i posted a lamp that was poorly put together or finished poorly. what would you say if you saw it posted??? what have you said in the past on something of this nature.
    Last edited by larry merlau; 05-16-2010 at 08:22 PM. Reason: additional thoughts
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  3. #3
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    So... If one wants to have an ego boast, will only look at the posts that say: Great job!, Cool!, Gorgeous and so for and if one wants to really know what people think about his/her work should read the critic ones?

    Does this mean that we are all so much "politicaly correct" that we feel somewhat obliged to say good things about a project, that we need to put a warning in the title meaning. " Sorry guy but you may not like what is being said in here"...? although it reads "Critique"

    When I was at school, we had to criticise everybody's projects, and by doing it we learnt how to criticise. Constructive criticism is difficult to give, many times we can't avoid it being biased by our personal taste. And if giving criticism is difficult, it is even more difficult taking it without making it a personal matter.

    A project can be criticised from many points of view, aesthetics, craftsmanship, fulfilling the purpose an so for. On the things I'm missing here is good and well done criticism, that one that really helps the person who receives it to improve in any area.

    If that proposal helps in that direction, I welcome it but maybe it is (or should not) be needed if we all knew how to take and give critics and at the same time encourage people.
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  4. #4
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    I have been in writers groups that critiqued.
    Some people never could learn what the purpose was. Criticisms hit them hard and often they would leave never to return.
    Those who understood and made efforts to apply the suggestions offered became better writers.
    If we start critiques here we would have to accept losing members.
    I'm against it. I believe the misunderstandings, hurt feelings and loss of membership outweighs the good that might come.
    PMs are a good way to share without public exposure and embarrassment.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
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    I've seen some folks who truly want to hear constructive criticism of their work, and others who really only want the "attaboys" and pats on the back. I think both types of feedback can be beneficial...one to help you improve and the other to encourage you to keep making more stuff. I try to refrain from posting my suggestions for other people's work unless they specifically ask for comments or critiques. When I show my own work on a forum, I nearly always ask for comments and suggestions. Although I've usually got my own idea of what could be improved in my own pieces, I really do want to hear other folks' honest opinions and suggestions for improvements. It's my choice whether to agree with them, but I still want to hear it nonetheless. I do think if someone asks for critique of their work, they should be willing to graciously accept others' comments, regardless of whether they agree with them.

    I've also participated in a few formal critiques, using the AAW guidelines shown in the attached PDF file. Although I think that's overkill for our typical needs here, I do think it offers some ideas for things to look for in your own work, to see if you can find room for improvement. I personally like public critiques, since they can be a learning experience for everyone. They do have to be presented in a civil manner, and not as a bashing, though. I also feel that comments should be geared towards the person's skill level, much like the AAW Evaluation Form is set up.

    Here at Family Woodworking, I'd personally like to see more folks ask for critiques, and also like to see more folks willing to speak up when someone does ask. I recognize some of the pitfalls that Frank pointed out regarding hurt feelings and such, but I'd say if you're not willing to hear someone say they don't like your work, don't ask for opinions or suggestions. I'm not convinced we have enough volume to warrant a separate listing like they have on the UK forum, but that's just my opinion. This place is run by the members, so if enough people would like to see it, then it's the forum staff's job to try to make it happen if possible.
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  6. #6
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    I could not agree more with you Vaughn, and yes, I believe that that form is a bit overkill, but at least it gives clear objective things to look at when evaluating a piece.

    That form, seems to me more adequate for a turning contest so that all pieces are judged under the same light and premises, but it could be a good starting point, to teach us where and how to look at pieces to criticise them afterwards.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  7. #7
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    Imho this is an excellent idea. To me the compromise route would be to get the point across to be asking for critique.

    Bearing in mind that there is a spread of skill and speaking for myself, i dont think there is a stronger critique that oneself. Therefore one needs to examine the various motives for posting.

    Posting work to show your buddies what you are doing

    Posting work to show other rookies or experts depending on what level of expertise you afford yourself how to or not to do something. There is a lot in this specific point that relates to simply getting people comfortable enough to post. eg i post often to get a guy that is lurking to realize i aint been bashed over the head for my less than stellar work. Hoping that makes him/her feel safe to come in from the cold and join the party.

    Posting work with a view to getting critique to be able to improve on ones work and take it up a notch. In this case imho you first have to have reached a level of competency that you have self assesed as warranting critique.

    There can also see be a situation where guys hold off posting until they have reached this level to be able to handle the critique. That would not be in the interests of developing woodworkers or comraderie of the site.

    So i guess what should be more encouraged is the seeking of critique. Criticism is easier to take/handle when it is sought by a person than when provided on an unsolicited basis.

    Dont you think in many cases the atta boy comments are more of an acknowledgement of the post and a way of letting the poster know that their post was seen by the specific member rather than just looking at the number of views.

    As a rookie woodworker i find it difficult to offer critique when i can see obvious skill that exceeds my ability. In this case i kinda feel, who the heck am i to offer a comment and invariably the only thing i feel competent to offer is like or dislike of the piece.

    I can fully understand how the skilled guys here get "bored or tired" of the atta boy comments when they are looking to kick it up a notch. This aspect has always made me wonder why they even participate here and my conlusion has been that it is to befriend woodworkers and encourage lesser skilled guys than themselves sorta like giving back. Trouble is how do these level of skill guys get to secure comments that would spur them on.

    This aint no easy one to tackle when the critique is going to be in public.
    cheers

  8. #8
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    Vaughn's first paragraph sums it up quite well, IMHO:
    "I've seen some folks who truly want to hear constructive criticism of their work, and others who really only want the "attaboys" and pats on the back. I think both types of feedback can be beneficial...one to help you improve and the other to encourage you to keep making more stuff. I try to refrain from posting my suggestions for other people's work unless they specifically ask for comments or critiques. When I show my own work on a forum, I nearly always ask for comments and suggestions. Although I've usually got my own idea of what could be improved in my own pieces, I really do want to hear other folks' honest opinions and suggestions for improvements. It's my choice whether to agree with them, but I still want to hear it nonetheless. I do think if someone asks for critique of their work, they should be willing to graciously accept others' comments, regardless of whether they agree with them."

    I recall a time when Vaughn posted a pic of a bowl or something and asked for comments. He got quite a few, with most comments advising changing this or that curve, making the bulgies higher/lower, referencing somebody else's styles and on and on. I hadn't a clue what they were talking about. As far as I was concerned it was Vaughn's vase, or bowl and it was what it was. Looked fine to me even though I might have done it differently. But, what the hey.
    I'm still again it. Hurt feelings and cross words will result. And we will lose members.
    Last edited by Frank Fusco; 05-17-2010 at 06:06 PM. Reason: flubber fingers
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
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    I belong to the forum Chas is talking about and it works well. There is a tendency (maybe it's a British thing) to say nothing unless you can say something positive and that means that you either get praise or nothing at all. Putting something up deliberately for critique invites comments regarding general design as well as skill level and so feeds our imagination and creative juices.

    pete

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete MoncrieffJury View Post
    I belong to the forum Chas is talking about and it works well. There is a tendency (maybe it's a British thing) to say nothing unless you can say something positive and that means that you either get praise or nothing at all. Putting something up deliberately for critique invites comments regarding general design as well as skill level and so feeds our imagination and creative juices.

    pete
    I understand and, really, I see the value in critique groups or forums. But, there are always folks who cannot handle the criticism. We have lost some good members because of perceived slights. An outright criticism of their work could be beyond the ability of some to accept in good faith.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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